Monday, August 24, 2009

Target Circles


Target sucks my will to live. First of all, I need to set aside like five hours for a trip there. It's only 10 minutes from my house, but once there it's like I'm caught in some kind of black hole of discount shopping wherein I walk around and around and around still unable to find what I need. Did you ever notice nobody seems to work there? Maybe that's why the prices are so low -- they DON'T HAVE TO PAY ANYBODY.

On Friday I went there for a very specific purpose and before entering the premises I said to myself in a pep talk, "You are here for a very specific purpose. You need two Dora cups, two Elmo cups and two pails and shovels. That's it. In and out!"

Several hours and $210.62 later I emerged with the cups but no pail or shovel and about a dozen pajama sets that say random things like "I Love My Mom" and "My Dad Rocks." In theory I am opposed to message clothing for children. They seem to scream insecurity on the part of the parents. As in "You know how I know I'm cool? MY KID'S T-SHIRT SAYS SO." But the girls needed some new jammies and they were so damn inexpensive you figure, why not? Nobody will see them in their pjs anyway.

See? That's how they get you. You buy a bunch of really cheap crap and you leave feeling all proud of yourself for the bargain basement prices but then you look at your receipt and realize you've been duped.

So the pail and shovel... The girls love this one park we go to that actually provides pails and shovels but you can't take them with you (well, I guess you could but I think that's called stealing) so I decided I'd get them their own. Who knew the degree of difficulty in such a task.

I wander around Target for a good 45 minutes checking every possible section where they could possibly have a pail and shovel. During this time, I see not one person who actually works there. I saw a gal donning a red t-shirt that read "STAFF" and stalked her down only to realize she worked at a bar and still reeked of whatever industry night cocktail lounge she hit after her shift. Incidentally, she didn't seem inclined to help me find pails and shovels for toddlers.

As I turn the corner near the Play-Doh I spot a fellow speeding off at a good clip toward a door I suspect was the break room wherein all of his colleagues watch befuddled shoppers on hidden cameras and laugh as they munch on donuts and sip stale coffee. I galavanted after him, running like a wild boar was chasing me and my cart, and caught him just in time for this helpful exchange to take place:

Me: (huffing) Can you tell me where I can find pails and shovels?

Him: (blank stare)

Me: Ummm, you know... Pails and shovels?

Him: (blank stare)

Me: Like sand... and beaches... and plastic thingies that kids like to play with...

Him: (glimmer of awareness at my description) Oh, hmmm, did you check the toy section?

Me: Yep.

Him: Did you check housewares?

Me: Mmm-hmmm.

Him: Did you check the aisle where they have stuff for summer?

Me: I've checked the toy section, housewares, shoes, greeting cards, batteries and every other aisle in the whole store as far as I know.

Him: (blank stare returns)

Me: So I was hoping you could help point me in the right direction...

Him: Well we had them in the spring. (Now gaining confidence and authoritative tone). Most people buy beach accessories (Ed note: big word!) in the spring.

Me: So you no longer have them?

Him: Did you check the clearance aisle?

Me: (walk away without answering and ultimately without the "beach accessories" I had spent an inordinate amount of time trying to find.)


  1. I have this same experience...only with Wal-Mart. I can not go into that place anymore. I now have to ask my husband to purchase items for me so I don't overspend. I grab all those little this and that and whatever items we totally don't need, but for some reason, at the moment, I was sure we did. I hear that those places put baby powder in the air to make people disoriented so they buy more. I'm pretty sure that is what is going on. Normally I would have more willpower, right? :-)

  2. I get so frusrated with sub-standard customer service, especially in places like McDonalds when ordering ice coffee, Macy's, customer service reps for our health insurance . Fortunately (or unfortunately) there is a new Target by my house. In every aisle there is someone asking me if I can find everything I need. I think I have been taking that for granted.

  3. I can't get out of that place for under $100.00 EVER.

  4. I thought I was the only person who can't ever get out of Target without a ton of crap I don't need & a ridiculous register receipt. Glad to see I've got company.

  5. Our local Everything for a Dollar store still has them out. Have you tried the dollar store?

  6. I am a Target junkie too. I can never go there without spending $100. I recently got a membership at Sam's Club and oddly enough that has helped a lot! They don't have all the little stuff there to put in the cart.

  7. I love Target. We don't have it in Canada so it is one of the places I must stop at when I am in the States. The only inexpensive department store we have is Wal-Mart, I can not stand how ugly that store is so I can't go there.

  8. I LOVE Target...but alas, I now live in Canada where there is no Target...only crappy Walmart. Boo.

    I had a similar experience in Target though...I went looking for a hat and scarf in February (in NEW YORK!) and nope, none to be found. There were however lots of swimsuits. Helpful.