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

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

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

6 PHOTOS
Target employees reveal worst parts of their jobs
See Gallery
Target employees reveal worst parts of their jobs

The tremendous amount of work

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 told Business Insider.

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 under-staffing as a major problem at their stores.

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

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

(Laura Buckman/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Selling the Redcards

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

Target's Redcard promises to offer 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 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."

(REUTERS/Kamil Krzaczynski)

Dealing with management

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 a year said that 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.

(REUTERS/Dan Riedlhuber)

The egregious returns

One Target employee of eight months said seeing "the amount of stuff that's returned" is 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 thirty 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.

(REUTERS/Andrew Nelles)

The holiday rush — and the aftermath

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 Virginia-based former employee told Business Insider. "Those were some of the worst experiences of my life."

But for one other 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 the fact that their hours were cut after the holidays.

(REUTERS/Geoff Robins)

Badly-behaved guests

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.

A total of 14 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 a different team member of five years said that certain shoppers acted "entitled."

Another team member from Pennsylvania said that 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."

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

(REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque)

HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

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

More from Business Insider:

Read Full Story