On Thursday I went to a Target store to get groceries. My sister gave me a ride there. We stopped off for a quick shop before going to visit some relatives that have children, that I absolutely adore and have an incredible time with. I was looking forward to seeing them an incredible amount and we had a great time together, a nice pizza lunch outside, and lots of talking and interacting. I also get as many hugs out of them as I can possibly manage. So an incredible day overall.
Let me just start this tale by saying that my experience at the Target store was not the worst experience that I have had at a Target store in the last year. I haven’t written about my worst experience last September, but I probably will in the near future.
It’s good to keep things in perspective, but overall my experiences at Target stores by employees have been unacceptable, shaming, and at times, they have been verbally abusive. I have gotten into the habit of immediately seeking out the manager and complaining about each incident, since they continue to happen. I also seek out the manager and compliment cashiers and workers that treat me very well, who were kind, and who made me feel welcome in the store.
Now, in my opinion, I should be experiencing that every time that I go to one of their stores. Regardless, I am there with money that I want to spend at their company and I think that is important, since they are a store that wants customers to spend their money there. I don’t consider myself a “guest,” but rather a customer with money to spend. I don’t need a great shopping experience, but I do need to be treated appropriately.
I had quickly shopped in the store and got to a cashier’s line, with two customers in front of me. While an older male customer was at the front I loaded all my items onto the conveyor belt and was ready when it was my turn.
As the cashier reached for the first item of mine I asked for paper bags. She refused to acknowledge me or look at me, looking down. She put the item in a plastic bag. I again asked politely and even toned for paper bags please. She continued to ignore me and put the second item in the plastic bag.
Again she avoided looking at me. I don’t know her and so I don’t see how anyone could have an issue with me. I am a kind, polite, respectful, honest, and appropriate shopper. She put the third item in the plastic bag. I used an even tone of voice, not too loud, not too quiet, but she continued to ignore me.
She again did not look up at me, but continued to look down at the plastic bag. She said, I already started on this plastic bag, so that is what you are going to get. Her tone of voice was threatening and hateful. This is someone I have never met or interacted with in my entire life.
I pointed out politely that I had asked for paper bags, showing her my cane and saying it was a request specifically because I was disabled and those were the bags that I needed and had requested. (But really, none of that is any of her business, I was just trying to be explanatory, because her interactions with me were uncooperative. Bringing up my disability status is supposed to make her see the need of being compliant with a reasonable request that any customer is entitled to make. Later, I thought, I would deal with the issue with the manager.)
(I had planned on then asking for a large plastic bag, which I would put the other two paper bags into. This works best for me when trying to take my purchases into my apartment building, up two flights of stairs, and down a hallway. It is what works best and I have tried several alternative methods and this one works the best for me.)
I told her no I am going to get paper bags because that is what I requested, before you started bagging. She grabbed the bag and put the plastic bag into a paper bag and then walked back a few steps to the register. Continuing to look down she said to me, don’t you dare start with me, today.
I said, I am not starting anything with you. I asked for paper bags and that is what I am going to get, because that is what I need. I said, don’t you start something with me. She said, damn woman, and a few other muttered words. I cut her off, you don’t get to swear at me and treat me like this, I asked for paper bags and you act like this, with threats and swearing, I demand a manager right now.
She looked up and identified a manager going right by us and yelled out for her to “hey you need to deal with this woman.” The manager was busy with another customer and said I will be with you in a minute. The cashier then started bad mouthing me again and I told her, no you need to stop talking like this and treating me like this, I am not going to put up with it. Stop talking.
The manager could hear that and came over in a minute and told the cashier to get out of the register area. I started talking and the cashier starts shouting over me, saying untrue things about me, apparently I have a bad attitude and started something with her, and I interrupted her and told her, stop right there, you don’t get to talk to me or about me in front of me like that, you need to go away from me and not talk. The manager directed her over to the customer service counter, some ways away and out of my line of sight.
I repeated what happened, the manager apologized, she gave me ten dollars off the purchase, she got another cashier right away to replace the previous one, and my remaining items were totaled up. The manager requested that I stay there and that she would be back in a minute. I had to wait about two minutes after paying, she returned and gave me a ten dollar gift card.
She again apologized. I again said how upsetting it is to mention being disabled or to ask for something specific and then to be mistreated for it, to be told no, and to be accused of being a problem for making an ordinary request that practically everyone makes every day when buying groceries.
She again apologized and said that this will never happen again, the cashier was wrong, and every customer is guaranteed the right to request paper or plastic. I told her the cashier seemed to imply that she was having a bad day, but you know what, I don’t really care, there is no reason for treating people badly in a store. I don’t want to be treated like this here. She assured me that it will never happen again.
I was happy that they gave me the discounts. I’ve been treated much worse and not been given a discount or gift card. I was glad that I interrupted the cashier several times, right away, when she started being verbally belligerent and abusive. I felt like I was present in every moment and said no right away to her behavior, each time that she acted out. Her eyes got huge and she couldn’t believe me, like how dare I answer her back. I guess she thought I was someone she could mouth off to and kick around. She was wrong. I was totally kickass.