The Problem With Target

Target was much in the news in early 2014, all stemming from the December 2013 consumer credit card breach which resulted in the firing of their CEO. But there have been ongoing problems with Target that have gone unreported by the mainstream media. In this post – my first with a guest writer - we take a look at those problems from both the female and male perspective.


A Woman’s Point of View

By Kelly Fores, Life of Danger Crassmate 

You go, you shop, you find a bunch of great clothing bargains. You find things on clearance they don't have in your size. So you think, "Well, what the f#*%, there are two other Targets within five miles of my house, why don't I just go to one (or both) of them when I have some time and see if they have that cute skirt/blouse/pair of shoes in my size?"

You wake up the day after reeling in your haul, you look over at your pile of finds, smug in your shopping abilities, and you go make coffee and plan your work for the day. Before the first drip of water reaches the coffee carafe, you're already thinking, "Maybe I'll just quickly run to Target first thing." But you get sucked in by your e-mails, and end up doing some work. But those thoughts of Target bargains keep entering your mind. So you think (you think a lot because you have no one to talk to, mind you), "Around lunch time I'll take a break and head out. I don't have to sit here all day and wait until after 5:00 like normal working people. I'm the boss of me." But then another urgent request comes in from Mr. Whiny-Ass-Can't-Plan-Ahead client, so you soothe his worried little mind and get his job done.

The day is getting away from you. If you're not out the door by the time the mailman comes, you're going to find yourself in the store with "the others" - those who do have to wait until after work to shop. The Great Unwashed. With their bratty children. But it's high lunchtime traffic, can't go now. Roads will be clogged. Oh God, please help me get to Target today. The longer I wait the greasier my hair looks, and if I have to shower before I go, Lord, I might not even get there today. I promise if You help me get out the door to Target, right now, I will go to church Sunday. Yes, just this Sunday. I can't commit to every Sunday. I might have to go to Target to look for more things that have been put on the clearance racks!

A Man’s Point of View

You get out of your car and see two brunettes leaving the store. Shit, you think, if you had just come ten minutes earlier. But you quickly forget them because some sweet little 20-something in short khaki shorts and sequined sandals is walking in. You catch up, see a ring, and move on. As you head for the toothpaste a sudden flash of blonde and tan in a crossing aisle catches your eye. As the world continues in real time, your mind backs up three seconds and reviews the tape in enhanced slow motion. She’s 5'-7", 110 pounds, with a stylish, modern haircut. She’s a natural blonde, not blonde-from-a-box. She’s wearing earth-toned lipstick that compliments her tan perfectly. Her waist is narrow and there is a hint of non-tramp-stamped back showing above her pre-faded jeans. Her perfect pedicure is framed in light tan sandals with hemp straps. She holding a card (birthday card for a younger brother), two scented candles (both sandalwood), and she's browsing for a photo album. There's no ring on her finger, no heart pendant around her neck, no baby-formula stain on her shoulder.

Ok, you think, you need a photo album. Very badly. In fact, you may never have needed a photo album as badly as you need a photo album right now. You pick up a black, faux leather photo album while chit-chatting about photography, trips, sunsets, and the baby hippo at the St. Petersburg, Florida, zoo. You casually imply that as a single person you can travel pretty much anywhere, any time, and so you do. She says how she'd like to travel more. And that's where you break it off to finish your shopping and plan your next attack. Smooth. That went great. Hit and run. Perfect!

You zip off to get the rest of what you need…but wait. Who? Is? THAT!? Your eyes meet and hers linger longer than a normal glance. You keep your cool and let your eyes do the talking. She’s heading straight for the check-out and, wow, that woman can walk! So you race back to get your – whatever - and then hurry to the check-out. This is the one time you are thankful they don't have enough cash registers open, as she is still in line. To avoid looking obvious you take the lane next to hers and casually look around to get a feel for if she is also "casually looking around." Yes, it seems she is.

They announce more lanes are opening and people shuffle about. She stays in her lane so you do the same. Then they announce they can help someone at the Service Counter and they direct that comment at you. She has been in line longer so you offer her your spot. She asks where the Service Counter is and you direct her toward it while hoping your teeth sparkle, as they surely would in a Colgate commercial. Another lane opens and you race to be first, which you are. Perfect! You and she will both be done at the same time.

But your cashier likes to chat. “How is your day going? Did you find everything OK? Would you like to save 10%?” Why yes, yes you would, but right now you wouldn’t take the time to apply for a Target card if your purchase would be free.

"Hey! Look at this!” he says as he pulls a Susan B. Anthony dollar from the drawer, “Pretty neat, huh?" As he drools over a coin nobody wants, you shift your weight from one foot to the next. "Yeah, that's one hell of a coin," you say, hoping he'll get things moving. But that was a mistake, as now he pulls a dollar bill from your change and asks if you want the Susan B. "No!" you snap back, then bite your lip, put a fake smile back on your face, and tell him he can keep her as he has already made love to her.

With receipt in hand you snag your bag and head for the door. In the distance of the vast parking lot you spot her getting into a blue Beetle. She's gone. Opportunity lost. Susan B. helped her get away. No wonder nobody likes her.

That is the problem with Target as I see it.