I remember what I wore on my very first day. A pair of GAP flare corduroy pants and a GAP long sleeve red top along with this pair of brown clog/mule shoes that were totally not appropriate. It was an extra awesome day because I started on the same day as my roommate. I worked in toys through the end of the year and then was placed in jewelry/accessories/cosmetics. I remember working with a blonde named Jennifer and a Colleen who were both very nice. I remember my first long string of overnight shifts during a cosmetic reset. Ugh. By the end of the third night I was ready to snap on the guys on the planogram team and the death metal they blasted all night long.
Eventually I moved to Northeast Minneapolis and transferred to my second store, affectionately known as Targhetto. This store was pretty much the opposite of the first. Instead of being in the ritzy area it was, well, I'm sure you get it. Chanhassen had about 20 check out lanes, this store had 8. It was rumored that the glass on the front of the store was bullet proof. I never had confirmation on that but we did have a cop in the store every day because the theft was out of control. I can't remember how many times I had to sit (awkwardly) in on an apprehension. Even the carts had security. If you passed with a cart outside the perimeter of the building the wheels locked up and you couldn't push it anymore.
The team was great. Bernita in Food Avenue made the best ham and cheese omelets. Chris was the best Store Team Leader I had ever worked with, Dee and Susan on the price change team were awesome. Martha in cosmetics was so, so amazing and so sweet. She called me her Diva. I had three really good girlfriends at the time (we are no longer friends...you find out who your real friends are when you move 800 miles away) and we watched 30 minutes of Days of Our Lives on our lunch breaks all the time.
I learned a lot of valuable skills. Like how to condense a 12ft planogram of purses into a 4ft space because the store was so teeny that the layout didn't match with anything that headquarters had on file and how to totally rock the lingerie department and pick up a Viper sales award for best sales increase in the district. No small feat in a store that did maybe $30K a day in sales while being surrounded by 20 higher volume stores. You had to be creative in that store to make things work and I really enjoyed that aspect.
It did have it's challenges. I was in charge of several areas-jewelry, accessories, hosiery, cosmetics, lingerie and body wear, the first week of the month was hell on earth, guests were especially messy (and I mean Messy), theft was high, and I was threatened with a beating, once, for asking a child to stop running through RTW (the ladies department). The cop came in handy here. But really, even with all that it wasn't that bad of a store to work in, largely because the people were so awesome.
I've seen a lot of changes. When I started Target was part of Dayton/Hudson Corp. Now it's so awesome that it runs itself. The format of the stores has completely changed, the marketing is so much better, the Target dog, Spot, is adorable! There are things I miss from the days of old like Jean Day for the United Way and dressing up on Halloween, but the different designer collaborations make up for that!
I've been at my current store for just shy of ten years. I transferred in as a Guest Service Team Leader but then demoted myself to planogram team member (to get out of working nights and weekends) and then re-promted to Price Accuracy Team Leader, and then eventually re-demoted myself to Price Accuracy Team Member after I started taking classes at UK. I've been doing that ever since.
Target has always been so flexible with my schedule, that and the paycheck allows me to do what I need to do outside of Target and pay for art supplies. The 401K benefits are great-the main reason I have a nice chunk saved up for retirement already-and I appreciate that Target is open minded enough to accept purple hair, tattoos, piercings, or whatever-not that I ever push those boundaries too much, but I could if I wanted to.
Most of all I enjoy (most of) the people that I work with and it is just a fun place to be. It fits me and it's comfortable and familiar, something I need right now as I delve into this world of the working artist.
I doubt that I will be leaving Target anytime soon and it will be interesting to see what the next _____ years bring.