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November 17, 2014 - upsetGSS

How I escaped Hell

I worked for target for 4 years and for almost the last 2 I was a GSA. Which pretty much means the GSTL’s bitch.  I busted my ass harder than anyone’s.

But any who, I quit back in June, with no job lined up and this was the happiest I’ve ever been in my life. I had o move back in with my parents because I could no longer pay the bills.

So many things built me up to my quiting moment. But I have to say I never cried there (I’m a guy but there were times I wanted to break down) and I’m proud of that.

My first few months as a working slave I had an alright STL. She was nice and new when corporate asked to much out of the employees and she would fight them every step of the way if we weren’t treated properly. (Shannon if you read this you’re an amazing person and I was lucky to have you as a boss). But then this new guy Thomas comes in when Shannon got a better job. And Thomas I know is a good person outside of target I’m friends with his cousin but inside target he is the spawn of satan. When he showed up it became exactly like high school every one in manage t became very clicky and if you weren’t apart of the right click, Thomas’s. Then you got the short end of the stick.

On days that I worked I would always have a couple team members of the front come to me with problems, as I was the only person they felt comfortable approaching. And I would try my best to help them even though it’s suppose to be HR’s job. (Side note: HR lady, you are terrible and fake. Saying one thing and doing another. FUCK YOU.) Anyways, I had the front-end like a well oil machine, always getting a good number of red cards, keep everyone happy, doing all my work/tasks and doing all the work left over from the previous shift.

But when Thomas comes in he ended up micro managing everything and pushing surveys and vibing. The thing about vibing it rewards customers who scream and complain the loudest. I’m all for going above and beyond but not for someone who’s and asshole. But he completely reworks the front end to the only thing I’m suppose to do is speed weave, tell guests which register to go to. It’s a fucking pointless task. Registers have lights for a reason and cashiers step out to guide guests down to their register.

I met with him on this several times explaining how I was doing things was more efficient and even shown him the stats spreader over the last month I did things my way vs his new way. But no he ignores this and says “Well I’m your boss and this is how I want things done from now on.” Pissed but respectful to everyone even an asshole boss. I do things his way.

Every team member noticed I was not doing any work except talking to unhappy guests and trying to resolve their issues. Which is the worst part, target was bare able when I felt like I accomplished something by setting but new end caps but just getting yelled at by pissed off people is ridiculous.

So after a few more months, I’ve had it. I go back to Thomas and tell him I don’t like things and this doesn’t work well, I’ve proven my way gets more red cards, better surveys, cleaner front-end and even boosts moral. He responds with “this is how corporate tells me to do things.”

So with that being said I talk with a few friends I have that work at other locations and no other gstl/GSA is having to speed weave.

So I go to HR after finding out this information. And tell her that I’m unhappy with what my job transformed into and if we can’t resolve this if like to step down. She said she’ll come up with a solution by the end of the week.

Mean while the the two gstl’s have been at each other’s throats and to get back at one another think its funny to not do their work and try and push it on the other. It ends up in me which is BS.

So a few days after my talk with HR she calls me and asks if I can come in for a closing shift and that the first hour we are having a meeting with the gstl/GSA’s to discuss how to properly address the situation. At this point I’m ecstatic about this and can’t wait to get in there and voice my opinion.

I should up 5 minutes early and HR tells me to sitting in the back meeting room. So I wait there and he comes the STL and two gstl’s. I’m ready and pumped to solve these problems. Nothing gets me harder then solving difficult problems one of the reasons I first end like working guest service; and this is the hardest problem of them all.

Well Thomas walks in with them and looks confused. He asks “are you on the clock?”

I reply, “Of course.” While trying to figure out why he’s confused.

Thomas: Well your supposed to be out there watching the front while WEEEE figure out what to do.

(I’m fucking livid, never in my life have I been embarrassed, all I wanted was to be treated as an equal with and equal voice. )

I walked out and watched the front as I was told to. And he comes the other GSA, Nick. He alright hard working but hates confrontation. He heads back to clock in. A few minutes later he comes out to the front with the same look I had on my face only but a few moments ago.

Are rage boils in a collective pot as we discuss our hatred for everyone in that room and the HR lady for lying to us. Nick decides to watch the front as I go talk to the HR lady.

I find her in her office checking her Facebook on her phone.

Me: So when is my meeting with Thomas and the others. I have some problems I would really like handled.

HR: You must have misheard me on the phone I said I wanted you to watch the front for the meeting

Me: Then why are me and Nick watching the front at the same time.

HR: oh he must have picked up a cashier shift

Me: he said he talked to you on the phone about the meeting.

HR: yeah but at the time he said he couldn’t come in.

(I think to myself “you lying fucking cunt”)

I walk out and back to the front and discuss this with Nick and he was in fact their for the meeting.

2 1/2 hours layers they come out the gstl’s clock out and go home and the STL looks around and then goes back to the back room. I follow him.

Me: So what’s gonna change?

Thomas: Nothing, you’ll probably won’t hear (name of gstl) talk to (other gstl).

Me: This is B.S. I thought we were gonna fix things today.

Thomas: Nothings broke. Now why aren’t you watching the front?

My face is as red as a tomato and I’m ready to straggle him but I removed myself from the room.

Upon returning to the front I tell nick nothing’s gonna change. We keep our heads down for a while and come in do work and leave. No heart or emotion, just a beaten slave no longer willing to fight.

Time passes. . .

Many more situations occur between me and Thomas. Even Thomas and other team members, I would interject and try my best to defend my team.

A disgruntle guest comes in looking to return the item. Me and the guest service team member notice that the item is dated for 2008, it’s now 2014 and this box has clearly been around. So of course the item isn’t found on his card and not able to be returned on a drivers license.

Guest: I just bought this last week how could this not be in the system for a store price

Me: Well the item is dated for 2008 so maybe it’s an old bar code. If you can go back there and find the item on the shelf we’ll use the new one barcode to return your item for store credit using your drivers license.

Guest: This is bull shit I be right back with the item.

Team member turns to me and we are now discussing quietly the situation.

Me: the item didn’t pull up in the PDA and was unable to locate the dpci. So I’m pretty sure this guy is trying to return old merchandise.

(This happens A LOT at my store)
(And this team member has worked guest service for 3 years she should know how to properly speak to guests without pissing them off)

Team member: what do I do?

Me: if he can’t find the item Apologize and deny the refund.

I walk away as there is a spill by the front entrance and the cart attendant is running late. So I proceed to mop it up as the guest comes back empty handed. I’m within an ear shot and hear…

Guest: it’s not back there you must have been sold out.

Team member: well I’m sorry sir I won’t be able to do the refund then because you bought this 6 years ago.

Thomas is walking up to me at this point probably to tell me to speed weave.

Guest: (screaming) Are you FUCKING KIDDING ME!!!

Team member calls my name. As I’m ready to calmly address this guy which I become fairly good at over the years. Thomas says, “do whatever it takes to make him happy.” I try to explain the situation but the team member yells my name. And Thomas says again “just make him happy.”

I walked over.

Team member to the guest: I was just doing what I was told by my supervisor.

Guest: Well you’re a bitch.

Me: Sir, there’s no need for that language we are goin

He cuts me off before I can get out another work

Guest: Yeah there is need for this fucking language because you told her to deny me my refund.

Me: Sir, I just spoke with the store manager and he told me to whatever I can. With that being said how much do you remember paying for the item.

Guest: 40 bucks

(There’s no way this item was over 25)

With my quick fingers and targets shitty system I make a 40 dollar gift card and hand it to the guest. He quickly snags it up and goes shopping through the store. As he walks away I turn around and see the team member in tears.

Team member: I thought we were friends why would you do that to me.


Team member: you completely made me look like the bad guy and set me up. How could you do that?

Me: I’m sorry I was never my intent, I was just doing was Thomas told me.

Tears still running down her face.

Me: I’m sorry please take sometime in the back to…

She storms into the back breakroom. And I see Thomas over the short wall of guest service with a smirk on his face. Confused as to why I’m the bad guy I get pissed at Thomas.

The cart attendant comes in and as taking the extra time to train him for guest service I have him cover it until the previous team member can come out.

The next day I go to complain to HR about Thomas not listening to our side and then appearing to be happy that I was getting yelled at. HR lady says that she’ll look into it.

Well luckily enough that day nick was schedule with me for. 15 minute overlap for watching the front. So I decide to stock check lane candy for my last 15 minutes. While is the front end stock room I can hear the HR lady talking as it’s directly next to her office.

HR: (my name) came in and talk to be about you, he said you were smiling when he got yelled at and didn’t listen.

Thomas: Yeah well he deserved it so I didn’t see anything wrong. You should cut his hours back then he’ll complain less.

HR: hahaha okay.

I’m about to break down I spend the 5 of the 15 minutes just trying to keep my composure. I stock a little but them leave.

At this point I’ve had it. I’ve been burning in hell for way to long and all I want is a glass of water. I go in and talk to an ETL and ask for the two weeks form. I had to do this often as a lot of employees would only feel comfortable coming to me. She hands them to me and asks “who’s quitting this time?”

To which u replied “Me.” And I crack a slight smile.

I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. It’s just a dot but at least it is there.

I was planning on writing several pages explain all the terrible truths that are behind the red bullseye. But I came to the conclusion that I didn’t want them to take anymore of my time. In the space labeled ‘Reason for Leaving’ I wrote but one sentence consisting of 4 words. “Unhappy with work environment.”

At the end of the day if you’re not happy then you need to make a change.

I worked my full two weeks with out another job lined up but I didn’t care. Each shift I would finish I felt a weight being lifted. I had less and less stress each day, which shocked me as I thought I would be freaking out about being in employed.

Finally the day has come, my last day. My last day in hell. The fire no longer burning me, the pressure no longer keeping me on my knees. The light was the brightest it’s ever been.

I’ve said my goodbyes. And hugged my team and hugged the ones I knew would never escape for they where the ones I tried to protect the most from this hell mouth. (trying to live up to Shannon as I really admired her as a leader)

I cleaned out my part of the gstl/GSA office. Making room for who ever gets banished to that circle of hell.

As I walk slowly past the front I look at my team and my eyes begin to water. I waved as I often did just as if it was another day. Approaching the exit it’s a beautiful sunny day and the light is blinding. Walking through those doors I shed a single tear, the only tear I ever let target get out of me was one of joy.



Employee Experience gsa / retail hell / S /


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