How To Shop At Target

So you’ve decided you’re sick of Wal-Mart’s low, low prices and want to shift to something a little classier. “Target’s pretty cool, I want to shop there!” you say. Well, before you stroll on over to the local installment of the Best Company Ever, take a moment to learn how to have a truly Fast, Fun, and Friendly shopping experience!

1. Pick a good time

Plan your heaviest shopping for Sunday. If you aren’t running the danger of colliding with someone every three steps, you’re shopping wrong. Also, free samples! If you plan this carefully, you could probably get all three of your meals for the day by wandering through the grocery section. Just be sure to grab a new shirt from the clothing section every time so the employees – sorry, Team Members – don’t get suspicious.

2. Dress to impress

Before you head to the store, put on your favorite red shirt and khaki pants. Team members love it when guests try to fit in with the Target style! It shows that you’re a dedicated customer – argh, Guest – that just wants to fit in with the gang.

3. Safety first

Bring any and all small children you have access to. If possible, plan your shopping for when they should really be napping or something to maximize the likelihood of an outburst. If you get lost in the intimates section, it helps the search party a lot if they can hear shrieks coming from the jungle of lingerie.

4. Asking for help

If you can’t find what you’re looking for, try to be clever about asking where to look. Getting polite, straightforward questions all day can get boring for team members. Mix it up! You’ll brighten their day and subsequently, yours. Here are a few examples, starting with what not to ask:

  • “Excuse me, where are the edible underpants?”
  • “Hi, can you tell me where I might find the industrial-strength breast pumps? These regular sets just won’t satisfy my needs.”

Instead, opt for something a little more strange. If you’re too polite, you’ll lose all semblance of your quirky uniqueness! Try something like the following:

  • “Where’s the bathroom at?”
  • “Porno section. Where is it?”
  • “If I was a toenail clipper, would I find myself right down yonder?”
  • [Awkward stare.] (This is especially effective. When a team member can’t figure out if you need help or not, it’s like a little game. You’re just helping them out with a little mental exercise. Fun!)
  • “Whurdalatbulbs.”
  • “Where’s your hunting section? Also, do you sell antidepressants?”

5. Stand your ground

The customer – geh, fukkin… Guest – is always right! If a team member tells you the store doesn’t carry an item any more, they’re probably being lazy and don’t want to look for it. If you bought it there last year, insist that they must still have them somewhere. You’ll get those discontinued insect repellent wipes eventually.

6. Alert others to better discounts

If you decide you’re just going to buy something at Wal-Mart, be sure to let a team member know. The louder, the better! Other customers – I swear to God… GUESTS – want to know where the best discounts are. You’ll save some fellow shoppers some money and let the team member know where to direct future guests looking for the same item.

6. Save time efficiently

If you decide you don’t want an item and you’re more than ten inches from its home location, find somewhere to discreetly tuck it away. D-cup bras are perfect for frozen chickens, but don’t use anything smaller. B-cups won’t support your discarded fowl properly and are more suited to small bags of chips.

7. Abandon your cart if necessary

You’re tough. You’re strong. You don’t need a cart. Why’d you bring it all the way to the back of the store? Just leave it there. You can carry everything, you hunk of testosterone, you.

8. Protect your image

If you drop something and break it, don’t tell anyone. That shame is not yours to bear. Besides, it’s extra fun for team members to come up with a backstory for any damaged item they find lying around the store. Where did the blue goo come from? Is it ectoplasm? Or do we have an alien spy among us?

9. Make small talk

Check lanes are awkward, but they’re a great chance to work on your comedy routine. If an item won’t scan, make some sort of crack about how it must be free. It’s funnier every time!

41 thoughts on “How To Shop At Target

  1. Hilarious! I actually just laughed out loud while reading this and my daughter said “what?!?!” I then tested out your Awkward Stare. God, that was fun. Great post!

  2. Another fun thing do while at Target is ask for the manager to see if hell has frozen over yet and perhaps he could turn on the damn radio again so it doesn’t sound like a freaking cemetery in there 24/7. How am I suppose to flitter from the umbrella section to the baby bibs to the greeting cards to the hair color when all I hear is the sound of tumbleweeds rolling down the aisle? What happened? Did a blue hair come in and complain about hearing “Call Me Maybe” too loud? Just turn it down. Not off. Bitterness on both sides…

  3. Pingback: Sweet Snark | How To Shop At Target

  4. I hate the trend of businesses calling their customers “guests”, but I guess it could be worse. If employees are “team members”, then I should probably just feel lucky that customers aren’t “fans”.

      • Is Vibe the feeling that you’ll be standing in line forever, waiting to get to the register, with no hope of escape? The lines at Target aren’t really any longer or slower than at any other store, but there’s something about the way they’re laid out that makes me feel that way.

  5. I like to wear a red shirt, khakis, and talk a walk-talkie in with me. Then whenever I see an employee, I mean “team member” (you’re right, that is hard to keep up with) speak into theirs I like say, “I’m on it!” then run in the opposite direction as fast as I can. And before too long a customer -crap!- “guest” will as you a questions. That’s when you can break out the always clever line, “I don’t know. I just work here.”
    Great post!
    Great Post

  6. I wish the Team Members would learn to say “my pleasure” when someone says “thank you” to them, just like Chic-fil-a and Taco Bell (though it is unconfirmed that TB is officially doing this now). Right now when I say “thank you”, all I get is “Do you want save 5% on your purchase today?”.

    If you go early enough in the morning, you can see the Team Member Huddle Rally. Or something like that. I understand the motivation behind it, but as a mega-introvert I would curse any job that I had to do that at the beginning of my shift.

    • Once, in the Taco Bell drive thru, the attendant asked me, “Do you ever go on the internet?” after I thanked him. Looking back, I should have said something like, “I don’t have arms,” and driven off.

      And don’t get me started on those RedCards. “Would you like to apply for a RedCard? You’ll save 5% today and every day!” [vomit] Even worse, every time someone signs up for one, the GSTL announces on the walkies, “So-and-so on check lane X just saved our Nth guest 5% today and every day,” to which the LOD responds with something like, “Woohoo! Good job! Keep it up!”

  7. I’d like to see a how-to list for one of those uppity, flip-flop wearing health food stores. Picking on target is like beating up a pudgy pre-schooler. Fun, but easy.
    Mocking health food stores is like pummeling a fat, dimwitted pre-schooler! Fun AND satisfying.

  8. Tar-Jay is like crack for those of us with ADD. Those darn deals at the end of every isle always make me stop and think – “Do I need some of those?” I always leave the store having missed at least one thing from my list because I got distracted. But they have the best greeting card section. I could spend hours in there. Plus the carts are made of plastic … so they don’t hurt when you push those screaming brats out of your way.

  9. Haven’t worked retail, but you get customer service fun at a library too. I especially love #5 – how they demand you produce something by pulling it out of your ass or something. “Where is the latest issue of this magazine?” “We don’t have it.” “But it was supposed to come in today.” “We still don’t have it yet. Maybe the mail is late.” “But the magazine should be here.” Etc.

  10. Do you FEEL the red and khaki? You gotta FEEL the red and khaki!
    after a certain amount of time served, you are a permanent team member. PTM.
    Don’t forget to stop in Starbucks to really get that yuppie feelin’ before you hit the floor today!
    I’m xx years retired and I still remember my TM #… do NOT mess with my FTM (formerteammember) discount!!!!!


  11. Thanks for another great post. Where else could anybody get that type of info in such a perfect approach of writing? I’ve a presentation next week, and I am at the search for such information.

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