Shoppers everywhere love Target stores. The chain has developed an almost cult-like following in recent years, and people can't seem to go more than a week before feeling the effects of Target withdrawal.
Shoppers can get anything their hearts desire at Target—even their favorite Starbucks latte. Good luck trying to walk into that store and buy the one or two things that were on the list. Most people leave with bags of things that they never knew they needed. Target is totally a black hole for the retail-weak.
But while customers go gaga over Target, employees have other thoughts about the store. According to current and former employees, working at Target isn't all it's cracked up to be.
The chain has a lot of rules and restrictions that they enforce, often causing the work environment to be much less than fun for the folks who make it run. From blah uniforms to bathing suit return season, Target employees have more than a few workplace gripes.
Not all is dismal though. Some people who earn their paychecks at Target sing the store's praises. These folks swear that there is no better place on Earth to work. Here are fifteen things that Target employees can't do and five that make working at Target amazing!
Team Target No No's
20 Get Creative With Work Costumes
If you don't already know what the standard Target employee uniform is, then you must live under a rock. It's one of the most recognized uniforms on the planet! Store employees that work the floor must wear Khaki pants along with their trusty red Target shirt. On rare occasions, employees get to go a little bit wild and wear their favorite pair of jeans to work.
Shoppers should never wear a red shirt while browsing the aisles of their favorite Target store as they will almost always get mistaken for an employee. Some red-wearing customers have even posed as employees just for giggles.
19 Take Their Time Responding To The Customers
When a Target customer comes calling, store employees better step on it and get over there lickety-split. Anytime a Target visitor picks up one of those red phones by the price scanner, employees have to come running. Per Target's rules, responding to a customer in need is supposed to take only fifteen seconds.
If employees don't make the fifteen second cut time, the system will notify them that they are needed a second time. And if they miss that one they might earn a hit to their guest service score. Oh yeah, employees get scored on their ability to serve guests properly.
18 Skip Clean Up In Aisle Four
When a clean up is needed in any given part of the store, employees need to be ready to handle it. The cart attendants are usually the lucky team members who get to come running when someone tosses up their Starbucks Mocha Frappuccino in aisle four.
Although the cart crew is the first line of defense in mess control, other store employees have to be trained to deal with the yuckiness just in case they cart attendants are not readily available. Employees must get trained to handle bio-hazardous materials such as chemical spills and bodily fluid mishaps. The only time the employees get let off the hook is when there is blood involved. That particular mess is reserved for the Team Leader.
17 Enjoy A Bit Of Downtime
Downtime does not exist once you clock in at Target stores. Even if the tasks that you have been assigned are completed, management will find several other things to occupy your time. One California employee told Business Insider that the most challenging aspect of working at Target had to do with so much work needing to be completed in a short time frame.
Another employee told the publication that employees are always multitasking and yet other employees claim that the chain is forever understaffed. This arrangement, of course, means that there are fewer people to master more tasks. Just because fewer people are on the schedule doesn't necessarily mean less work needs to be done.
16 Ignore The Redcard Push
Target employees who are working the store registers have to ask the customers if they would like to sign up for a red card and save five percent on all purchases. Imagine how daunting and repetitive it would be to repeat this line over... and over... and over again for the entirety of your shift. Our heads hurt just thinking about it.
One Target employee told Business Insider that she felt such pressure by management to hit a certain number of red card sign-ups every day that she quit her job over it. For some employees, the red card expectation is entirely unrealistic.
15 Go Head To Head With Management
Working with management can be difficult at many jobs, and Target is no different. Many employees claim that the Target management staff is totally out of touch with both the everyday employees and the customers. Like many organizations, Target might be dealing with a lack of oversight by the higher-ups. Because of this, it's sometimes hard to effectively communicate with management and beyond.
Some employees have also reported that select supervisors are prone to showing favoritism towards specific employees. Other employees explained that they became discouraged that management never recognized them for the hard work that they put into their job.
14 Ignore Annoying Returns
Having to deal with returns is no fun for anyone who works retail. Former Target employees revealed to Business Insider that at the end of their shift they would spend a lot of time putting the day's returns back. Imagine being exhausted after a long shift of pleasing customers and then having to put several carts full of re-stock away.
And Target employees can all agree that the absolute worst returns to have to handle are during swimsuit season. Everybody dreads putting the itty bitty bikinis back out on the floor. Target has a pretty lenient return policy too. So long as you keep your receipt, you can even return products that have already been open and used.
13 Expect Holiday Hours To Stay Post Christmas
For many people, the holiday season is a magical time of year, full of wonder and joy. For Target employees, the Christmas season is anything but magical. Working retail, in general, is the pits during the holiday rush, but Target employees have it bad. Not only are the hours long and the crowds demanding and vast, but the worst part of working at Target over the holidays often comes AFTER the settle of the Christmas cheer.
Employees work their backsides off for the chain and then often get their hours cut once the crowds start to dwindle and the new year rolls around. It's a double whammy.
12 Tell A Customer They Are In The Wrong
When working retail, the customer is always right. Target employees answered a poll about the least-liked part of their jobs and of the 34 employees that spoke with Business Insider, the majority responded with: the customers. Badly behaving customers can certainly dampen a store employee's day.
One customer told BI that having to treat grown adults like children is exhausting. But employees are told to do whatever it takes to make store guests happy. Even if it means taking their rudeness and discontent, employees have to let the customer think that they are in the right. Employees want to be treated kindly and with the respect that a person deserves, and that doesn't always happen at Target.
11 Forego The Lingo
Like some other store chains, Target employees are expected to adhere to a specific language full of words that one would typically not use anywhere but the Target store. The primary pathway that circles the typical Target store is referred to as "the race track."
Employees all dread working a shift that they call "clopen." This shift is when management schedules them to open the store after they close the store the previous night. People who work this shift would be better off just pulling out some of that cozy bedding that the store keeps on hand and making themselves a little nest in the back storeroom.
10 Sit Down
It's the wish of every retail worker in the country. If only they could take a seat while they ring the customers up or sit back as they bag people's goods. Standing on your feet for eight to nine hours every day in the same position can do a number on a person's body. The hips start to ache; the limbs begin to tingle, and the back screams.
While other countries have already hopped on the bandwagon and cut their sedentary employees some slack, stores like Target still have their workers standing behind the register for the entirety of their shift.
9 Let Your Smile Slip
When working in retail stores like Target, a smile is your greatest asset. Store managers expect their employees to greet every single customer with a friendly smile upon their face. This act of happy might not be difficult for everybody, but for some who might be having a particularly bad day or someone who is already struggling with other aspects of the job, smiling can seem like the hardest thing in the world.
Rude customers and continuous demands by management make it incredibly hard to get through the day doing anything but scowling. If you find it hard to look happy at all times, then working at Target is probably not for you.
8 Age Discrimination
While some employees claim that working at Target is fantastic, thanks to their zero tolerance harassment policies, others swear that the chain discriminates against a particular sector of employees. A few years back, Target got hit with a class-action lawsuit that suggested the retail giant was partaking in age discrimination.
The claim was that older employees were being forced out of a job to make room for younger ones. There are a lot of benefits to employing young single people in stores like Target, of course. But throwing out the older generation for merely getting up there in years is totally illegal, Target!
7 Expect To Make Bank
Target has recently gained some notoriety for raising its minimum wage amount from the standard eleven dollars an hour. The chain vowed to pay its employees fifteen dollars an hour by 2020, which sure beats much of the competition. The thing is, fifteen dollars an hour before taxes still isn't all that much, especially for employees who are working the long, taxing shifts that Target demands of its employees.
The super chain might have aspirations to boost its minimum wage standard, but it will still have to compete with stores like Walmart, which are also raising pay and offering employees lucrative overtime.
6 Get Comfortable At One Position
Target has a whole lot of tasks to get through in any given day to make the store function at even the most basic level, and because they tend to understaff, employees have to wear several hats. This means that if you are hired to be a cashier, you may also need to be a cart attendant some days, or work in the stock room, or guest services.
One Washington employee told Glassdoor that one of the most bogus parts to working at Target is having to work in multiple positions in a single day. So if you plan on working at Target, don't get too comfortable in any role.
5 The Discounts
There is something at Target for everyone, so of course, there is going to be a thing or two that catches an employee's eye. When a store employee wants to buy something at their store, they get to use their employee discount on the item. Once they get hired, they will be given a card for the cashier to scan when they make a purchase. That card earns employees ten percent off of their Target purchases.
While that doesn't sound like much, the ten percent discount can be used on top of coupons, gift cards, and rebates. Discounts are probably the best part of working retail!
4 Flexible Hours
Many retail employees complain that the hours that management forces them to work are never flexible and rarely convenient, but Target employees claim the opposite. Many of the reviews left on Glassdoor list flexible hours as a perk to working at Target.
College students especially love working at Target because the store tries to work around their classes, plus they get discounts on so many great products that university kids can use. Having a work-life balance is important to Target, and they do their best to help their employees achieve this and improve their quality of life.
3 Mandated Breaks
Target might make you grind it out during your shift and expect you to work to the bone, but at least they make sure you get your deserved breaks. While other places aren't great at making sure break-time is adhered to, Target is adamant that mandated breaks are paid attention to.
If you work at eight-hour shift, you will have two fifteen minute breaks as well as a thirty minute (unpaid break) during your shift. I think that might be more of a break than I received back when I was teaching grade school! At any rate, if you work at Target, at least you know that you'll have a couple of spaces in your day to rest your weary feet.
2 Great Benefits
Not all retail jobs offer great benefits to their employees, but Target does. Target employees love raking in their weekly pay along with earning health insurance benefits, dental insurance, and vision benefits. Employees can also choose to buy into a 401K program and utilize their Employee Assistance Program (a program that gives employees free counseling and legal advice should it be needed).
Target is also progressive when it comes to covering family members of employees. Benefits cover married couples as well as domestic partners. So while working at Target might not be a highly desirable career path for some, at least your benefits are covered while you work there.
1 Zero Tolerance Policy
Target stores try to make their employees feel safe while they are on the job. They claim that no harassment is ever tolerated by any of their stores. With this zero tolerance policy in place, employees can feel confident that if they are being bothered by a manager or another employee, they can report it and it will be dealt with promptly.
In this day and age, nobody should ever have to worry about going to work and being bothered by another person. Working the daily grind is hard enough without an added layer of harassment being added to it.
Sources: Mental Floss, Business Insider, Splinter News, Glassdoor