I need some extra money this holiday season and thought I’d fill out an application at Target. I will admit that I wasn’t too excited about the prospect of wearing khaki and red or standing for hours at a register but a girl has to do what a girl has to do when her kids are expensive.
At any rate, I filled out the VERY long application on-line. Yes, there were tons of questions that were apparently testing my integrity and work ethic. But ok, I get it. Screen the bad eggs early.
I was called for an interview. “We can interview you between 10-2, Monday-Thursday”.
Ok, that’s not very helpful. I’m applying for an evening/weekend position because those are the hours I’m free because I have a full-time job. I explain to the women that I work in a school and it is difficult to get off during school hours. “Oh, I’m sorry. I’ll find someone who can interview you after 4.”
“Thanks, I appreciate it”.
Next day I get a call from a different person. “So, we can interview you between 10-2”.
I just want this done so I agree to come in at 11 after she promises the entire process takes “about 30-45 minutes”. She promises because I explained that I can't be gone longer than an hour from work.
I get there and am told to sign in at a computer. Another 10 minutes of questions like, “If you see your co-worker stealing, what is your best approach and what is the worst approach”? With 5 multiple choice answers. I refrain from being sarcastic and saying I’d help load the car. I don’t think they’d get that humor so I answer appropriately.
I finish and I wait. 8 work emails answered later, a nice young girl comes out to interview me.
She hands me the days/hours that I said I could work and asks if it’s still correct. I’ve given them 40 different hour combinations to schedule me in a week. I said, “I only want to work 15 hours per week but those times are accurate except, I have a couple of days that won’t work and I can write them out through Christmas so you know now”.
“Ummmmmm, hang on”. She has to consult with someone to see if that is an option because once you sign this paper you are saying that you’ll work ANY combination of those hours which she tells me when she gets back.
I said, “well I can break it down to the exact 15 hours and we won’t have to worry about it”.
“No. Let’s proceed. Except it says you can only work until 10 p.m., we’re open until 11, getting you out of here at 11:15ish, that’s good? Right”. She smiles a little too brightly.
“Ummm no, it’s not good. I have to be at work at 7 a.m. so that’s why I said I had to be done at 10”.
More discussion outside the room. This has now taken a good 10 minutes for an easy 30 second conversation. I’m irritated as is she.
First question that bubbles out of her mouth, “Why are you excited to be a Target Cashier”?
I’ll admit I’m crabby at this point. I know time is running short, I’m doing this over my lunch hour so I haven’t eaten and I’ve been sick with a cold for several days. I’m not good when I’m sick or tired or hungry. Put all three together and it’s a recipe for disaster. My Mom also always told me to be honest so I said, “I’m not. I need a part-time job and this is close to home”. I smiled sweetly after I say it, does that count? She doesn’t like that answer and I cannot understand why not.
“What cashiering experience do you have”?
“I was a 10-key professional.” I bubble back and smile just as brightly. Blank stare. This girl has no idea what I’m talking about. I explain that a 10-key professional is what Target cashiers used to be. If you couldn’t 10-key, you couldn’t work at Target. Blank stare.
So to make her happy, I list off a few more things and include my volunteering at ice rinks and baseball fields. “That’s nice but that doesn’t count”. I say nothing but I’m thinking, why doesn’t that count? I’m stocking and cleaning floors and helping kids count out bubble gum and refilling the nacho cheese, the HOT nacho cheese, all while using the fricking cash register that the buttons aren't in any particular order Hot Cocoa is next to Popcorn instead of Hot Dog! It’s not as easy as saying “paper or plastic”!
5 more mindless questions while I have to stop talking so she can write down my answers “before she forgets what I said”. My answers are two sentences long at the most and she’s either not listening or she’s not processing what I said because I answered the question that she is now repeating.
Done! Finally done. But wait, she speaks... “you need to go on to the second interview with the manager”.
“What? Who are you?”
“I’m just an assistant”.
“And, I’ll be doing what exactly”?
“Oh, more of this”. SERIOUSLY!!??
I have now been there for over 45 minutes.
She drops me at the service counter again and leaves.
I answer another 8 work emails and tell the person at the desk I can wait no longer. The “process” that was supposed to last 30-45 minutes has now been close to an hour and I’m still not done. She raises her eyebrows and I leave.
The thing is, I don’t think I’m “above” working at Target even though that’s probably how it sounds. I have friends and family who work for Target. It’s a decent job but it’s a part-time job and I don’t understand why the process has to be that time consuming. Why can’t they have a set of interview questions for the teenagers that it’s their first job verses the 45 year old who has worked for the same company for almost 20 years and showed up in professional work clothes verses the ripped jeans and tennis shoes the next interviewee was wearing. And, why don’t they have interviews in the evenings? If it had been in the evening, I could have stayed, my attitude would have been better. If Target was a little more “ user friendly” to their PT help, they might actually have enough during the holidays.
I just received my thanks but your qualifications don’t fit our needs email. I wonder if ripped jeans got one as well?