Thursday, August 18, 2011

An Open Letter to Target Shoppers

Dear wonderful people who shop at Target,

We are happy you're here! We really do consider you guests at our special store, and helping you IS our top priority at all times.


You could use a few pointers on being polite guests during the busy back-to-school season.

(No joke, the Boulder Target had top sales for the entire nation on Tuesday with University of Colorado dorms opening for out-of-state students, and will almost certainly be repeating it today with dorms opening for local freshman.)

Please, for the sake of every other human being who might be trying to walk down that main aisle, do not just leave your shopping cart haphazardly in the middle while you wander around looking at the merits of different curtains. We understand that you feel you must closely examine every single 63' single panel we stock, and really we don't mind you doing so in the least. But could you please tuck your cart to the side first?

Similarly, please do not stand in the middle of the main aisle while having a very important cell phone conversation about the unbelievable price of arugula at Target. We don't really care what you think of the produce, nobody goes to Target because they want to buy arugula. We just want you to be marginally aware of the 500 hundred OTHER shoppers and employees in that store while you rag on the produce, some of whom might actually be trying to get over to the arugula and can't because you're standing in the middle of the big aisle leisurely strolling while talking and not paying any attention to anything in your surroundings.

(Ok, I totally lied there. Target does care about what you think of it's produce. They regularly tell me about how much they care that we get sucky produce scores at huddle. I personally do not care about the competitive price and/or organic levels of supposed awesomeness of arugula.)

On another related note, please do not stand in the middle of the main aisle (are you noticing a theme here?) and argue about things with the other people in your party. Take a shopping break, go order something at Starbucks and have a seat in their nice little cafe area. A few minute breather will help your relationships, and allow for a legitimate conversation over what the (quite possibly ridiculous) issue with plastic storage bins really is.

Remember that the world does not end if you cannot buy push pins today. It doesn't. You can come back next week and we'll have lots of them. There's no need to have a crises over them being out of stock right this moment. It really will be ok. I promise.

Do not make out in the toy section. A) There are kids all over the place there who don't need to witness what, exactly, pg-13 means, and B) I was trying to put more Captain America disk shooting shields on the shelf, needing to reach around your slobber sharing snuggly bodies is just something I don't like doing very much. Might I recommend your car, or perhaps that cheap motel that's only like a half mile farther down 28th Street?

Leave the stuff you are not buying how you found it. Spending 30 minutes playing dress up in the shoe section is ok, but leaving it completely trashed while also not buying any of those two dozen hooker heels you just had to try on isn't cool. Also, please don't open the sealed boxes to examine the ice crushing part of different blenders and then leave the rest of the unassembled blender contents scattered all over the shelf. No really, don't. Target has a great return policy, you can buy it (or even several of them) and take it home and open it and look at it all you want and then just bring it back with the original packaging and receipt if you don't like it and we'll take it right back no questions asked. 

Do not bring your dog into the store. We are not Petsmart. There are signs clearly stating non-service animals are not allowed in Target on the front doors. Just because this is Boulder and you are Fifi's guardian instead of owner and like to buy her organic doggie cookies at the doggie bakery down the street from your house every day (at prices I refuse to pay for cookies for my children) and spend more time cooking her dinner than yours does not mean she can ride through the store in a shopping cart. Mmmkay?

Respect Target employees as fellow human beings. Just because I work there does not mean you automatically get to treat me like crap be blatantly rude to me. If I go out of my way to help you or to try and meet whatever special requests you have, it'd be good of you to remember to say please and thank you. Also, respect the personal space bubble and do. NOT. Touch. Me. Some of us have enough issues not losing it with the high stimulus environment that comes when the store is operating at max capacity, touching me (even in the most well intentioned way to get my attention) is not appreciated. Practice saying "excuse me, Ma'am." I get to say it a hundred times trying to walk from one side of the store to the other, it's really not that hard.

Pay attention to the employees at the check out lanes who are trying to direct you to the empty ones. You will be happier, and so will they. I know the Inquirer is unbelievably fascinating, but you could just buy it and then you can read it sitting in your car with all the time you saved by not needlessly standing in line.

My boxes are my boxes. I'm sorry, but it is against Target policy for me to give them to you when I'm done pulling stock out of them. Disregarding that and demanding to speak to my manager makes me think lots of not nice thoughts about you. I hear karma's a bitch sometimes... one which I'm kinda hoping will come bite you on the leg rather soon.

Please don't hide stuff. If you have shampoo in your basket that you change your mind on getting, that's ok, just hand it to the cashier on your way out and tell them you don't want to buy it. They have a special tub right there to dump all of those things into and will be happy to do so. Stashing it behind the sheets screws up our inventory, has a good chance of damaging the sheets, and makes for more work for all of us lowly employees. And for those of you who like to stash trash behind things on the shelves? Yeah, there ARE trashcans underneath every single guest service phone throughout the store, not to mention the ones in Starbucks and the ones you have to walk around just to get in or out of the store. Would it really be so hard to use one? I bet you are the same lamewads who stick gum under the table at restaurants. Turds.

It's ok if you accidentally break stuff! Do you know how many of those cheap back-to-college full length mirrors have gotten shattered by employees? Heck, I took out an entire end-cap display of Windex all by myself one time! We won't be mad at you, and you won't even have to pay for the container of laundry detergent you knocked off the shelf which subsequently exploded when it hit the floor. Please just tell us about it so we can get it cleaned up ASAP! We really don't want anyone (including lost children, blind elderly people, and Fifi) to get hurt by it.

Yep, that should just about do it Target shoppers.

Some careful study of these helpful shopping tips will make for a better Target experience for everyone.

(Most especially me!)


  1. Ha! I'd go insane on the first day. You're a brave woman.

  2. Excellent tips for shoppers of any store. : )