Target employees shared 4 of their worst horror stories -- and it will make you appreciate how hard their job is

  • Target store employees told Business Insider about some of the worst things they have seen on the job.
  • A total of 21 Target team members shared their experiences with Business Insider.
  • From thieving store newbies to slur-slinging shoppers, here’s what they have had to deal with.

Target store team members sometimes have to deal with pretty trying situations.

Business Insider recently corresponded with 21 Target employees to get a sense of the worst things they have ever seen while working at the retail chain.

And, from the sound of it, they have seen it all.

Previously, we asked the Target employees about what they’d like to tell shoppers, but can’t. Most of the Target team members said they’d like to ask customers to be nice and pick up after themselves. A number of these experiences reflected why they’d be inclined to worry about guests behaving rudely and leaving a mess.

From vomiting kids to to shelves stocked with discarded Starbucks cups, here’s a look at some of the worst things Target employees have had to confront at work:


Persistent shoppers

A Pennsylvania-based Target team member described confronting a store patron who was wandering around the backroom – a restricted area.

“I’m like, ‘You can’t come back here. It’s a safety issue,'” the Target employee told Business Insider. “She goes ‘I know but I need someone to help me.'”

They added that patrons will also sneak into the team member bathroom – which is “strictly” for employees only. The employee said that the intruders are easy to spot based on their dress.

“They are strolling in the back room with jeans,” the employee said. “No red and khaki.”


Abuse hurled at team members and shoppers

Four Target team members from Minnesota, Texas, Georgia, and North Carolina told Business Insider about exchanges with shoppers that became heated and profane.

“I’ve had many people come in and just scream and yell at anyone they can to get their way,” the North Carolina-based employee told Business Insider.

The team member from Texas told Business Insider that they had witnessed a customer hurling homophobic slurs at a fellow employee.

And the harassment isn’t limited to store employees. A Georgia-based Target team member told Business Insider about seeing a customer harass another customer for speaking a language other than English on the phone.

The employee said they were also once confronted by an angry, screaming shopper after they closed down their lane.

“It was the only time I’ve raised my voice at a guest,” they told Business Insider. “That experience really stuck with me for a while. It just makes you feel horrible to have to deal with that.”


Trash strewn about the store

Three Target team members discussed seeing shoppers leave trash and discarded products all around the store.

A California-based employee described “the annoying amount of empty Starbucks coffee cups that ‘guests’ leave on the shelves when they have finished drinking.”

Another Target employee in Colorado said they once watched a man pick up a weight “pump it once, and try to put it back on the shelf and fail before leaving it on the ground.”


Incidents involving bodily fluids

Accidents happen. And sometimes, those accidents happen in Target.

A total of eight Target employees told Business Insider that they have seen guests – or customers’ dogs – defecate, urinate, or vomit in the store.

“Once someone smeared poop all over the wall leading to and from the restrooms,” an employee from California told Business Insider.

Another Target team member told Business Insider that a customer once brought her sick daughter on a shopping trip, only for the girl to vomit all over the store.

“Half of our staff that were there called out the next day,” the employee told Business Insider. “They caught the flu from the contaminated vomit.”

Are you a current or former Target employee with a story to share? Email [email protected]

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