Holy Bad Customer Service, Targetman!

So this once I’m not griping about a bad customer service experience that affected me per se, but I was involved, and I want to tell you all about it.

I was at Target with my mom (like we do) and I stopped to get a hot dog at the counter (like I sometimes do) even though I know that it goes straight to my spare tire making the once flat tummy incorporate itself into some past-thirty muffin-top nightmare. But I was hungry, so.

So I’m standing there, ordering my hot dog and a drink, and the lady behind the counter is none too thrilled to have to, I don’t know, DO HER FREAKING JOB, and she’s taking her sweet time getting her food service gloves on, retrieving my hot dog from the rolly hot dog holder thingy, getting it wrapped up, handing me a cup, etc. I mean, it’s taking a pretty long time.

All of the sudden, this Target Team Member walks over to the counter with two people who are kind of holding on to each other and they both have white canes. So, they are sight-impaired. Target Team Member lady says to Food Counter Target Team Member,

“Miss Yvette, could you help my guests here get some drinks?”

And then she bolts. No kidding. She just dumps these two blind people at the counter with Miss Yvette, who clearly doesn’t even want to exert the energy needed to hand me a single hot dog across the counter, much less come out here and get some drinks for these folks. And Peppy Target Team Member Lady is gone, vamoosed, like a ghost. We’re eating her dust.

Miss Yvette has still not finished ringing my order up, and the Blind Couple is a little confused, because I doubt they realized that Peppy McAbandonsblindpeopleattarget has vamoosed her little ass back to the customer service counter and left them in the care of Miss Yvette, who at this point has finally finished ringing me up and is now staring at Blind Couple with her hand on one hip and her brow furrowed, as if she’s thinking, “I could give them the cups, but how are they going to tell which soda fountain spout is which because I don’t think they have Braille on them?” or possibly, “Bitch is crazy if she thinks I’m going to come out from behind my counter to do this because there are, like, 2 more people in line now.”

What was I to do? I touched both of the sight-impaired people on the arm and said, “Let me help you get your drinks” and said to Miss Yvette, “Give me some cups. I got this.” Miss Yvette has the presence of mind to say “Thank you” with a little too much relief in her voice, and I ask the couple, “What kind of drinks do you guys want?” They tell me, and I grab the cups, go over and get their drinks (pushing down the little “Diet” depressor thing for the Diet drink so that they wouldn’t get mixed up) and walk back over to the counter. At this point, there are about 6 people behind us in line and Miss Yvette looks like she’s about to burst into tears or something because Blind Lady is trying to swipe her card, and Miss Yvette (as a Target Team Member) isn’t technically supposed to help her. So she says to me, “You’re gonna have to help her swipe her card” so I go over to the lady and say, “Do you want me to take your hand and swipe it” and she says, “Can you just swipe it?” so I do and it wants a pin number so I tell her I’m going to push “credit” and she can just sign so she doesn’t have to tell me her pin number. She says great, and then goes to put her card back in her wallet, then back in her purse (which takes all of about 30 seconds, but feels like 30 minutes when Miss Yvette is staring you down because you’re not taking care of Peppy Negligence’s guests fast enough and the Blind Dude is all “popcorn, we wanted to get some popcorn”

Luckily, Miss Yvette had already gotten the popcorn. Dude’s holding both drinks. Lady finally gets wallet back in purse, reaches down to sign the pad, mistakenly bumps the “pay another way” button on the touch pad.


I look at Miss Yvette. She looks back at me. I say to her, “Can you just go back one screen and and she can sign?” Miss Yvette tells me she’d have to swipe her card again. There are now 10 people in line behind us. I am a crappy Good Samaritan. I say, “y’all, this is on me”, swipe my card, punch in my pin, grab my receipt from Miss Yvette, and look around for Peppy McIrresponsibletargetteammmember because maybe she was, like, in charge of their ride home or something. She’s nowhere to be found, of course. The lady pipes up, “Can you take us to where we can sit down to have our drinks and our popcorn?” I say, “Sure!” She says, “It would probably be best if you just pushed our cart here (they’d bought luggage) and we’ll sort of hang on to it.” Sounded good to me. I push the cart, they follow, I get them to a table, pull chairs out and get them sort of situated, and realize that my mom is still waiting on me, and she’s pulled the car around outside. I say, “Are you going to be OK?” and they’re all, “yes, thank you so much for your help” and I’m all, “no problem at all have a wonderful day” and I go outside to the car.

My mom says, “What took so long? The people who were BEHIND you in line just sat down.”

I regale her with the story, and find myself asking a lot of questions. How did they GET there, for one, and how were they going to get home? What if they weren’t really blind, and they just wanted some free sodas and it’s fun to get your kicks that way?

Nah, they really were blind. I just wonder how the Non-Miss-Yvette Target Team Member thought it was OK to just dump them off with ol’ Miss Yvette. Crazy.

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9 thoughts on “Holy Bad Customer Service, Targetman!”

  1. Things I learned from your blog:
    1. Target still doesn't get it (even though it's WAY beyond the evil WalMart);
    2. Bind + Target + South = disaster;
    3. You're a damn good writer;
    4. Reminder of why I like you – you have a good heart and a service spirit. You are NOT a crappy Good Samaritan – and even if you were, that should never stop you.
    If I was still doing Customer Service training and lectures, I think I would have used this story. BUT – since I'm doing homilies instead, I can still use it; just with a different point.
    Peace and all good.

  2. 1 hot dog for yourself…$1.39
    2 soda's and popcorn for a blind couple…$4.32
    Seizing an unexpected opportunity to help 14 people with your brilliance…priceless

  3. I don't know what's wrong with people. I saw some lady in Lowe's trying to wrestle a heavy mailbox post out of the display rack (which was set up in such a way as to make selecting one a Herculian task). Meanwhile her healthy but snarky 16-ish-year-old daughter is just standing their mocking her. I asked her if she wanted some help and she looked shocked that a non-employee would ask her that. After an awkward pause she then decided that yes, she would like some help with it. With a lot of effort I got the @#$%^ thing into her cart. She was grateful, but she still had this look on her face that maybe I had a screw loose in my head for offering to help a stranger in a store. It's sad how so many people are fearful of interacting with others. I realize the irony of posting this anonymously on the internet…oh well…

  4. I'll simply say this.

    You done good.

    Never let your kindness to strangers be overshadowed by your frustration for the lack of compassion by others.

  5. This was a great read. Found your blog from Matt On Fire. You did a nice thing. Even if the line got long.

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