when the only job of recent memory to compare target to is the military, of course working at target would be heaven. Some of us have had jobs that put us in the top 10% of income earners and have felt the need to throw spot into the mix. It's what I did for about a year before realizing spot is a waste of time and going back to a high paying career in my own field. In my case I felt I could work my way from TM to TL in 6 months and TL to ETL in a year or two with a degree. What I found was it's purely seniority, not productivity or attitude.
At spot I was told several times I didn't have enough experience at Target, I was passed over on promotion, it took nearly a year to get the 25 cent raise for a position that I'd been working since 2 weeks after I started.
At my current job in IT I was promoted in under 2 months and given a 40% pay increase. I recently went to lunch with the CEO 1 on 1. People can't stop gushing about how smart I am, how talented I am, and work is fun without corporate nonsense.
Basically, Target is a worthless position that you should only work until something better comes along. Unless you are an ETL you need to find something else to do. And don't say "It's a job, someone has to do it". There are plenty of teenagers that need jobs right now that would gladly work for that pay and quite frankly should be the ones working at target as transitional employment while 20 somethings finish a college education in a worthwhile field and enjoy success.
You know I usually lurk here from time to time, but I really can't stand the "it could be worse stop *****ing" mentality. That attitude is why Target and many other companies are failing. It's why people themselves are failures. It's a lazy attitude. By recognizing the flaws of the workplace and company, being proactive, and having management that actually listens, these problems could be easily rectified.
I totally agree with you.
I think you need to remember that most people on this site are young and/or have only worked retail, food, and other "service" jobs. For some, Target may have been their only job.
When that is all you know, then you really don't know what you are missing out on. I really didn't know how bad it was until I got out and stared working for SCEA. The difference is like night and day. I make good money, I am treated well, I get every holiday off with pay, weekends off, invited to industry events, 8 hours vacation & 8 hour sick earned every month, my health insurance kicks ass compared to what I had at Target, I get bonuses, etc. I would never go back to retail now.
The thing is that I never knew what I was missing out on because Target had been my only job.
To make matters worse, Target (especially ETLs - either intentionally or not) makes TMs/TLs believe that retail is all they can do. It demoralizes people. They are constantly treated like they are stupid, unskilled, etc. This may be true for some TMs, but there are a lot of people I have met that at work at Target that could probably go out and do much better if they applied themselves. The problem is that they are convinced they can't do any better. I was just like this - convinced I couldn't do any better for years at Target.
What caused me to change? A couple things.
1. I promoted from TM, to spec, to TL. Eventually I was told I couldn't promote any further without a degree. This really opened my eyes to the fact I was going to be stuck at Target forever in the same position if I didn't do something to change.
2. As a TL, I started to see how TMs were treated.... especially behind the scenes. For one thing, I was basically told by ETLs to harass TMs about BS issues. I sat in the TL office (often times without the ETLs knowing I was there) while they were in meetings and laughed and made fun of TMs behind their backs. Comments I remember are "Hey, no need to go to Target when you can work at Target pushing carts" and "Hey what do you guys think about that retarded flow team member. Oh well that's all of them". They all had big laughs, but when they went out on the floor TMs were actually convinced they respected them. I was thinking WTF am I working for these people for?
3. Again as a TL, I saw how unfair TMs were being treated. For example, being told to write poor reviews for outstanding TMs.
4. I came from an upper middle class family, so I knew how things "could" be in life. My family and I never wanted for anything, but I saw TMs so desperate for money they stole from registers. At my store, one was caught on average once a month. Many of them were not evil people - just desperate people. Many of them had previously begged me for hours, but as a TL there was very little I could do in that regard. More single moms did this than I can count. Most TMs at my store were struggling to have their bills paid, cars repossessed, etc. Of course, the teenagers that lived at home thought the job was great. For many TMs, they grew up poor and didn't know much else. Basically you can't miss something you never had. My store was located in a poor ghetto area in a southern state with few social services, so for most TMs their problems were particularly bad. Myself as a TL faired a little better than most TMs, but I still knew my socioeconomic condition could be much better.
5. I started to think. As I was zoning aisles alone for hours, I was thinking "WTF? I know I am capable of more than this. Why am I here?". That starts to build on you.
6. I realized that many TMs were negative, and I think I learned to think like them over time. I constantly heard comments like "College is worthless" (Ironic, because my associates degree got me my current job), or people would just say things that were totally stupid - like "If there weren't so many immigrants I wouldn't be poor". I would just think, dude, we are poor because we work at Target. Basically people were just blaming other things for their condition (the wrong things) or were just negative in general and tried to keep everyone down. Obviously this wasn't the case for all TMs, but everyone on this forum knows what I am talking about.... every store has a group of ultra-negative TMs.
7. Being treated like an idiot got to me. For example, the anti-union video. I've been to college and I know the benefits that unions bring and the selfish reasons why corporations oppose them. I thought they must think I am an idiot when they showed me that video. Interesting fact - the actors in the video are actually UNION MEMBERS. Here is actually an article on it: http://www.salon.com/2011/06/16/target_anti_union_ad_starring_union_member/
Everyone on this forum should read a book called "Nickel and Dimed". It really opens your eyes to retail and other service jobs.