August 29, 2018 - Redcardsuck
On Wednesdays we wear red and Khaki
So this is something I shared anonymously with all my coworkers before I left Target. I thought it would be fun to share it here. But I’ll give you all a fair warning that this is a VERY long one.
If there is one thing I learned from my time at Target it’s that evil can take many forms. And it takes a particularly vicious form in that of Targets executive leadership. Or as I will refer to them here “the plastics”. You see I call them that because they are splendid actors who are experts at using people to get what they want. The plastics are masters of the art of manipulation. They will truly make you believe that they appreciate the value of your efforts. They’ll offer you fake smiles, false promises of more hours, a free Starbucks drink and many other small incentives. They will act as though they are your friend so long as you continue to achieve certain goals. But when your usefullness runs out, so does their friendship.
Now let’s discuss their goals. Goals such as how many mycheckouts the store gets in a day. Goals such as how many redcard applications are submitted per week. Goals such as reaching sales in certain departments of the store that may be struggling at certain times. Now there’s nothing wrong with having goals and encouraging your employees to achieve them but here’s what leadership fails to mention.
The plastics get bonuses that none of the other leads or team members will ever be able to get. One of these bonuses is called the “Golden Contributor” award. The STL gets a big fat bonus when the store stays under payroll hours for a year’s time. The ETLs are also awarded a smaller bonus for this. You want to know why you’re hours are constantly being cut even though we’re clearly meeting our sales goals? Why don’t you ask our STL. If he’s not too busy celebrating on one of his many vacations.
The plastics can also get an annual bonus if the store exceeds the metrics that corporate sets performance wise. The metrics would be for whatever area the ETLs position is. For example the sales floor ETL would be graded mostly off sales floor metrics. A bonus that can be anywhere from $500-$2000. Sounds pretty nice doesn’t it?
Now how much do we get in annual raises as team members? On the very high end a 5% increase per hour. And let’s face it–rarely does anyone get the outstanding review to give them that raise. Especially since corporate actually tells stores how many “exceeds expectations” reviews are allowed.
And yet the plastics would have you believe that they truly support you and want you to learn and grow within the company. But the truth is these people are shallow self serving sociopaths. From the minute they walk in the door they are putting on a performance; a puppet show. One where they are eagerly awaiting the opportunity to pull your strings. They want you to work hard for them so that you can continue to narrowly avoid poverty while they can continue to climb further up the corporate ladder. These people are NOT your friends.
Nothing you do for them will ever reap the benefits or rewards of the types of compensation they receive while we’re choosing between things like food and medicine. Feeding our kids instead of ourselves. Paying the rent or losing our electricity. They don’t know or understand or struggle. The only thing they know is they need YOU to perform well so that it can reflect well on THEM. But truthfully we gain NOTHING from busting our asses for them.
Think Im exaggerating? Being over dramatic? Allow me to clearly illustrate the lack of empathy or compassion these people have. I’m going to describe a situation that happened last year. When I injured myself and asked for reasonable accommodations. The accommodations they made were a joke and it was obvious not one of the plastics had any concern for me. Only my lack of any ability to make them look good.
I sprained my ankle on my way into work one day. The pain was definitely excruciating. Now I know most of you are saying “then why the hell would you walk into work see a doctor”. Well unfortunately I couldn’t afford to take the day off work. I should also mention that seeing a doctor without insurance is not easy and it’s not something I could have done immediately anyway, at least not without being in debt I couldn’t afford.
I came into work and explained what happened to my leader. She was less than empathetic to say the least. Not once did she suggest anything to help. I could have easily cashiered from a chair or even answered the phones instead. There were ways to make the shift more bearable but she didn’t care. All she cared about were her goals; how she probably wasn’t going to impress any of her puppet masters.
The plastics passed by a number of times and obviously saw I was in pain, shifting on to one leg and hopping from one lane to another. They said nothing. Not even so much as a thank you for still coming in. Luckily I was able to make an appointment with a low income clinic soon after where I was given a doctors note stating I needed to stay off my ankle. Seems reasonable right?
Well I guess the plastics must have thought I was making the whole thing up. Because when I asked to do my job from a chair, they asked me if I could retrieve the chair myself and giggled. Again, lack of empathy and sociopathic behavior. I was disturbed to say the least so I said I couldn’t because I was actually injured so could someone else please get a chair. They finally did reluctantly and throughout the night not one of them even acknowledged me.
Does that sound like people who care about you? But that’s not the only example of cruel treatment I’ve received. There’s more folks!
Let’s talk about what happened in the summer of 2017. When Targets corporate decided it was a good idea to turn down Air Conditioning during times of record high temperatures. As a result of working under these kind of extreme temperatures I got sick a number of times because I was overheated and severely dehydrated. I should also mention I was not the only person to feel ill as a result of high temperatures.
When asked why this happened (and still happens) I was blatantly LIED to. I was told it was something that was mandatory that the store had absolutely no control over. I was told that it was either a requirement of the utility company or some type of city ordinance. Here’s where things get interesting.
Com Ed can’t force businesses to reduce power usage. And the city actually doesn’t have any ordinance that says anything about energy consumption. If you doubt this, I have correspondence on my phone from both the utility company and a representative that works for the city.. Both of which confirmed that what I was told was false. So why lie about this?
Well the answer is simple. What’s the one thing big corporations care about more than anything else? Money. And if you don’t use pretty large sized AC units for certain periods of time it will most definitely trim the electric bill. Especially if it’s done multiple times a week.
So essentially, even though they’re potentially putting a good number of people at risk, they care more about saving money than our safety and well-being. Which is the exact opposite of what this company claims to care about. This didn’t come as a shock though.
Oh did I forget to mention that at one time 3 pregnant women were working during these periods where the store was being hit with intense humidity? Did any of the plastics check on these women? See if perhaps one of them was going into premature labor as a result of this ongoing heat stress? Perhaps see if they needed WATER? Nope.
Are we seeing a theme here? Still don’t believe me? Well just wait because THERES MORE. I’m not the only person who’s been affected by this disastrous leadership. Let’s talk about the Apparel and Accessories department.
It’s no secret that our apparel team members deal with a lot of reshop on a daily basis. And yet they have all of it outside the fitting room on racks and on fixed shelving. Now I bet you’re wondering why it doesn’t all just get stored in that little room over there. Well allow me to explain and to give you the HONEST answer instead of those lies the plastics do so enjoy rehearsing.
We had a visit from our corporate overlords a couple years ago where we were told that removing everything from the area behind the fitting room desk would discourage the team members from “standing around to chat”. Want proof? The documentation from that visit is on my phone. This is what the plastics think of us. That the reason for our poor performance is laziness and lack of work ethic.
It couldn’t be understaffing. Poor working conditions. Unrealistic expectations. All of the obvious things. Because you see all of that would require challenging corporate leadership. Something the plastics wouldn’t dare do if they’re going to continue their way up in the company. Questioning things doesn’t help them get even larger salaries with even bigger bonuses.
Let’s not forget there’s no operator anymore either. HR or the LOD answers the phone. Which doesn’t help anyone when there are multiple calls on a busy day. Most of the time the plastics can’t be bothered to answer the phone so they just ask someone else to answer. So the expectations don’t matter because the rules only apply when it benefits them. Again. Self serving. Seeing a trend?
Need some more examples? Let’s discuss the backroom. Let’s talk about the fact that it’s an oven in the summer and a freezer in the winter because the leadership is too cheap to fix it. Or perhaps about how they’re forced to work in a way that isn’t safe in order to meet goal times. Throwing boxes, lifting things intended to be team lifts, running back and forth pulling things for CAFs. Should I bring up the fact that they’re meant to juggle in store pickup orders along with everything else? Even though the plastics are more than capable of helping?
Still not convinced? Just wait there’s more. Let’s talk about hardlines. When Target adopted something called “modernization” (which is a thinly veiled excuse to cut labor costs by expecting even more from much fewer people), The workers from hardlines had their hours cut down to almost nothing. Some of them as little as ONE shift a week. Why? Because part of the changes that came with “modernizing” involved moving flow/plano people into hardlines. Effectively eliminating their position.
Did Target communicate any of these changes? Perhaps give any of the affected people fair warning that their hours would be cut significantly? Nope. Instead what happened is a large number of these workers were forced to quit to seek other employment that they COULD support themselves on. Almost the entire department quit and the plastics didn’t hire anyone to fill those positions.
So here’s the logical conclusion we can draw from that. The plastics COULD have laid these people off for lack of hours. They COULD have offered them an opportunity to cross train into other areas. What they instead did was what they do best. Absolutely Nothing.
They let all of these people quit instead of being honest with them and telling them that their positions were eliminated. Why? Because laying people off costs the company money. The state forces them to pay unemployment. Why do that when you know one shift a week will force them to quit?
Does that sound like people who support their workers? They care about corporates best interests. Not OUR best interests. And if you still don’t believe me. Then feel free to continue reading because I’m just getting started.
Shall we discuss the beauty department? Now I bet you’re wondering, What made the company decide to have “beauty” people specifically? Remember those staff we used to have called “beauty concierge”? Back when this was implemented Target hired a third party to be in charge of the beauty area. Their purpose was focused on guest interaction in order to increase sales. Not a bad idea right?
Well Target decided to eliminate that third party effectively eliminating all of those workers jobs. Ever notice how you didn’t hear what happened to them? They were simply told “the program was ending”. No severance pay or any kind. They were more or less forced to quit and find other work.
Now what we have are team members in beauty instead. Which they like to dress up as being a good thing because YAY hours. But here’s the problem. Instead of being focused on guest interaction they’re basically just made to work A-block as if they were scheduled in hardlines. Pushing CAFs, zoning aisles, setting endcaps, updating capacities, etc.
And yet they are made to take special training which specifically mentions to focus on guests not tasks. Doesn’t make much sense does it? So why do this? Using the beauty people as hardlines makes them able to use less payroll for the floor. See if payroll is being cut from hardlines nobody will raise an eyebrow. however, if cuts are made to beauty it’s seen as a problem because they are supposedly there to increase sales. If there’s one thing the plastics actually DO care about it’s profitability. Or what’s seen as profitability when in reality on any day you walk in the beauty people actually aren’t focused on guests or increasing sales because they’re being given things to do instead. Seems like the plastics are just looking out for their own interests. Again.
Now let’s discuss electronics. That is if you can actually find anyone at electronics. Because even though the new “modernizing” brands them as “experts” their knowledge isn’t really being shared with anyone. They’re too busy pushing reshop and zoning E & F. Even though their roles say specifically that they are there to help guests.
They’re role is to supposedly engage with them and attempt to sell things like electronics accessories and service plans. Yet most nights you won’t find them doing that. Wonder why? Scheduling someone to be in E & F uses, you guessed it PAYROLL. And why do that when you can throw electronics there instead and make them juggle a bunch of different tasks while somehow simultaneously helping every guest that needs help?
Are you getting it yet? Do I have to spell it out for you? There’s only one thing that matters to these people. Their own success and money. And they’ll stop at nothing to achieve it regardless of how much we have to suffer in exchange. We’re pawns to them. Completely disposable. Never believe otherwise.
It’s easy to just sit back on a comfy salary and continuously say “I’m just doing my job”. As if those words hold some kind of magic that absolves them of any moral or ethical responsibility. The truth is that you have a much more important job not just as a manager but as a human being to always act with integrity and do the right thing. With great power comes great responsibility. I think what I have witnessed in my time here has shown me just how vile people become when they’ve been corrupted by power. They let it go to their heads, become greedy, and lose sight of what’s really important.
No business can function without it’s workers. It’s specifically because of us that businesses like this are profitable. Without cashier’s, stockers, logistics workers, stockroom workers, etc there would be nobody to run the store. And thus no way for them to continue to be obscenely wealthy in their corporate offices. Well I’m officially done supporting people who clearly don’t support us. In the words of Maxine Waters I’m reclaiming my time! And you should too. Get out while you still can.