Customers pretty much universally agree that Target is amazing. No matter how many promises we make ourselves about keeping the bill under $100 when we walk in, we all know we’re walking about with more than what we came in for. But what’s it really like to work at Target? A member of the sales floor team as well as a cashier at Target did IamAs on Reddit and revealed some pretty interesting things about working at your favorite store. From couch-stealing customers to lube-loving elderly couples, these answers will shock (and inform) you.
1. How many pairs of khakis do you have?
“Legit like five pairs, you can’t have enough khakis. Makes me really appreciate my days off where I don’t have to dress like Jake from State Farm.”
2. Most big corporate stores have some cool perks for employees or some secret that you don’t find out about until you work for them. Do you have any to share?
“I can’t share much, but there are a few secrets. We have an entire store for employees online and we can buy a bunch of stuff.”
3. Craziest thing you’ve seen from a customer?
“Full on throwing something at another employee when they were returning the item,” said one Reddit user. Another user added the most interesting customer exchange was with “the elderly couple who purchased six bottles of Trojan lube and asked me if I had used it/if it worked.”
4. What’s the craziest thing someone has tried to steal?
“A full-sized couch. I don’t know why they thought they’d be able to or what was going through their head.”
5. What’s the weirdest question you’ve gotten while working?
“In my experience, I’ve gotten either really weird questions or really obvious ones. Obvious ones such as, ‘do you sell books?’. Anyways, the weirdest question I’ve ever been asked, would definitely have to be the time a customer approached me asking for a separator to organize screws and nails (like a small tray split into cubes that can be placed within a toolbox). Not so much the item, but the guests next question: He wanted one that was labeled with the day of the weeks for his medicine. I told him we had smaller organizers for medicine at the front of the store (cause when he had first asked, it was for organizing screws and nails so we were in the back by home improvement). He said he didn’t want those but wanted the ones for screws and nails but wanted them to have the days of the week on there. Honestly the weirdest request I’ve ever had.”
6. What’s the best way to save with Cartwheel, are there other coupons you’ve seen that can also be applied?
“Here’s the best way to save:
- Gift cards, buy the items that give you $5 or $10 gift card when you purchase x amount of the item. The gift cards add up.
- Get the RedCard. Yeah, it’s a pain, but we have Debit and Prepaid options on top of the credit option and it’s 5 percent on top of coupons you have.
- Cut manufacturer coupons. They add up too.
- Check Target’s coupon site.
- As far as Cartwheel goes, check it daily. There’s constantly new deals popping up and they’re always awesome.”
7. What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever witnessed a customer doing while you were on the job?
“I’m pretty sure I watched a guy get a handjob in our cafe.”
8. What’s a “zoning the floor”? Mopping up spills?
“This literally just means pushing everything on the shelves to the front, making everything look neat and orderly. Making sure items are in the right spot. You won’t believe the amount of times someone will look at something, and just put it a shelf above or below its original spot. Or the special times when you find someone dumped their whole cart on the shelf because they didn’t feel like buying what they had anymore.”
9. How does assisting guests work?
“Target has a call for help button in every section of the store, a simple phone or button that sends an alert out the whole team (via walkies) that a button has been activated in said area. We have 60 seconds to respond to that button call, go to the phone/button and press a small switch to turn the alert off. They literally advise you to run and not miss the button, or else the entire store will get chewed out. So whatever you’re doing, especially on slower days where I’m one of the few sales floor team members, you gotta drop it and run to that section or else.”
10. Did you know that Target has a top-rated forensic services laboratory?
“Actually, not at all! Holy crap this seems really cool, and definitely something I would’ve never expected Target to do and be doing.”
11. Is Target decent to its employees?
“In terms of Target Corporate, yes they’re very fair with every and all applicants and team members. When you start working for them, everything is explained and they don’t rail you for not catching on right away.
Your experience with your bosses (team leaders) is something I can’t tell you. Most of my team leaders are very calm and understanding, but every once and a while, if one of them is in a bad mood it can have a negative impact on your day. Your day to day enjoyment is going to come down to the personalities of your team leaders.”
12. Many years ago my little sister took a number two in the middle of an aisle at target. My mother was so embarrassed that she immediately stopped shopping and left the store. How often does sh*t happen?
“I can’t say I’ve actually had to deal with bodily fluids on the sales floor before, thankfully. People spilling their drinks and breaking items and just walking away happens all the time, it’s kind of scary really. I mean I understand if you accidentally broke some glass, but it would be 10 times better if you just notified someone so nobody gets hurt.”
13. I bet you sometimes have unpleasant/demanding/angry customers. Have you got a habit to deal with stress/fear?
“Honestly I try my best to stay calm and not let my emotions get the best of me. Some guests are so rude and upset that they don’t realize, 99 percent of the time, the problem isn’t something that I could have or could ever control (sales ending, rainchecks, prices, out of stock items) and it just drives me wild.”
14. In what ways has retail made you lose faith in humanity?
“How rude people can be. I have people who won’t even respond to me when I ask them how they’re doing, like they’re too good for me.”