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Strategy Target employees share the 6 worst things about working for the retail chain

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Target store team members have parts of their jobs that they don't like, just like everyone. Thirty-four current and former employees spoke with Business Insider about the worst or most challenging parts of their jobs.

They're not fans of obnoxious customers. play

They're not fans of obnoxious customers.

(Geoff Robins/Reuters)

  • Target store employees don't love every single aspect of their jobs.
  • That's not surprising — no one does.
  • Still, 34 current and former team members who spoke with Business Insider shared several specific complaints.
  • Rude guests and understaffing are just two of the biggest downsides of Target jobs, according to the current and former employees.

Target store team members have bad days on the job, just like everyone else.

But for some employees, certain negative aspects of working at the retail giant stand out.

Business Insider recently spoke with 34 current and former Target employees, who told us all about the worst and most challenging parts of their jobs. Some of their complaints reflect the nature of retail work, while others may hint at perceived store or chainwide issues.

Here's what Target team members said they disliked about their jobs.

The tremendous amount of work

The tremendous amount of work play

The tremendous amount of work

(Sergei Bachlakov / Shutterstock)

One Target team member of two years told Business Insider that "the amount of work each position is in charge of" proved to be "challenging" for many employees.

"There is never a moment where you don't have several other things to do," the team member said.

Another employee from California told Business Insider that the roughest aspect of the job was "needing to finish a lot of work in a very short time frame."

Two other Target team members pointed to understaffing as a major problem at their stores.

One team member who's worked at the chain for nine months said their store was always short-staffed when it came time to close for the night.

Another team member with a year of experience told Business Insider: "If someone called in sick, you would be almost running to keep up with keeping the shelves stocked."



Selling the Redcards

Selling the Redcards play

Selling the Redcards

(Tooykrub / Shutterstock)

Signing customers up for Target's Redcards was a source of stress for four Target team members who spoke to Business Insider.

Target's Redcard promises customers an extra 5% off most purchases, free two-day shipping, and an extended return policy.

One employee of seven months said they wanted to quit because they felt pressured to hawk the Redcards at checkout.

"The worst part about working at Target is the unrealistic expectations set by corporate," a Virginia-based Target team member told Business Insider. "For instance, stores are expected to hit a target goal for Redcards each day."



Dealing with management

Dealing with management play

Dealing with management

(Mike Mozart/Flickr)

Nine current and former Target employees said disagreements with supervisors and management were the worst aspect of their jobs.

"Management is so out of touch that it hurts," an employee of three years told Business Insider.

One employee of one year said they witnessed too much favoritism among their supervisors, while another employee of five years said they felt they weren't getting recognition from their leaders.

"It usually feels like higher-ups — especially corporate — don't care about the average team members," a California-based Target team member told Business Insider. "We always have more and more work added to our plates, but we have nothing to show for it."

Another employee from Michigan told Business Insider that there was a disconnect between Target's upper-level management and Target team members and shoppers.

"They have a tendency to operate from a numbers basis, instead of really communicating thoroughly in a much-needed conversation with their extended communities," the team member said.



The returns

The returns play

The returns

(Yelp)

One Target employee of eight months said that seeing "the amount of stuff that's returned" was the worst part of their job.

"Multiple carts of re-shop are filled by the end of the night," the team member told Business Insider. "It's a hassle to either hide it in the back room or take the last 30 minutes of your shift to put away 50-plus items."

They added that the worst returns of all were the swimsuits.

"Swimsuit season is the verified eighth layer of hell," they said.



The holiday rush — and the aftermath

The holiday rush — and the aftermath play

The holiday rush — and the aftermath

(John Gress/Reuters)

The holiday season is supposed to be the happiest time of the year.

But that's just not the reality for many retail workers, who have to deal with hordes of sometimes impatient shoppers.

"Anyone who complains about the rampant consumerism dominating Christmas is not allowed to say anything if they haven't worked Black Friday or Christmas Eve," a former employee based in Virginia told Business Insider. "Those were some of the worst experiences of my life."

For another employee, the end of the season didn't bring about any good changes.

One employee of nine years told Business Insider that the worst part about their job was that their hours were cut after the holidays.



Badly behaved guests

Badly behaved guests play

Badly behaved guests

(Northfoto / Shutterstock)

What's the absolute worst part of working at Target?

The most popular response among the 34 current and former employees who spoke with Business Insider was quite simple: some of the people who shop there.

Fourteen Target team members mentioned rude guests when discussing the worst part of their jobs.

"I despise treating adults as children," a Target team member of one year told Business Insider. "We're told to do whatever it takes to make people happy, including allowing them to steal. Seeing a middle-aged person throw a tantrum because they changed their mind on an air mattress and can't return it makes me sick."

An employee from Pennsylvania singled out "rudeness" on the part of some customers, while another team member of five years said certain shoppers acted entitled.

Another team member from Pennsylvania said they hated receiving angry complaints from shoppers whenever an item is out of stock.

"Don't b---- at me," the team member told Business Insider. "I work in retail, not a corporate job. Give me some slack."

One Target employee from California mentioned "guests that forget you are a real person" as the worst aspect of the gig, while another team member from Connecticut said they suspected some customers "won't be happy no matter what you do."

Are you a current or former Target team member with a story to share? Email acain@businessinsider.com.