Ever since I’ve had some time back at home– I spent three consecutive weekends away in Sacramento, Long Beach then Portland– I’ve been meaning to write.

Before I spent what felt like the entire month of February away, I had ordered some sweaters and a bathing suit from Target.com. Yes, the store I worship(ed). Only two of the four items were worth keeping, so finally, last week I got around to visiting the store to return the two items and a yoga mat (I got a cheaper one at Marshalls). The yoga mat was no problem, but when the lady had the online returns she said I had to go to “the kiosk by the bathrooms.” Huh. Okay, no problem, I’d go over there to see what she was talking about. I walked to the front of the store by the bathrooms where there were two employment computer stations and then two “registry” stations. With no other directions, I started at the registry stations and saw nothing that indicated returns.

Now, I consider myself reasonably computer savvy and internet savvy. You’re getting this story from someone who isn’t internet or computer illiterate. But I had no idea how I was supposed to make a return on the kiosk because I had been given no other instructions. So I went back to the returns lady and tried to make sure I was at the right kiosk. That took a few attempts to clarify because this lady didn’t have a great idea of what she was talking about. She did, however, give me another hint: “Use Target.com.”

I returned to the kiosk and pulled up Target.com to do my return… and I looked at it… and looked at it… and looked at it. Finally I called over a staff member who was either a manager, or shift leader or someone who was supposed to be in charge. She started clicking around with NO IDEA of what she was doing. She had to call over another staff person who finally showed us where to do the return on the website after I had spent the last 10 minutes just trying to return two things. At that point I was frustrated and opted to go take care of the online stuff at home to return another time.

Since this experience, I am no longer a Target loyalist. It was exacerbated by the fact that when I took my OldNavy.com return right down the way to Old Navy it took them about two seconds to do the return. Why can’t the Target returns be as easy? Now, I might be taking this too far, and it might just be that the Foster City Target sucks in particular. Which is probably somewhat true. But I’m sure that return policy is for all Target stores. Why the extra step, Target?

Anyhow, I had to go to Target again tonight to get some blackout curtains. I went and picked them out and then had to get a gallon of milk before heading out. I was walking across the store to the refrigerator area and kind of grumpy at Target in general and I turned down an aisle with an employee in the middle of the aisle with a shopping cart stocking shelves or something. I made a mental note that it was annoying and continued my beeline for the milk. As I made my way around the cart with employee my purse brushed the shelf and I heard some wobbling as I carried on. All of a sudden I hear “Crack-pow!” My purse knocked a glass jar of pasta sauce to the floor and it exploded. The employee looked dumbfounded, and said he would take care of it.

Somehow, that glass jar seemed like karmic justice for the inconvenience Target had put me through a few days earlier. Sure the loss of a $3 jar of pasta sauce won’t make a dent in the corporation, and the employee who had to clean up probably felt the brunt of the accident, but who knows? Maybe that lady who brushed me off at the returns desk was on clean up duty tonight? One can hope.

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