You might spend more than a little bit of time at Target, but you’ll never really know what it’s like to work there until you don the red shirt and nametag and dig in.
Once you do, these 8 secrets will be yours, too.
8. They have their own forensic lab.
Target works hard to limit losses due to shoplifting, going so far as to maintain two forensic labs. They’re in Las Vegas and Minneapolis, and exist to analyze security footage and gather evidence of criminal activity.
Employees are not expected to intervene due to potential safety concerns, but they are expected to observe and report.
7. They have 15 seconds to respond to a customer in need of help.
If you’ve been in a Target, you’ve probably seen those buttons or telephones that exist to make it easy for customers to summon help to a specific location.
Well, if you use one, Target employees go on red (heh) alert, responding within 15 seconds (or else), employee Michael told Mental Floss.
“When they page a team member, it will announce on our walkies that a guest needs service in whatever area the phone was in. We have 15 seconds to get to that phone and clear the request.”
They get a second notice, but if a third one is issued, the store takes a hit as far as their guest service scores.
6. Their uniforms aren’t as comfortable as they look.
Employee Katherine confesses that “the khakis can be uncomfortable.”
5. They’re trained in biohazard cleanup.
As anyone who works with the public knows, bodily fluids are part of the job. At Target, cart attendants are generally responsible for cleaning up any messes that didn’t find their way into the proper receptacle, Katherine says.
“Technically, it’s the cart attendant’s responsibility, but we don’t have one all the time. You have to be certified in biohazard clean-up. It’s training you have to do. You’re able to clean chemical spills, feces, stuff like that. …For blood, we’re supposed to get the store leader.”
4. They’ve got their own lingo.
Their broad sight lines and wide aisles that circle the store are the “race track,” merchandise that’s out of place is a “reshop,” and “zoning” refers to making sure labels are facing front.
There’s also the dreaded “clopen,” the least desirable work shift of them all, explains team member Adam.
“I’d like to get rid of the “clopen” shifts – having a closing shift and then an opening shift the next day.”
3. That Starbucks isn’t really a Starbucks.
You might love being able to snag a Starbucks while you shop at Target without the kids, but they don’t exactly qualify as such.
“A Starbucks in a Target is not actually a Starbucks,” says Katherine, since the stores are managed by Target. “If they transferred to Starbucks, they (the employees) would have to be re-trained, or trained. Starbucks doesn’t consider Target Starbucks to be Starbucks.”
2. There are some definite perks to the job.
The store has a high commitment to customer service and expects a lot from new employees, which can cause a high turnover rate for newbies. That said, there are some great reasons to stick around – like pay above minimum wage in most places, for one thing, and also a 10% discount, flexible hours, scheduled breaks, and being part of a motivated team.
1. They’re not hiding the good stuff.
Even if the internet claims a certain store has an item, they might not – and if they check and say it’s not there, team members aren’t being deceptive, explains Michael.
“Many guests believe that we have literally every item in the back room. On our devices it may say we have X amount of an item on hand … in reality, that number takes a while to update if it’s been sold. That number could also mean it’s in someone’s shopping cart, at guest services waiting to be sorted, thrown in a random spot, or stolen. They throw a fit all the time and accuse us of hiding it or some other crazy accusation.”
I’m ready for another visit!