September 8, 2013 - TargettedCartguy
Targetted by the Target Corp.
Hi everyone, I’ve read a bunch of people’s horror stories of having to work at Target and having worked for them myself back in the day I thought I would share my experiences.
I started working at Target back in 2006, collecting carts — seems like a common job among people here and unanimously hated for obvious reasons. The first thing I noticed straight off that I disliked about the job was that they expected me to have check lanes stocked with paper and plastic bags and have the bathrooms and floors and spills cleaned all while I am supposed to be gathering carts from the parking lot and occasionally zoning the store for stray carts. If doing those extras IS part of the job description (it didn’t seem like it was at the time I was hired, I just remember after starting my first day that a GSTL mentioned in passing that every hour or so I should check the bathroom for messes and what not), it seems like they should just break down and hire a full time janitor to be cleaning the bathrooms and any and all spills that occur on the Target racetrack during the day (but it’s much more cost-effective and more fun to punk around an already dogged employee and make him do all of the grunt work in addition to his own overbearing schedule while covering for his lazy cart attendant co-workers who seem to believe that hanging out by the magazine racks and discussing things like Pokemon and Football are efficient uses of company time and money.
Anyway, on my first day I was trained by a nice but somewhat daft individual (something I would realize sooner than later about Target employees); his training methods included running off into the store for who knows what while leaving the robotic cart machine active with a mile long row of carts idling in front of several parked cars, blaming “jealous” cashiers and random old ladies for missplacing the “robo” remote device, and screaming at the trainee for having a few carts in the parking lot by the time his shift started because said trainee was supposed to have clocked out 10-15 minutes ago and needed to find the trainer to give the damn remote to so he could finally get home and in the meantime people were buying things and leaving carts in the parking lot. Also said trainer on more than one occasion handed the keys to the cart device to me at the beginning of my shift with literally less than one row of carts in either hold and the entire parking lot was overflowing (corrals were puking carts) and looked like no one had gone to clean up the lot in months.
I also learned that a lot of Target employees held the belief that if they were your senior at the store by even a month that they were superior to you knew better than you, despite the fact that they were only cashiers or shelf stockers and that I had had extensive training in all areas of retail years before I got hired onto Tarpit. Another thing that became a common sight was entitled women with children who felt that the Target shopping cart was their personal changing rack and garbage bin and filled them up with garbage from their purses, cars, refuse left over from a carry-out and would top it all off with a neatly folded soiled baby diaper.
After being employed with Tar-zhey for three months I knew the store layout pretty well and had a pretty good handle on my job however even though I was being superman in my department (I know we are all Supermen and Wonder Women and are taken for granted) I was still getting dogged by GSTLs, TLs and LODs. I can remember working late on the week of Christmas and a lady whom I personally knew outside of the store asked if I could fetch another cart for her because she ended up with more stuff than she thought she could carry and I playfully said; “Well…for you okay!” with a smile and a reciprocative smile and nod in return then out of the blue a tall blond TL whom I have never seen before snaps at me “NICE ATTITUDE BUSTER! YOU BETTER WATCH WHO YOU ARE TALKING TO!!!” Note I have never seen this person before in my life, had no idea who they were. I was doing my job being a cart monkey and since it was late and I knew the person (which was obvious because the lady customer would ask me questions about non-Target stuff) and decided I can be funny (I didn’t throw a fit or flat out refuse to help) and lighten the mood while being helpful.
Another similar experience almost a year later. It’s 5:55 PM – I am supposed to be clocked out at 6:00 PM, I had just handed the cart machine over, was undertaking a carry-out after moving some hangers to the back of the store and zoning the aisles for stray carts and was good to go once this carry out was taken care of. By the time I get back to the store it is 6:08 exactly. I remember because earlier that day my manager gave me a verbal coaching (and all employees apparently) that I needed to be clocked in for work no later than 10 minutes and clocked out no later than ten minutes, and that excessive tardiness of either thing could result in termination. So naturally since I had worked all of my hours for the day and was already almost 10 minutes overclock, I just wanted to clock out and get the hell out of there. Anyway as I am proceeding to the HR office to clock out for the day, the guest services girl asks if I can do this carry out real quick (the item was still in the back of the store and was not even present at GS yet). I calmly explained that I am already 10 minutes overtime and that I was supposed to be gone 10 minutes ago as per company policy. I let her know that the closing car attendant has clocked in and is still in the store and he can do it since he has my keys and remote to the cart device and is working the closing shift. Well I guess that did not settle well with her because as I made my way to the HR to clock out a GSTL pulls me to the front end (the very front check out lanes) full of cashiers and customers and screams at me: “WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU WERE DOING?! YOU NEVER, NEVER SAY NO TO A GUEST EVER!! I DON’T EVER WANT TO CATCH YOU WITH THAT ATTITUDE AGAIN!!” Well after the humiliation was over and since I was already more than 10 minutes late to clock out I thought screw it and went to see the HR manager. I informed her that I felt that I was humiliated and embarrassed in front of my peers and guests and that I was unfairly accused of something that was by all means out of my hands. I went on to explain that if by having an “attitude” meant trying my best to comply with company timeclock policy, or politely explaining the situation to the Guest Services woman as being an “attitude problem” then I must be the worst employee ever. The HR Woman agreed with me for the most part and said that it was not right what he did and that he should have brought me into the GSTL office (the little window with the door in front of the checklanes) if he had any issues with me. She said she would be speaking to him and that I was free to clock out.
Next thing I know this hothead that was on my case for apparently having a “bad attitude” has now turned a complete 180 and was nice as peaches and rainbows and acted like were the best of friends and always wanted me to check in with him every morning before I started my shift to see how I was doing (something that none of the other GSTLs wanted from me). My spidey senses were tingling — I suspected that the Hotheaded GSTL was doing some serious damage control and was fishing out anything from me that could make himself look better, also I suspect that with the girl over at Guest Services was the same situation; she was not happy that I didn’t say “Sure I can handle this carry-out and ten more after that even though I am supposed to be clocked out and going home now!” She was not pleased because she did not get her way and I was somehow being “insubordinate” and that I needed to be disciplined for having such a “bad attitude” and for flat out refusing service (which if you look at it, it’s the company’s strict Timeclock policy or HR’s fault — not mine!)
A few months later I quit after being given a write up from Mr. Twinkletoes AKA Hothead over who knows what, and I came in the next day and another new GSTL that I mutually disliked ( who would also brag to her friends about being my boss, despite her not having anything to do with signing and cutting paychecks, managing hours, or hiring employees or even knowing a single thing about my job) wanted to take my only days off (the weekend) from me to cover another lazy cart attendant who felt that going to see Snoopy on Ice was more important than going to work at Target for 8 hours. I handed to her my employee nametag and badge and officially quit right there on the spot, however I waited until after she pushed the cart attendant’s hours on me more or less saying that it was a good opportunity to get some hours but also I that I had no choice in the matter because for some reason the GSTLs let all of the other cart attendants get away with murder knowing that I will be the one to pick up their slack, the look on her face after I countered her offer with a “well actually, I quit.”
She knew then and there that she was truly “screwed”, the one cart attendant that would do his unappreciated job in zero degree weather, put up with crazy customers who were convinced that we were conspiring to hide their merchandise from them and rude GSTLs ignorant of the everyday life of cart attendants — did his job regardless had just revealed his hand after she had revealed hers and countered with a big middle finger. Well on the bright side she gets to hear about how great Snoopy on Ice was when she gets to work the parking lot with the new guy.