Cart Attendant is Mentally Draining

Joined
Sep 7, 2022
Messages
1
I have been a cart attendant for about a month now. I’ll admit the hours are not bad at all for being a full time college student. Pay is also pretty nice. At my store things are for the most part chill as a cart attendant. I just feel it is so mentally draining in the social category of things. I can’t help but feel judged or looked down upon by guests and other TM’s like “look at that cart pusher. Bottom of the barrel stuff right there” Then you basically never speak to anyone unless it’s an ETL asking you to do something. Is it like this for everyone else’s store?
 

Florida Dawg

Former Cart Attendant Pro and Target Employee
Joined
Apr 13, 2020
Messages
371
I have been a cart attendant for about a month now. I’ll admit the hours are not bad at all for being a full time college student. Pay is also pretty nice. At my store things are for the most part chill as a cart attendant. I just feel it is so mentally draining in the social category of things. I can’t help but feel judged or looked down upon by guests and other TM’s like “look at that cart pusher. Bottom of the barrel stuff right there” Then you basically never speak to anyone unless it’s an ETL asking you to do something. Is it like this for everyone else’s store?
Welcome to the Cart Attendant life man, Hope your management weren’t as bad as mine but I doubt it knowing a lot of stores are similar. I was one for over 2 years and it sucked but had its perks which didn’t make it all too bad.
 
Joined
Oct 23, 2019
Messages
88
I have been a cart attendant for about a month now. I’ll admit the hours are not bad at all for being a full time college student. Pay is also pretty nice. At my store things are for the most part chill as a cart attendant. I just feel it is so mentally draining in the social category of things. I can’t help but feel judged or looked down upon by guests and other TM’s like “look at that cart pusher. Bottom of the barrel stuff right there” Then you basically never speak to anyone unless it’s an ETL asking you to do something. Is it like this for everyone else’s store?

Cart Attendants get the same pay as the cashiers and the stockers. Your paycheck looks exactly the same as their paycheck.

They have to deal with customers, problems, complaints, and all the problems in the store.

If you are ok with going out in the different types of weather (heat, rain, snow, cold, etc.), then there is nothing bottom of the barrel about it.

As for the loneliness, if you have air pods or wireless earbuds, ask if you can keep one in your ear while you are outside. You can listen to music or a podcast while you are outside and still have one ear open to hear your surroundings.

Also, remember you are going to college so you don't have to work at Target. Target pays a high starting wage. Collect the money, focus on your classes, get good grades, graduate, and then move on.
 
Joined
Mar 27, 2022
Messages
146
The second someone calls for help getting carts I walk and walkie "go for...on my way" as fast as possible ! Great workout. Like crossfit. Roll up my sleeves, get a bit of a tan and everyone thanks you.
 

happygoth

reshop till I drop
Joined
Apr 17, 2019
Messages
4,049
The second someone calls for help getting carts I walk and walkie "go for...on my way" as fast as possible ! Great workout. Like crossfit. Roll up my sleeves, get a bit of a tan and everyone thanks you.
I enjoyed getting carts the couple of times I did it, even though I was gasping for air the last time. Just can't do it physically anymore - if I could I would for sure.
 

Black Sheep 214

Kiss no butts, give no fox
Joined
Apr 27, 2018
Messages
2,948
All jobs are important and if people aren’t respecting you as a cart attendant that’s their ignorance. Some of the management at my store didn’t respect or treat the cart attendants very well, but they didn’t treat anyone else outside of their little clique very well either, which was based on their snobbery and ignorance, not on the job our hardworking cart attendants did. Funny how those who don’t respect cart attendants are the first ones to panic when there are no carts in the store, so they must know on some level what a vital job cart attendants do. Good luck, and hang in there.
 

buliSBI

Former Team Member
Joined
Jun 17, 2011
Messages
3,582
I have been a cart attendant for about a month now. I’ll admit the hours are not bad at all for being a full time college student. Pay is also pretty nice. At my store things are for the most part chill as a cart attendant. I just feel it is so mentally draining in the social category of things. I can’t help but feel judged or looked down upon by guests and other TM’s like “look at that cart pusher. Bottom of the barrel stuff right there” Then you basically never speak to anyone unless it’s an ETL asking you to do something. Is it like this for everyone else’s store?
I have good and bad CartAttendant experiences myself. And it really depends on your store's politics and social pecking order. But mine was years back and duties have changed.

I worked a couple stores which working cart attendant was great and kept me busy. If I wasn't getting carts, I was on the lanes/Service Desk, checking bathrooms, serving the registry kiosks, giving breaks for the Front, trash, sending reshop back to the floor, sending back defects, supplied the lanes with bags, zoning the front lanes and surrounding areas, or collecting hangers. But most TMs respected me and each other. I event was TM of the Month a couple times as Cart Attendant.

There was one Super store I worked that had a definite social pecking order. Leadership (top) - Salesfloor - Backroom - Cashiers - Cart Attendants (bottom). I knew the role was being taken advantage of.

One opening and closing cart attendant for weekdays. You hope to god that there was double coverage for the weekends. All with one functioning cart pusher and one limping last leg cart pusher for each side. So your constantly running one pusher for both sides. When traffic gets busy, there would be times there would be constant runs on carts for each side.

Then the quirky tasks and social pecking order -
  • Every morning the opener had to process all the breakroom cans/bottles thru the can/bottle recycler.
  • The CA was the sole TM responsible for stocking cleaners and absorb material in every kiosk and lane throughout the day. And require extra time to call for a keyholder to let you in the maintenance closest. So if someone took a bottle without putting it back in its original place. It was CA's responsibility to restock; no one elses.
  • Backroom would take carts for their backroom use and leave them parked in front of the backroom doors. Blocking the runways. They would never push them back to the front.
  • The worst was spills. Salesfloor would block a spill with a cart or spill sign without making any effort to clean it up because it was "NOT THEIR JOB." And walkie the CA to clean it up.
  • If the CA was on break or lunch, and a carry out was needed. You would get "why the hell did you go on break at this time" or the requesting TM would leave the guest hanging.
  • Constantly being critiqued by Front leadership on why the CA (me) was outside getting carts for one side when there was a spill on the complete opposite side.
 
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Florida Dawg

Former Cart Attendant Pro and Target Employee
Joined
Apr 13, 2020
Messages
371
All jobs are important and if people aren’t respecting you as a cart attendant that’s their ignorance. Some of the management at my store didn’t respect or treat the cart attendants very well, but they didn’t treat anyone else outside of their little clique very well either, which was based on their snobbery and ignorance, not on the job our hardworking cart attendants did. Funny how those who don’t respect cart attendants are the first ones to panic when there are no carts in the store, so they must know on some level what a vital job cart attendants do. Good luck, and hang in there.
BINGO
 
Joined
Mar 27, 2022
Messages
146
We don't have a CA but in the morning if our "cleaner" is scheduled they grab overnight carts and circulate handbaskets. "Cleaner " here is code for "floater." I was assigned this for about 8 weeks and actually did pogs. I was too good at it aka "I completed the task" so they took me off and I havnt done one in 3 months at least. Plano here is switching strips then dumping demerch into an unmarked 3 tier and walky ing the TL "DONE!!" 😆 And corporate is none the wiser.
 

Parker51

Senior Team Member
Joined
Jun 9, 2011
Messages
102
Speaking as someone who occasionally fills in as the Front of Store (aka Cart) Attendant, I would say to make the job yours, and to find your own purpose and dignity. I'm not young, and we have another guy at least 10 years older than me who fills in also. I watch how he does it. He's friendly to everyone, greets them coming and going including in the parking lot, makes an extra connection to the regulars he recognizes, asks if they need help out or with loading their vehicle, and works with the cashiers to clean up baskets and abandons from their checklanes. Service is not subservience, and communicating with people, both guests and team members, making a personal connection, and helping with their needs can go a long way in earning respect, both from others and yourself.
 
Joined
Jun 4, 2014
Messages
542
If guests are looking down at cart attendants, they are likely Snobby mcSnobbs who look down at all Target employees. We have very hardworking friendly cart attendants at our store. One is an older guy who probably gets more compliment cards and shout outs to managers (from guests) than anyone else in the store. He is always offering to help all of the older guests put things away in there cars and probably walks away with $10-$40 in tips from guest who insist on giving him something.
 

60SecondsRemaining

Former SrTL - Replen
Joined
Mar 21, 2014
Messages
857
I have been a cart attendant for about a month now. I’ll admit the hours are not bad at all for being a full time college student. Pay is also pretty nice. At my store things are for the most part chill as a cart attendant. I just feel it is so mentally draining in the social category of things. I can’t help but feel judged or looked down upon by guests and other TM’s like “look at that cart pusher. Bottom of the barrel stuff right there” Then you basically never speak to anyone unless it’s an ETL asking you to do something. Is it like this for everyone else’s store?

Don't take this the wrong way.

This is a probably a you problem, not a them problem. This speaks way more to your self-esteem than it does to society.

I promise you 99.999999999999999% of society doesn't look at you and think that. In fact they probably don't even notice you're there doing whatever it is you're doing.

And even if they did, and they looked down on you. Why do you even give a shit? Those people serve no purpose in your life and they'll never see you again - their opinion is 100% irrelevant. Your money is as green as everyone else's. Fuck those judgmental clowns. Live your life, nothing wrong with being a cart attendant.
 

Florida Dawg

Former Cart Attendant Pro and Target Employee
Joined
Apr 13, 2020
Messages
371
If guests are looking down at cart attendants, they are likely Snobby mcSnobbs who look down at all Target employees. We have very hardworking friendly cart attendants at our store. One is an older guy who probably gets more compliment cards and shout outs to managers (from guests) than anyone else in the store. He is always offering to help all of the older guests put things away in there cars and probably walks away with $10-$40 in tips from guest who insist on giving him something.
I got tipped $100 before and I couldn’t believe it. Friendly black couple and they insisted.
 
Joined
Jan 8, 2021
Messages
440
A good cart attendant is so valuable. The job is often done by people without other skills or abilities, so there is some stigma attached to it. If you can handle the fact that maybe 5% of people will be fools and look down on you in some way, and embrace that the other 95% appreciate what you do, it's a fine job (and extremely important to the business) and you most definitely earn your money.
 
Joined
Jun 24, 2022
Messages
46
In our store they're a big help, they help with large take outs, and they keep us stocked with bags and empty the hanger barrels when they're approaching full status.... but I can see how it can be an unsocial position to the rest of the going ons within the store. But at the registers it's pretty unsocial in our store... we're still boxed in with plexi-glass and usually we don't even have time to ask each other how we're doing. They want register agents to now have assigned aisles in OTC to keep tidy and clean, we'll probably not even be able to say Hi to each other now. ------ anybody else have assigned aisles to keep clean when you're front of the store? (register)
 
Joined
Sep 9, 2022
Messages
4
I think you guys should definitely get paid more. It's not a job I would ever want to do again. I remember being asked to help with the carts after finishing early in my department. I was barely out there for more than 5 minutes and already sweating. Running around picking up these carts in the blazing sun. You guys make it look so easy. Plus the machine was broken and I underestimated how difficult it would be to get multiple carts at a time without it. At a certain point it becomes difficult to steer, and if you have too many carts, they will break off from the line and start rolling out into the street. Doesn't help that the TLs and ETLs are constantly yelling about needing carts on either side of the store
 

Nauzhror

Service Advocate, Formerly GSA
Joined
Dec 29, 2013
Messages
2,213
It's one of the few positions I'd never want. It's an important job, not suggesting otherwise. It's just also a job I'm unwilling to do, and a job I am always surprised to see people apply for. I'll take an angry guest at the service desk any day over cleaning up the disgusting mess our guests create in our restrooms.

I will occasionally go out and get carts when it is busy if the cart attendant can't keep up, or there's a lack of coverage, but there's other parts of the job I'm just not willing to do - like the aforementioned restroom cleaning.
 
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