Target / ridiculous expectations
Target is your average retail corporation. What I mean by this, is that the company has insane expectations of employees, yet does not treat them with respect or pay them well at all.
For privacy reasons, I have omitted the store I work at, but I feel as though I need to express my disapproval of this company and the store I work at.
I was hired on as a Backroom Team Member, who is responsible for pulling auto-fills in the morning, back-stocking product from the trucks and, occasionally, performing a suspect date audit (SDA), pulling "research" batches and hourly CAFs. Research batches are compiled by the Instocks Team, who scans shelves throughout the store so that empty or under-stocked locations can be filled. CAFs, on the other hand, are computer-generated batches of product based on what is being sold throughout the store.
Normally my morning consists of the SDA (checking for expired product), then pulling research until 11am, which is when the first CAFs begin to drop. Research and CAFs have one thing in common: they are both time-sensitive. Research must be pulled within an hour of the batch being entered into the system; CAFs must be pulled by the end of the hour. Any batches that "expire" negatively affect the backroom scores.
There are two problems with this system, however:
1) Instocks scans research batches until 11am, meaning that research will occasionally show up during the 11am CAF pulls.
2) All of these pulls are done by one person in the backroom from 11am-5pm, then once again at 7pm.
On a slow day where there are 12-20 batches an hour, CAFs are fairly manageable. However, the CAF Monitor (a report that shows how long each batch should take to pull) does not take into account: distance traveled, broken/uncharged powered equipment, PDA issues, guest pulls, vendor questions, assisting coworkers and any other interruptions that may occur. So on days where there are 25-38 batches per hour, CAFs become unmanageable and incredibly frustrating. At the store I work at, the TLs and ETLs are never held accountable and rarely do their jobs so as a result, if I call for help with the CAFs, I generally get nothing as a response. The best part about this is, when I go to my supervisor about this, I'm the one who gets the blame. They tell me I should "keep trying, " despite the fact that I try several times before giving up.
Personally, I feel the CAF system is in dire need of an overhaul. The idea that one person can pull every item from every batch, every hour without fail, is asinine at best. My pull times per batch are even within estimates, so if I'm still failing despite meeting the estimates, something isn't working. My supervisors keep telling me that "a batch here or there isn't that big of a deal, " yet it negatively affects our score, which does nothing but anger my coworkers.
Another issue that has been affecting my pulls is that, for whatever reason, product that is back-stocked earlier in the morning will come out in the CAFs. This may seem normal, except for the fact that the items being pulled aren't actually needed on the sales floor. Essentially what happens is that I end up undoing a lot of the work that was done earlier, only for the items in question to come right back to the backroom so that they can be back-stocked -again-. The PDA doesn't consider the items as "challenge" when being back-stocked, either, so there has to be a glitch in the system somewhere. (When an item is "challenged" by the PDA, that means it should be pushed back to the sales-floor instead of being back-stocked).
On the note of my coworkers, the best way I can describe them is that they are like a fraternity. They all drink and party, yet are unsociable with new employees (a.k.a. "outsiders") and will stab them in the back without hesitation. They also make baseless, often hypocritical accusations against newcomers simply to get them in trouble. Because the current backroom team is so close, there's also a lot of drama that occurs, even between supervisor and subordinate. One of my coworkers told me that the backroom team was once accused of "hazing" new employees or "scaring them off, " but honestly I think people left partly because there's so much bulls**t that goes on. One of the supervisors has even been accused of sleeping with one of her subordinates which, based on her preferential treatment towards this coworker, wouldn't surprise me at all.
When it comes to the Team Leads and Elite Team Leads (TLs and ETLs respectfully), they, as I said before, are rarely held accountable for their behavior. The Plano ETL is constantly shirking her duties and forcing them onto her team, yet will spend entire shifts upstairs on the computer. Her team constantly mocks her behind her back and doesn't think she's fit to be an ETL, yet because she's buddy-buddy with HR, nothing can be done to fix things.
The flow team TL, while being a genuinely good guy, constantly has his team stay far past their scheduled time, which causes a strain when it comes to the budget for the schedule. There have been times where his team has expended 100 hours in a single week, forcing other teams to cut shifts left and right. Yet he is never held accountable for doing this.
The backroom supervisors are also buddy-buddy with HR. The ETL, however, brown-noses constantly and is manipulating the new store manager (or STL, Store Team Lead). The entire backroom team is becoming increasingly frustrated with both of them as neither of them actually spend time in the backroom. Their management style is also very hands-off, which tends to cause a lot of in-fighting and only makes the drama worse. The supervisors also judge the backroom almost entirely on reports and first-impressions, rarely taking into account the reasons as to why we are behind or struggling.
One of the biggest reasons the backroom team is constantly struggling is because, as several of my coworkers have put it, we are the "###" of the store. If a TL or ETL needs someone to do something, they will automatically call a backroom team member, regardless of how swamped we are. And if we say that we can't help, we get in trouble. This is only made worse by the fact that our supervisors have done NOTHING to correct this, causing problems for the backroom on a near-daily basis.
To anyone thinking of working at Target: don't. I work my ### off for $9.75 an hour, am never recognized for my hard work and will never get ahead because I'm not "one of the guys." If you can put up with the constant drama, the unrealistic expectations and can keep your mouth shut, maybe you'll have a chance, but I wouldn't bet on it.
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