• The Break Room is NOT an official service of Target Corp.
    This is a site run by regular people who are off the clock.
    We do not perform any HR related services, or affect any internal information regarding Target.

Seriously considering calling up an STL regarding a TM

Joined
Oct 14, 2011
Messages
825
This morning I went in to a Target store for my monthly visit. (I am a playstation rep)

All I was there to do was update the system software, put up a small ISM, clean, and make sure everything was well stocked.

While I was doing all of that a guest came up and started talking to me about buying a PS3 for her son. Naturally, I start talking to her about it. (yes, it is part of our job to sell people on Sony products if they ask us about them while we are in the store)

About 15 seconds after I start talking to her about it the electronics TM comes over and just stands next to us listening. All of a sudden he starts trash talking everything I am saying. This is literally how the conversation went.

Guest: So I was trying to decide if I should get the PS3 or the Xbox 360. Is one better than the other?
Me: Well the PS3 has blu-ray support and sony exclusive games like Metal Gear.
TM: Honestly I wouldn't buy any of them if I was you. They are both about to be obsolete.
Me: Uh, well actually there is no confirmed date for the release of the PS4 and it is going to be well over a year before it is out.
TM: Yea but it still a waste of money to buy a PS3 now. Also a lot of the games that are coming out now suck.
Guest: So I know Sony makes reliable electronics too.
TM: ha not really. My PS3 totally broke twice.
Me: Actually we have a generous warranty and the new slim model has been totally revamped so failures are extremely unlikely.
Guest: I also wanted to know if there was anyway I could block violent and sexual games.
Me: Yes, there is a parental control features that will let you do that completely.
TM: Yea, but most kids are smart enough to get around that.
Guest: Ok well thanks for the information guys. I will think about it.

I was fu**** furious. I know I am not a Target TM, but this guy went out of his way to trash Sony products that it is *his job to sell*.

After the guest left I asked him why he was going out of his way to trash everything I said and he said to me "I just think PS3/Xbox suck. I'm really a nintendo guy". I told him it didn't matter what our personal feelings were, that most people like the systems, and that it is our job to try to sell them. All he said was "well, I still think they suck" and walked off.

I am seriously considering calling that store and asking to speak to the STL about this guy. He looks like he is 16 years old and maybe he is just not aware of how out of line he was to trash talk products like that, but I am wondering if he is doing this every time someone wants to buy something for the PS3. I mean, would I be going overboard calling the STL and telling him what this TM did? Am I wrong to think he was way out of line?
 
Joined
May 2, 2012
Messages
109
Its actually not your place to call the STL. As with any vendor/rep you need to let your manager know then have them contact the STL. Otherwise you come off as unprofessional and over stepping your boundaries.

And actually, nowhere in the core roles does it say its an electronic team member's responsibility to sell Sony merchandise. HIS job is to provide great guest service (which admittedly the way you portray him makes it seem he is not) and drive profitable sales.

If this TM thought he could maximize profits by selling this lady on a Wii and attaching a lot more stuff with it, then he was in the right and while you're allowed to disagree, when he walked over your interaction with the guest should have stopped and you should have let him do his job. And you should have went back to doing yours.

While said TM was unprofessional, by your description, you also didn't deliver a completely professional experience if you're going to argue with a TM while he's trying to do his job.
 
Joined
Oct 14, 2011
Messages
825
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #3
"If this TM thought he could maximize profits by selling this lady on a Wii and attaching a lot more stuff with it, then he was in the right and while you're allowed to disagree, when he walked over your interaction with the guest should have stopped and you should have let him do his job. And you should have went back to doing yours."

That is also part of the problem. He wasn't trying to sell something else. He wasn't trying to sell anything. He *never once* brought up the Wii to the guest or suggested any alternative products. The guest only wanted to know about the Xbox and PS3, and he trashed both of them. He only brought up the Wii to me *after* the guest left without buying anything.

"And you should have went back to doing yours."

Part of my job *is* to talk to people about Sony products. In fact, it is actually written in my job description that I am *required* to answer any and all questions the public might ask me about Sony products, and to go out of my way to try to sell them on it. In fact, if I just went back to what I was doing and didn't do my best to sell the guest on our products, technically I could be written up for it.

"Its actually not your place to call the STL. As with any vendor/rep you need to let your manager know then have them contact the STL."

How is my manager supposed to do this? I was there, not him. The STL will likely have tons of questions to ask. Since my manager was not there it is highly unlikely he would be able to provide all the information the STL might ask for. At that point, it becomes hearsay. "Uh, well my rep told me that something like X was the case". That kind of thing doesn't fly with most people. The STL will likely just blow him off.
 
Last edited:

commiecorvus

Former Signing Ninja
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Jun 10, 2011
Messages
17,722
Not to get all homespun here and considering I got fired from the only straight up sales job I ever had (sorry I'm just not going to put thing on peoples accounts they didn't ask for no matter what kind of prizes you get at the end of the month) the fact is noadays folks seem a might bit confused about what sales are all about.
I'm sure that kid would tell you he was 'only being honest and telling the truth is the best way to sell things.'
Which is true as far as that goes but it's just as SoT pointed out, there was no follow up, no management of objections, no completion and most of all, no sale.
You don't bad mouth a mans product to his face is another good rule of thumb.
In general it would have served the kid well to let SoT do the selling, piggyback off of him to get the attachments and maybe pick up some accolades from his TL.
Instead all he did was piss off someone who could help him.

Mixed feelings on the reporting him part.
I suspect they will figure out pretty quick that he's not doing them any good over there and put him back on CA where he belongs (no disrespect meant to the CAs).
 
Joined
May 2, 2012
Messages
109
Yes that is your job and I understand that, but when you are on Target property you have to abide by certain rules that your company agreed to when they signed a contract with Target. One that applies to EVERY contractor, vendor, rep, outside party, etc. is that you may NOT, under any circumstances, hinder the business of Target or negatively impact our brand. This is of course at Target's discretion as well.

You can talk guests up all you like. Sell them on Sony as much as like, that's fine. But when a TM steps over and starts assisting the guest you can not hinder their ability to perform their duties. Was this TM in the wrong? Sounds like it to me. Probably an idiot. BUT going by the book, you should have stepped aside.

This is sort of a continuation of the previous point and touches on using proper chain of command, but the best way that situation could have been handled was step aside when the TM approached the guest, immediately emailed your boss, finished up your tasks and left. I then would status with your manager and take the time to communicate exactly what happened and let the manager deal with it from there.
 

The Mule

Jack Of All Workcenters
Joined
Jun 9, 2011
Messages
344
I don't see where in that conversation StateofTarget was being argumentative. I'd have to side with him on this one with the TM as you just don't run the risk of what seems like a confirmed sale(which it sounds like what he was going for with the guest) just for the off chance to sell them on a completely different system. Also, at no time should you confront someone(TM or vendor) in front of a guest over an issue. At most, ask to speak to them away from the guest for a moment or what until they are done and then talk in private afterwards. As far as the STL thing goes, don't really think it's your position to directly contact them. Now, if the next time you are there and happen to run into the TL/ETL over Electronics or the STL, then who's to say what comes up in the conversation. :spiteful:
 
Joined
Oct 14, 2011
Messages
825
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #7
"I'm sure that kid would tell you he was 'only being honest and telling the truth is the best way to sell things.'"

He was not even being honest. Like when he told the guest most kids can get around that parental control. That is absolute BS with no facts backing it up. There is no known way to "get around it" unless the parent gives you the code. He also told the guest the PS3 was going to obsolete soon because of the PS4. He has absolutely no way to know that. No one other than Sony executives know when the PS4 is coming out. The absolute earliest would be Fall 2013. But the fact is, he does't know when PS4 is coming out, so telling the guest the PS3 is "obsolete soon" is basically a straight up lie to the guest.

The rest was just his opinion and experiences. For example, saying most of the new PS3 games suck is totally his opinion, and millions would disagree with him. As far as saying his PS3 broke twice - I would give him that one *IF* the PS3 slim didn't exist. The fact is, the original PS3 did have a sad failure rate, however the PS3 slim has an exceptionally low failure rate. You basically have a 1 in a 500,000 chance of your PS3 being defective.
 
Joined
May 2, 2012
Messages
109
I don't see where in that conversation StateofTarget was being argumentative. I'd have to side with him on this one with the TM as you just don't run the risk of what seems like a confirmed sale(which it sounds like what he was going for with the guest) just for the off chance to sell them on a completely different system. Also, at no time should you confront someone(TM or vendor) in front of a guest over an issue. At most, ask to speak to them away from the guest for a moment or what until they are done and then talk in private afterwards. As far as the STL thing goes, don't really think it's your position to directly contact them. Now, if the next time you are there and happen to run into the TL/ETL over Electronics or the STL, then who's to say what comes up in the conversation. :spiteful:
You misunderstand me. I don't think SoT was in the wrong at all. I think the TM was probably a terrible TM. However, I disagree with SoT contacting the STL and how he handled the confrontation but that's it.
 
Joined
Oct 14, 2011
Messages
825
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #9
Yes that is your job and I understand that, but when you are on Target property you have to abide by certain rules that your company agreed to when they signed a contract with Target. One that applies to EVERY contractor, vendor, rep, outside party, etc. is that you may NOT, under any circumstances, hinder the business of Target or negatively impact our brand. This is of course at Target's discretion as well.

You can talk guests up all you like. Sell them on Sony as much as like, that's fine. But when a TM steps over and starts assisting the guest you can not hinder their ability to perform their duties. Was this TM in the wrong? Sounds like it to me. Probably an idiot. BUT going by the book, you should have stepped aside.

This is sort of a continuation of the previous point and touches on using proper chain of command, but the best way that situation could have been handled was step aside when the TM approached the guest, immediately emailed your boss, finished up your tasks and left. I then would status with your manager and take the time to communicate exactly what happened and let the manager deal with it from there.
WTF? Trying to encourage guests to buy products Target sells is "hindering the business"? So what, a TM trying to trash talk the products is helping the business? Want to explain that one to me?

I would have stepped aside if the TM asked me to, but the guest was talking to ME. Understand how bad it looks if I tell the guest "Oh, well this guy over here will help you" and go back to my work and just ignore the guest? You do know that guests don't understand that Sony reps do not work for Target, right? As far as that guests knows, I work for Target. If I acted that way it would be seen the same way as a TM telling them they couldn't help them any passing them on to someone else. In other words, *that* looks bad and hurts Targets image. So no, I would not do that because I wouldn't want to break our little agreement with Target that says I won't cause a negative impression of Target.

Honestly, this kind of situation happens all the time. Not a TM trash talking, but a guest coming over and talking to me about Sony products. What *normally* happens is that a TM comes over, and we *both* try to sell the guest a product and feed off each other. You make it sound like by me not ditching the guest, I was going to hurt the ability of the TM to sell. Actually, 99.9% of the time me sticking around helps drive sales because both of us are speaking highly of the product to a guest.

Also, when the TM came over all the guest wanted was info on the PS3. The guest was *not* ready to buy the product, therefore the TM had nothing to do to "help" the guest because the guest wasn't sold on the system yet. Therefore, me being there didn't stop him from "helping" the guest, because all the guest wanted at that point was information. If the TM wanted to "help the guest", he could have provided positive constructive feedback along with myself.
 
Last edited:
Joined
May 2, 2012
Messages
109
You really aren't getting what I'm saying. I don't think its bad you help guest at all. If you could have partnered with him. Then all for the better, right?

What I'm saying is when you realized he was going to be argumentative and unprofessional you should have politely disagreed at the first sign and stepped away. Carrying on like that with a TM while on stage, no matter how right you are, looks bad. As you mentioned, guests don't know you're not with target. They could think we're so poorly ran that the tm's argue with each other on the salesfloor. That hurts brand.

The best thing to do is status with your manager and really press for him to contact your stl and let them term him for conduct.
 
Joined
Oct 14, 2011
Messages
825
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #11
You really aren't getting what I'm saying. I don't think its bad you help guest at all. If you could have partnered with him. Then all for the better, right?

What I'm saying is when you realized he was going to be argumentative and unprofessional you should have politely disagreed at the first sign and stepped away. Carrying on like that with a TM while on stage, no matter how right you are, looks bad. As you mentioned, guests don't know you're not with target. They could think we're so poorly ran that the tm's argue with each other on the salesfloor. That hurts brand.

The best thing to do is status with your manager and really press for him to contact your stl and let them term him for conduct.
Dude, there was no argument on stage! You make it sound like me and the TM were fighting over this.

In order for there to be an argument, I would have to say something like "Don't listen to that TM, he is wrong".

I just let him say his piece, I said my piece, and moved on. I said absolutely nothing to the guest to refute him. The whole conversation lasted about 60 seconds, and honestly it took me the entire 60 seconds to realize what this guy was doing. It really took until the 3rd negative thing he said (which was about the end of the whole conversation) until I realized what he was doing. You make it sound like this was some kind of thing going on for 30 minutes or something. By the time I realized what he was doing, the whole conversation was over.
 
Joined
Jun 8, 2011
Messages
30,580
State of target, remember you are a vendor & don't work for spot. You can say nothing on spot actions. You know spot, but powerless as a vendor. Spot can Go after you.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Oct 14, 2011
Messages
825
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #13
State of target, remember you are a vendor & don't work for spot. You can say nothing on spot actions. You know spot, but powerless as a vendor. Spot can after you.
I'm also technically a guest, and if I want to complain about a TM I have every right.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Jul 28, 2011
Messages
622
You basically know what the "Target" procedure would be here. Write down the incident and any details, keep it in a notebook and note what store it was at - write down the TMs' name if you have it and move on. Document it and if it is a constant problem then you have some detailed accounts. But as you know, Target much like it doesn't care what its own employees have to say, probably cares less about what outside employees think.
 
B

Barcode

Guest
Like others have said, contacting the STL directly might be a bad idea considering you are a vendor. I would contact your direct manager, and provide all the details you can. They will more than likely get in touch with the right people at Target since that reflects negatively on Sony sales at that store due to that TM's actions. Especially if it becomes a repeat problem.

Personally I think that TM was a total asswipe. I'm an XBOX360 guy, but if a guest was interested in a different gaming console, I would do my best to talk it up to them to make the sale. Lets be honest, its a matter of preference. Now if they wanted advice on which console to buy, and they were conflicted on several decisions, then I might delve into pros/cons more to help them make an educated decision.
 

MrMrIce

Cart Attendant
Joined
Jun 11, 2011
Messages
325
Just brush it off and move on. Really, once the TM starts talking to the guest, you kinda have to step away as it isn't your core job to drive sales like how it's an Electronics TMs job.

Yeah the guy was a total douche, but you would come off as unprofessional if you went to an STL. Best thing you can do is just let your manager know and maybe he will let the STL know.
 
Joined
Sep 23, 2011
Messages
287
1) That TM sounds a grade A D-Bag.

2) You're a vendor, not a guest.

3) Why in the world would you go to the STL? That's several levels above your pay grade my friend. Furthermore, the STL has a million things more important to deal with than one TM in electronics. Which leads me to...

4) Talk his TL. As a vendor, you should have some sort of relationship with the electronics TL anyways, and if you're a good vendor (I have no reason to believe otherwise), they'll listen to you and deal with the DB.
 
Joined
May 10, 2012
Messages
268
I am shocked by the responses in this thread. Their is no good vendor in the world that would leave while their product is being trashed by the people who are supplying their product. I don't think contacting the store and talking to whoever is the LOD is over stepping any bounds at all. I am quite certain that the STL in my store wouldn't mind hearing about this.
 
Joined
Jun 25, 2011
Messages
468
The most bizarre part about this whole story is... Nintendo fanboys exist? What was the last good game to come out for Wii?
 
Joined
Nov 15, 2011
Messages
89
The most bizarre part about this whole story is... Nintendo fanboys exist? What was the last good game to come out for Wii?
Honestly,

Fanboys irritate me. I don't honestly feel loyal to any of them. All of them are overpriced, have very few games I'd get and constantly want to update the systems two years after a new one just came out.
 

buliSBI

Former Team Member
Joined
Jun 17, 2011
Messages
3,408
I think the TM was actually killing a possible sale.

Hard to say on what to suggest. Technically, you are only a Sony rep. But this TM was giving a biased recommendation. But I would definitely talk to the STL or ETL-HL telling them you didn't appreciate the TM butting into your conversation.

Whenever I had a guest asking and trying to decide on either system, I gave them un-biased recommendations to consider. I never tried to steer them into one system. The Wii is more geared toward the younger crowd with a lot more family friendly titles. While the Xbox and PS3 are more geared toward the older crowd with sport and hack-n-slash/shooter games.

If anything the Wii is going to the first system to be out-dated. They are already getting the next Nintendo launch in the works.
 
Joined
Jun 10, 2011
Messages
244
I am shocked by the responses in this thread. Their is no good vendor in the world that would leave while their product is being trashed by the people who are supplying their product. I don't think contacting the store and talking to whoever is the LOD is over stepping any bounds at all. I am quite certain that the STL in my store wouldn't mind hearing about this.

I agree with this.

Since you don't work for Target you are under no obligation to do things the Target way so all remarks in this thread about "core roles" and "Target 'procedure' " and the like are irrelevant, but you are a Playstation rep and you do have an obligation to represent the product you sell to the best of your ability. If I were in your shoes I would definitely talk to someone about this TM's behavior. And Target is not all powerful. Your relationship with Target is a partnership not a subordinate one. If you approach this professionally I doubt if there will be repercussions for you. Anyone who walks into a Target store, be they a guest, a vendor, or another Target employee can share their observations about what they see and experience (positive or negative) in that store with store leadership--there is no "boundary" to overstep. Whether or not you go through your manager first (or second or not at all) is your call as you are far more familiar with the expectations of your employer than we are. If it were me, I might choose to go to the electronics TL or ETL, but if those persons aren't available to you at the time you choose to bring this to the store's attention I don't see anything wrong with going to the LOD or STL.
 
Joined
Oct 14, 2011
Messages
825
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #24
Just a follow up -

Called my manager this morning for advice on this situation. He was pissed about it just like I was, and strongly recommended I contact an ETL or the STL.

Called the store and asked to speak to the STL about 45 mins ago. The STL was furious that the TM blew a sale like this, thanked me and apologized about six times for letting her know, and assured me the situation wouldn't happen again. Also assured me she would be calling my manager and *his manager* to apologize for the unprofessional way her TM acted and trashed our products.

I have a feeling this TM won't be pulling a stunt like this again.
 
Joined
Oct 14, 2011
Messages
825
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #25
"Why in the world would you go to the STL? That's several levels above your pay grade my friend."

Uhhh... actually I make more than most ETLs at about 65K a year with my bonuses factored in.
 
Top