Archived Is the vibe just an excuse to rack up coachings for TMs?

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The below quoted post is a response to a post I made in another thread about being coached for trying to "vibe" and do something "amazing" to help a guest. It was a good faith attempt to help the guest by going above and beyond, with no ill intent on my part. The result? I got coached.

This is something I think is worth having it's own thread to discuss. Is the vibe really just an excuse to get lots of coachings on TM's file all around the company so they constantly have something to use against you? There have been other TMs at my store (quite a few actually) who have been told that they are getting formal coachings because something they did to "vibe" for the guest was twisted against them. In other words, it was obvious they were trying to make an honest attempt to "vibe", but an ETL twisted it around to be something negative when it was never intended to be.

Several TMs at my store have told me on the side that they think the vibe is just an excuse to get material to use against TMs. I thought they were paranoid, but now that it has happened to me, I am thinking they are on to something.

This is the problem with the vibe bull sh**. No one knows what is and isn't ok for sure anymore. You can do something "amazing" for the guest and either get a high five by leadership or get your ass torn up. Because of the very nature of the vibe, there is no way to have a written list of what is and is not ok because there are simply too many variables and potential situations.

At my store, we regularly will put minutes on the phone for guests. If we refused to do so, it would actually be something we would get coached for. We also are allowed to use our phones on the floor to help guests. So this is actually expected at my store, but according to people on the other thread this is actually something they would get in trouble for.

This is the problem - there is no consistency anymore, and because of the vibe you really can't be sure if something is in policy or not. (in other words, if something you do for the guest will get you in trouble or not)

I am really starting to think that this whole "vibe" thing is just an excuse to rack up coachings for TMs. Think about it. What Target has basically done is say "Yea well you know.... we are going to have a policy where basically anything you do for the guest is up to you. If you think it is good, go for it! We are only going to have a policy against incredibly obviously bad things such as assaulting someone if a guest asks you too"

Seriously, what other company in the entire country has a policy like this? Basically "do whatever seems right for the guest at the time".... but "oh, if we decide after the fact that maybe it wasn't in policy, you are getting a write up..... Uh.... but actually there is no written policy, so you just have to take the chance on it that we won't decide you went too far for the guest"

I'm sorry, but this is a bull sh** policy. You can't have something like the vibe where you are basically told to go over and above, but then risk getting written up for going over and above!

And the worst part of all? You can actually get written up now for *not* vibing! So, in other words, if you think what the guest wants is too much and say no, you can also get screwed over. So, if an ETL decides "gee, actually you *could* have gone over and above in that questionable situation but didn't, so now we are coaching your a** again"

Sorry, this is just bull sh**. You can't have a policy like this and then twist it around all the time to use against TMs.


From the other thread:

"Cell phone unlocking is definitely not to be done. Even if you weren't unlocking it, like HLM said, we are not to handle the guests phones at all. Not even to put minutes on them. I would take his advice and retake the champions training.

If you work in Electronics you should at least keep up with the latest news regarding stuff like that (or at least I try to anyways). That is a shame though you are not allowed on workbench. I am not a TL (yet), but I use it every day. In fact it's apart of our daily routine to check message boards.

As far as using a cell phone to help a guest, I do it all the time and my STL even knows and has no issue with it. Just the other day I looked up a picture of a Logitech PC controller to see if it had the buttons the guest wanted and it did. The guest was very happy and I made a sale. If I had not used my cell phone, I would have A. Open it myself, which I will not do with plastic packaging, or B. the guest would have to buy it, open it and potentially return it, which they did not want to go through the hassle of. They had just came from Best Buy because the sales people over there would not look up the information for the guest. All in all, it was a Vibe moment.

It sucks getting coached, but the ETL was right on this one."
 

buliSBI

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I am glad I never worked under The Vibe.

I think you showed great initiative to provide service to the guest. Its just a gray area which stores are afraid to cross afraid of the worst would happen. And might get Target in trouble with the carriers if they heard about it. Your store needs to go into detail about some of the services that Electronics or areas can do and not do.

I had times where guests asked me to put minutes on their prepaid phones. I just had politely refuse for a number of reasons.
1. Liability. I didn't want to get in trouble if the minutes didn't take.
2. Once you give that service to that guest, then they will return and they think you will do it for them all the time. And other guests will want the same service.
3. You have to get the guest to share their phone number and possibly PIN code. And sometimes they even don't now that.
4. Time is taken away from other guests.

I had a Electronics Specialist who did it all the time for guests w/o the knowledge of the ETLs. Then they bought minute cards from me and wanted me to do it. I told them the reasons why I couldn't. But I did offer the suggestion to call their service and inquire about using a credit/debit card to auto-fill their minutes. They complained but the LOD told them we would do it this one more time, and said I was in the right not to apply their minutes for them. And praised my suggestion for auto-refilling.

I would try to give my guests as much interaction I can when they have questions or needed support.

But I can see where you are talking about. When I started working Service Desk, I had a GSTL that was real anal (great guy but anal) about what info you could provide guests about no-receipt returns, or some work arounds.

He wouldn't allow SDTMs to tell guests that they only had 2 or so no receipt returns a year. Or the magical limit number for no-receipt returns. We were told to only say, "We can return these items but not these." He wouldn't even allow a guest to use someone else's (even family's) driver license. If the guest provided an expired receipt, you were not to offer a no receipt exchange. Then months later, it became very common place for my SD to offer any info and work-arounds.

Then on a night during inventory, we were told the backroom was closed for pulls during store hours because it was being counted. Then of course we had several guests wanting to know if we have anything in the back. Of course a bunch of us said "YES...but the backroom is currently closed due to inventory so we cannot pull anything tonight. You might want to check back tomorrow." And of course the guests complain to the LOD. The LOD then comes back and says just lie to the them and say we don't have it right now. "So we are supposed to lie to them saying we don't have it and possibly send them to another store and lose a sale." Apparently 'Yes.'

Then on several occasions, I had guests ask me to open something (rugs, sealed boxes) so they can see how it looks. If its in an sealed or unwrapped, they I will help. But its a rug rolled up in plastic...Hell No. But from what I know about the Vibe program, TMs would have to do it.
 

commiecorvus

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I have always gone above and beyond on the whole CIHYFS.
I asked anybody I made eye contact with (and even people I didn't - when I was up on the Wave), said good morning and good afternoon, asked people with more than one item in their hands if they needed a basket, and spent as much time with a customer helping them get what they needed.

This was before the vibe BS.
After that the only difference was I started walking people to the items instead of giving them directions.

When they decided to performance me out they acknowledged that I gave superior customer service but said it didn't matter.
If the core roles weren't getting done, then I was toast.
So I learned that it was in my best interests to ignore vibe and guest service all together.
 
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If the core roles weren't getting done, then I was toast.
So I learned that it was in my best interests to ignore vibe and guest service all together.

I wish everyone understood this.

Sad but true. You can bet some guy on the flow team who ignores guests (unless a leader is watching) and meets his goals times is going be far better off than a flow team member that helps guests and does not meet the time. With payroll the way it is and so many mandatory tasks, guest service takes a back seat.
 

Deli Ninja

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If the core roles weren't getting done, then I was toast.
So I learned that it was in my best interests to ignore vibe and guest service all together.

I wish everyone understood this.

Sad but true. You can bet some guy on the flow team who ignores guests (unless a leader is watching) and meets his goals times is going be far better off than a flow team member that helps guests and does not meet the time. With payroll the way it is and so many mandatory tasks, guest service takes a back seat.

The strange thing is, as hours have been cut, I've been having more guests approach me and ask for help, often in a fluster or frustrated manner. When we don't have enough people to ask CIHYFS and actually help the guests, they're going to start going to other stores, ones that either provide better service or provide the same service and are cheaper. Which means even fewer hours for us, which is especially bad when things aren't getting done quickly because we're "Vibing" with guests and running up for backup... because we don't have enough hours.

We're running a vicious cycle at the moment and the Vibe is only making it worse.
 
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This is all true. Don't "vibe" = coaching, "vibe" too much = coaching. Vibe wasn't initiated for this, but it seems like many ETL/Leadership teams are taking advantage of it. I remember when it first started they actually made a big deal about partnering with other stores to get items guests wanted. I had a guest who wanted a large quantity of something for a charity something or other. okay, so i found out how many we had - and who was the next closest store we could partner with to get it done - "luckily" i ran into the STL in the backroom and told them about the guest and what we could try and do for them and the STL just wrinkled their nose and dismissed anything short of pulling what we had and calling it a day. this was after weeks worth of "vibe" stories at the huddle about the exact same type of thing happening, but making it happen for the guest. just goes to show it is all based on whatever they feel like at the moment.
 
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The not handling guest's phones deal is actually a policy, it isn't people trying to make things up. I agree that the vibe is open to interpretation but if you use common sense with what you do for a guest, I'm not sure how it will lead to coaching... at least regarding the specific actions you performed for a guest.
 
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I remember when mobile coupons came out, it was drilled into each and every cashier that we should never, EVER touch a guest's phone but instead should instruct them how to hold it so we could scan the coupons. The reason was simple...you drop it, Target's liable for their several hundred dollar phone.

I would never touch any guest's personal effects (purse, wallet, phone) unless I found it lying on the floor or I had their express permission (i.e. dig a stuck licensce out of the plastic holder so I can scan the back). It's just plain common sense, and common courtesy. When I go to other stores and give them mobile coupons or whatnot, I HATE it when they just snatch my phone out of my hand to scan it. My phone, lady. DINNA TOUCH UNLESS I SAY.
 
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I remember that when people brought in other watches when we used to change batteries and people would freak out and say why not? I would say because if we break it you cannot come back and sue us basically......
 
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