Archived Is our STL lying to us?

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I've been with Target for about 2 years now, as a flow team member/back room, and the other day the STL told us that writing Vibe cards is now mandatory. Is this true, or is he just pulling it out of his ass? Other individuals I work with have told me it's not mandatory and he can't lie to us about it (and that I should call the anonymous hotline if it bothers me) but I figured I could check here for information first.

Also, I tried looking around in the employee handbook about break time rules but couldn't find any info on how long before we're "supposed" to take one. We have new management for flow/logistics and instead of taking our break at about 2 1/2 hrs into the day, we're taking it upwards of 3 1/2 (even nearly 4 hours sometimes). Is there a rule against this? Like the Vibe card issue I was told one thing by fellow employees but wanted to do a little research before I go any further with it. Thanks for the help!
 

commiecorvus

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OK, on the hotline don't call it unless you're dealing with something that is illegal, dangerous or causing harm.
Otherwise it is a serious waste of time and will probably bounce back on you.
Piss poor management really doesn't count.

And that's what you're dealing with.
No, you won't get fired for not writing Vibe cards but guess what, your raise is tied into them.
So your STL is and isn't lying to you.
I'd write some, it's not that hard.
Do the safety ones they're the easiest ones for flow.
Carry some around with you with you, do them for team lifts, pushing a flat etc.
It's lame but so are a lot of things and it doesn't hurt anything.

As to breaks;
As long as it is before the witching hour of 5 or 6 hours depending on what state you live in it doesn't matter.
It depends on the store culture and most stores like to get as much out of the flow team as they can before they do that break.
Basically they can send you whenever they want to meet the needs of the store.
 
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Well, firstly thanks for the info commiecorvus. Kinda sucks that the way they treat us can't be handled by corporate or at least the district manager. :/

It's more of an "on principle" thing as far as the Vibe cards. They feel extremely disingenuous when written without actually meaning anything you say on them. It's not a matter of hard or difficult, they just always feel unwarranted.
 
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bring up the breaks to hr in a positive manner. speak with your etl about having timely breaks every couple of hours to ensure productivity doesn't diminish (especially if its 100' like our store).
we had a prob with flow breaks. we come in at 4, and go to lunch at 8, then they would give us a break as we were leaving (go sit in the breakroom for 15 on your way out). if we were there long enough for 2 breaks, we never got the second one. that changed when we had a lady return from maternity leave that needed to pump. she demanded breaks and gave the team a voice during chats/huddles/whatever forum she needed. now we get break at 6, lunch at 8, and break at 10 (depending on need).
also, on the vibe cards, if you give one out in the huddles that include your stl, you can skip doing it a lot. I can get by with writing one every 3 or 4 months (most of my recognition is verbal or via email). unless your hr takes the cards down and counts who writes how many (which is what our old stl made them do), you'll be fine.
 

antivibe

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I myself do not like the vibe cards, but calling the hotline over it, is beyond dramatic.
Write one card every now and then, since you work flow and backroom the easiest would be safety cards.
Team lifts, getting rid of boxes on floor, three points of contact, using ladder/wave/stacker, and cleaning up spills all count as safety.
Filling one out takes ten seconds and they don't have to be "AMAZING" despite their title.

For breaks talk to your TL or ETL. You should take a 15 minute break if you work 4+ hours. If you work 7+ then you get two breaks.
They should be taken in the middle of every 4 hours of work, or whenever reasonable.

Good Luck
 
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I agree it's kinda dramatic but I can see where people are coming from. Out of 2 dozen (approx.) people on flow/backroom, maybe 22 of us have been sat down in a group post-huddle and told that writing vibe cards are now mandatory and the ETL said "I'm drawing a line in the sand, that's it, everyone HAS to write Vibe cards from now on. They're good for morale." The last part is especially ironic since we all wholeheartedly agree HAVING to write them is horrible for morale, as opposed to the many other morale-crushing things they seem so fond of. One of which of course is the non-efficient breaks they give (if we're scheduled for 5 hrs, they would get more productivity out of letting us rest 2 1/2 hrs into this shift instead of nearly 4, at which point we're all extremely tired for the hour leading up to the break). Another issue many of us have qualms with is the seemingly gender bias towards only making male flow team members unload trucks. Is this usual across all Target stores? I would think with an equal-opportunity workplace such as Target that they would expect the same work out of any of their team members, especially when have the exact same job position.

On a slightly different note, I'm jealous how many of you guys still have 4am trucks.... we've been at 6am for about a year now, and only go back to 4am for the heaviest part of the 4th quarter. :(
 

commiecorvus

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We usually had a handful of guys who did the unloading.
They were the masters and everybody pretty much let them do their thing with a couple of backups.
It was always fun to watch the ETLs go in to help out.
Now for all the other jobs it was split pretty evenly.
The fact is that there are plenty of men who couldn't do that job.
As long as the woman are pulling their weight otherwise I don't have a problem.

It does suck when they burn you out like that.
Your best bet is going to politely bring it up with your TL.
No whining, you have to state your case clearly and with the argument that it is in their best interest that you be in the best possible shape to do your job.
You know, for safety reasons.
 
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We usually had a handful of guys who did the unloading.
They were the masters and everybody pretty much let them do their thing with a couple of backups.
It was always fun to watch the ETLs go in to help out.

Right now I think our team is very different from yours lol. All the nice "positivity" has worn off since we got out latest flow team lead & logistics ETL. We're on our 4th flow team lead in the last 2 years. I get put in the truck daily (and 100% of the team hates being in there) because I'm supposedly the least shitty at it out of the remaining people to fill the last spot in the truck. The problem is I'm getting coached on my unload speed almost daily when there's literally nothing I can do to go any faster, and instead of them NOT putting me in the truck and trying other people that they have literally never tried, they put me in then coach me afterwards. It has a definite feeling that I'm being targeted either to rack up enough consecutive paperwork on 1 subject matter so I can be fired, or to make sure my evaluations go terrible and I net almost no raise next year.

The reaction we get when we raise any concerns to our flow team lead or logistics ETL is essentially a shrug and a "it's out of my hands, I'm just following orders" kind of response.
 
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commiecorvus

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One of the things you could try the next time they 'coach' you is to ask for a real coaching.
Now this requires that you keep a total doe eyed look and completely innocent tone.
The minute you sound aggressive or ironic, you've lost.
Tell them you really want to do a good job and would like to have someone demonstrate how you could do it better.
Ask that you could have an ETL, TL or even a TM who knows the job better, who can work next to you for a shift so you can mirror their efforts.
Tell them this important to you and that it has to do with 'diversity of learning styles' and 'maximizing your potential".
I want to warn you that this is a fifty/fifty deal.
They could back off and leave you alone or be even more obnoxious.
Either way you will have made a point.
It's up to you if it's worth the risk.
 
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lol @ commie.. doe eyed look and completely innocent tone-best line I've read all day! I think you summed up my problem with target. I can no longer do those things without people assuming i'm being sarcastic anyways or thinking i'm up to something!
 
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With Vibe cards, my TL said they're sent to someone higher up in the company and they count them. Apparently, my workcenter didn't write enough. Not sure if that's true, but we never get them back unlike the GTCs.
 

sigma7

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Wow. We're really paying someone higher up to count vibe cards. That just isn't right.
 
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Vibe cards are not sent out! Your store may count them to see who is and who isn't writing them. Different DTLs also want to know how many are being written at their stores. Yes their is a bullet point for them on your review. I am not saying its right, its just Target. If you are on flow just write one everyday for safety for someone. Again, not saying I agree with it. They want to see recognition. I would rather that someone just come up to me at least ONCE a year and tell me I am doing a good job
 

Electronics Man

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Sent away? That doesn't sound right. I believe we are supposed to get them back so we can use them to purchase stuff on the company store.
 
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If you are on flow just write one everyday for safety for someone.

The major problem here is that in reality EVERY day doesn't normally warrant writing a Vibe card. The whole point should be to recognize someone for going above-and-beyond, and not patting people on the backs for just doing their job. They're disingenuous and meaningless now.
 
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Commie wrote - "No, you won't get fired for not writing Vibe cards but guess what, your raise is tied into them."

I'll agree to a point. Your raise is only tied to how many you write generally. In my last review session, I got an E for writing them. When I asked how many I wrote ... blank stare. When I asked how many I needed to write to get an O ... blank stare.

So, to say your raise is tied to them, is not totally accurate. At least at my store, as discussed in many other threads, your raise is pretty arbitrary. What is O one year can be E the next year with no rational explanation except that the store does not have the money this year for raises.

I personally don't write them. In between all the work I have to do, I am not going to make time to do it. Each card I write is one less guest I am helping or one less small task I am doing. I am usually rushing to the timeclock as it is to not be counted as working past schedule.
 
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They're disingenuous and meaningless now.

Now? They always have been. The old Great Team cards were exactly the same. They wanted them written for frigging everything. For a time, it was a requirement at my store for TLs to write a minimum of 3 per day.
 
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They're disingenuous and meaningless now.

Now? They always have been. The old Great Team cards were exactly the same. They wanted them written for frigging everything. For a time, it was a requirement at my store for TLs to write a minimum of 3 per day.

Well our previous logistics TL said that we could put recognition on the great team cards, and that recognition is both positive AND negative. He was a great TL. I miss being able to jot down qualms and put them up for everyone to read, anonymously. We all begrudgingly wrote vibe cards today during break, and it just felt like we were bullied into it. Our TL stood in the break room and jotted down little notes on his paper as each person gave recognition (I can only assume he was writing down the names of everyone who wrote a vibe card, so he would know who to try and coach after the break was over). This seems so very akin to fear mongering. Isn't there anything we can do?

By the way, just telling them politely that there's an issue doesn't work. I mentioned to him that maybe if we had break time half-way through our day (2 1/2 hrs in) that it would help us be more productive since we're getting tired and hungry at about that time, and it would leave us all refreshed and ready to go. He pretty much told me that what I said isn't true, and that they're gonna keep pushing us right up until they're required to give us a break (before 4 hours).
 

commiecorvus

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They're disingenuous and meaningless now.

Now? They always have been. The old Great Team cards were exactly the same. They wanted them written for frigging everything. For a time, it was a requirement at my store for TLs to write a minimum of 3 per day.

And the screwed up part was that most of the time they wrote them for each other (speaking for my store only of course).
 

commiecorvus

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Wow, you shouldn't have had to do that on your break.
Talk about being forced to work off the clock.
Really it's not hard to get into the mindset as long as you don't take it so seriously.
Play with it, have fun, give the cards the amount of respect they deserve.
Write them for every little, picked up a piece of lint - get a safety card, ran the compacter without putting their hand in it - get a safety card.
If you can get get everybody on the flow team in the same state of mind this will show leadership and will help you on your raise.
Actually no it wont, it will probably just annoy them, but you will feel better and they won't be able to complain because you will be doing what they asked.

Sorry about the break situation.
New leadership always want to put their stamp on things.
I know our store ran a very long first shift before the break in order to get as much done as possible.
 
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I think the TLs are forgetting the most important thing here (or at least it sure seems like they currently don't give a shit). By pissing us off every day, they make it so 99% of the team; a) will not even answer the phone when Target calls, like if they need someone to come in for a shift, b) will not stay whatsoever past their scheduled time, and c) generally don't care about anything that happens within the store or the company. A happy employee is a good employee, and everyone knows that you catch more bees with honey than you do with vinegar. I wish I could say that they'd learn their lesson sometime soon, since we've lost 6-8 team members (who have been with the company for 2+ years each) over the last couple months, and out of the 5 new people we've hired since then, 4 have quit within 1 week.
 
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