December 31, 2019 - ofCourse
Two Targets: 2 year part-time, 1 month seasonal employee. (long story)
I’ve visited this site several times through the past few years and thought I should put up a post of my own. This mostly focuses on the end of both stints, the first one is pretty long so beware!
I worked for two different Targets, the first one for two years where all but three months I worked Service Desk, Photo Lab, Cafe, and was promised several times I would be a part of the Starbucks team we had incoming. I left just after two years to finish up my education, but mostly because the stress was breaking me down. I was literally pulling out my own hair at work and didn’t even realize I had until one day I pulled my hand away from my head to grab the door handle in the stairwell and a bunch of hairs were in my hand, roughly 30 strands. This was just before a two week time off I put in for, not even paid leave but that’s another matter. I held on and tried to not rip my hair out. I get back after spending time with family, getting a hair cut and just generally feeling better, even about going back to Target.
Day one I’m back, people compliment me on my hair and then tell me they fired the entire back room staff. At least 10 people just fired with no reason other than a shift in planning. Instead of giving these people who knew the store and had worked for them for years, decades some of them, a new position or two weeks notice they fired them all. I went cold. I knew them, most of them had kids to take care of and at least one of them was working another job just to stay in their apartment and pay off the car payments on top of kids to take care of.
It all really came to a head when not even a month later one of the GSTLs lectured me in front of “guests” about how I wasn’t doing my job when I went to clean the bathroom (it was slow at the service desk and it’s a task I didn’t want to do but that needed to be done, or we’d get complaints about the bathroom and the only cleaning staff we have during the day is cart attendant, which were all men at the time) the GSTL in question came in as I was wiping down a stall, and I knew it was her because because of the jangling keys and walkie, I also saw her when I poked my head out of the stall to tell her I’d just be a minute when she ducked out of the bathroom. There was a book on the mirror ledge, prominently in plain view anyone could see it if they look around, let alone clean the damn bathroom. It took all of 10 minutes to clean the bathroom since there was not a lot of women came in. Although there were some problem toilets and paper everywhere.
I get back and she asks to speak to me, normally if we have a discussion like this we go to the offices upstairs but instead she brings me over to photo where there is a line of “guests” who need help. I though she was going to ask me a question and instead asks me where I was, I tell her, she tells me that SHE just cleaned the bathroom and didn’t see me. know she was lying because she would have asked about the book like I had and getting no answers taken it to the lost and found. I tell her adamantly that I was cleaning the bathroom. She says “alright that’s fine, but …” and then she brings up an “incident” from the day before where I wasn’t “where I needed to be.”
(A guest needed help finding something, I was on a register that day, I knew where it was but couldn’t get anyone over the walkie and instead of calling for that department for the seventh time, and then asking a fourth time after that if anyone could help a “guest” find this one fucking item, NO ONE responded. Not even to tell me if there on lunch or helping another “guest,” nothing! The lanes aren’t too busy so I turn off my light and take her to find the item, we get back to the register maybe five minutes later, I ring her up and am actually feeling like I’m doing great! No one yelling about a return of pick up problem just giving people what they want and being on their way, and then the person watching SCO, has hailed them self as ‘King Mayor Lord Right of the Front Lanes’ and asks me where I went and when I tell them get angry and tell me it’s not my job, I end the conversation by stating honestly and clearly that it’s my job to help “guests” find what they need and check them out in a timely manner, not after 30 minutes of radio silence send them to find an item they’ve already failed to find and turn away to help “guests”. not the first or last time that day me and SCO get into it but, not important.)
At this point I’m mad, because I’ve been told since day one to “take the initiative” and then get ripped apart for it, I’ve been told to help the “guest” and I get in trouble for that too, and I also get in trouble for doing the job no one wants to do. In the past when I’ve been pissed I’ve always managed to keep it professional at work but damn it I was done! I ask the GSTL pretty loudly: “What do you want me to do?!” Pretty much all the Photo Lab line “guests” looked at us at this point if they haven’t been already. The GSTL then told me to “do my job, and stay where I was supposed to be.” I went back behind service desk and had to stand there seething for 2 more hours while the coworker next to me and at SCO smiled smugly at my getting in trouble.
I went home, talked it over with the family and was all ready to never go in again when the next day I got physically ill from the stress of not calling out. Yeah, I was that tightly wound over it. I ended up going to HR later that day, one of the few people I actually miss, and basically told her I need to put in my two weeks to finish up my associates (took two full semesters but I got it). I was going to work the two weeks I did the next three days until I got super sick, most likely from the stress and I come back after calling out sick two days and one of my shifts had been given away, I didn’t think anything of it, just thought “YAY! one less day here!” I have the next two days off and come back and before I clock in I notice a sheet of paper on the schedule that has my name and the shifts I was supposed to be working, the GSTL from hell gave away my shifts even though I called in those two days, even though I said straight up to everyone that would listen that I wanted to finish my two weeks and she had given the rest of the week away; at least four scheduled days. I was pissed. I brought it up with the GSTL on the floor and agreed to work the four hour shift I was scheduled that day but I didn’t make it 2 hours, clocked out, and told the LOD what the GSTL had done.
It’s a little over a year later and I need money again. I decide I’m in a better place health wise and get hired on to work at another Target for this season. I know It’s not a dead end job for me because of plans to get into a certain healthcare field. I didn’t get a call back until two weeks into November and after a lot of technical goof ups on their part, and just not being available to do the phone interview when THEY schedule the damn thing, I get hired and unfortunately I’ve already scheduled prior to all of this to have my wisdom teeth removed so that cut my schedule up, but they didn’t seem too bothered by that. I figured I’d work until March at least and then get into my healthcare program (I have, it starts in May) and just save up money in the meantime. Well, two days ago I get led to the office by one of the GSTL’s, a nice person, and get told in under 30 seconds that THIS weeks schedule is the last for all seasonal employees.
It takes me a while to break through the numbness, fortunately I get told this 40 minutes into the beginning of a closing shift. Yay. I don’t know what I expected, I just figured they wouldn’t hire someone for only a month and then give them a weeks notice, at the beginning of that week. It wasn’t a cake walk this time but only being a cashier made my job easier, the time went quick and even with non-stop lines of people I didn’t get stressed in the slightest. I get that seasonal is only until the end of December, but I’ve had other seasonal work and they hired us knowing that we’d have at least four months of work to rely on. And I’m not really blaming anyone, it’s in the title that the duration is short, it’s on me for not getting that but I just wish I would have been told in the orientation the projected end date at least it wouldn’t have been such a surprise.
But, I can look back on all of this with my head high. I put up with a ton of shit for two fucking years. That GSTL, a couple of LODs and a hand full of my fellow associates made my working life a misery, and that bled into my personal life. I went into the job knowing it was a job, which meant hard work and not always being happy. I recognized that I was in an unhealthy place and I left for my physical, mental, and emotional health and have done nothing but grow ever since. I even proved to myself that I could handle it by going back to the same job, prepared to be there for four months, and was okay with that. To me that’s huge. I’m not where I want to be, far from it, but I’m making steps toward my goals and generally have a healthier mind space where I don’t let others, even screaming “guests” mess up my day. And after dealing with all the hell this job alone has tossed at me, I know I can handle my future career.
If you’ve left too CONGRATS!!!! I hope it did and does feel as wonderful as the first day you realized you didn’t have to go back.
If you’re still there, I wish you the best, I hope you take care of yourself, physically, mentally and emotionally.
Thank you, goodnight.