Target Don’t Like Talkin’ ‘Bout Fran

By popular demand, we tried to followup on the reader complaint about her disabled mother getting treated poorly at at Target. We made some calls and learned what happens when you try to go in the front door. It gets slammed in your face.

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We have a sneaking suspicion that Fran’s vacation is more of a “vacation” brought about by Friday’s incident.

Transcript inside.



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  1. I’m gonna go ahead and say that I’m glad they didn’t let you talk to Peter . . . that would just seem a little, I dunno, exploitative . . .

  2. While Peter could no doubt give the least biased representation of the events that took place, I have to agree with it.goes.there.

    There has got to be more to this story though, as posters mentioned earlier in the initial reporting and I’m very interested to hear the details. Thanks for staying on top of this Ben.

    Incidentally, I find it hard to believe that Fran would just go mental without some sort of provocation…not that that justifies her behavior, but something is missing here.

  3. The noise you used to ‘bleep’ out parts of the audio is special.

  4. Magicube says:

    This was rather boring. No offense intended, but if you’re going to post audio, it should be juicier than the common hang-up.
    You saved it though by using the “alien abduction” sound to mask phone numbers and names.

  5. Agreed, Rectilinear.

    And I must disagree with Magicube. While we’d all love a daily dose of Vincent Ferrari-style phone action, providing audio of the initial investigation gives us a fun glimpse into the workings of the story and, much more importantly, puts a public spotlight on the company’s conduct that prevents revisionist history by their PR folks later on.

    Nothing wrong with having these folks on public record — especially as it sends the message that they have to be on their best behavior.

  6. Fancy Pants says:

    Poor Karen, what a crappy job to get stuck with today.

    The people who answer the phones at Target are the fitting room attendants. They don’t have any special training, they just get that job because they’re sitting during their shift.

  7. Brianron says:

    Devil’s Advocate, here.

    Glad you are checking for the verification, but, the noise, the noise…



  8. kerry says:

    While it may be hard to believe, sometimes people just go a little mental if their stress load is at it’s maximum, even if the person they’re going mental to isn’t actually responsible for any of said stress. There may be more to why Fran lost it, but I doubt it had much to do with Lexi, her mother, or even poor Peter. I’ve worked with people in the health care industry who will just start yelling at you for no apparent reason, because you’re just one more thing they don’t want to deal with that day.

  9. Melsky says:

    I have no problem imagining a store manager going balistic on someone for no reason. I have had quite a few retail jobs.

  10. SpecialK says:

    Wow… look at how understanding everyone is of Target. That’s a lot of consumer goodwill.

  11. Paul D says:

    Target doesn’t have “managers”. They’re called “Team Leaders”.

    “LOD” is the “leader-on-duty”.

    And kickouttheiambs, that’s not always the case. I worked for Target for about a year when I was a wee lad. I worked primarily in two stores, but I was occasionally “farmed” out to train new people or do other work in area stores. I’d say I’m familiar with the inner-workings of about ten stores in Virginia and Kentucky.

    It’s pretty evenly split between having the phones regularly answered by dressing-room people or a receptionist/phone person in the back office. (Or sometimes the front office, depending on the layout of the building.) This can also be dependent on the time of day or if it’s a “bank holiday” when a lot of the clerical people don’t work but the store is still open.

    Having said that, I think it’s important to point out that the quality or knowledgeability (is that a word?) of service you get does not improve one way or the other. These people are literally just drones who pick up the phone and can answer simple questions about store hours or employment opportunities. Anything else, and they’ll just forward you to the drone in charge of whatever department contains the item you’re looking for.

    Interestingly, there are people who work in Target stores (especially the big ones) who have never been on the sales floor or in the receiving area. They’re strictly paperwork and HR folks. And yet they still have to wear red & khaki…

  12. Pelagius says:

    Thanks for the follow up. When you call Paula back you should just say “Hey, hey Paula.. I want to marry you.”

  13. d0x says:

    I work at Target so I can say putting a call on hold if your not at the operators desk is a nightmare and often results in a hang up. I can also verify that we cannot talk to any media unless told so before hand and if we do its a fireable offense. We always have to relate them to the media people…of course I cant speak for them because I work at the store level and therefore am not incredibly important.

  14. grow the brand says:

    Apparently, LOD stands for “Leader on Duty.” See here:

  15. ADM says:

    Matt followed the company line on that one.

    ps. Is there a reason you guys tend to post transcripts like this as JPEGs? You don’t want to copy-and-paste the text into your posts? Is it because you don’t want people posting these transcripts on their own sites, or what?

    If you really need to keep using images instead of text, it would help if you used GIFs, I think…the images would be less blurry.

    Also, you don’t want to get sued (like Target) for having an “inaccessible” website.

  16. Ben Popken says:

    Our blog software won’t let us post large amounts of text… go figure.

    The blurriness is because I’m downsizing the images considerably for faster loading.

  17. Maybe you should just post the transcripts as comments . . . they seem pretty endless sometimes. (Not being sarcastic or snitty here . . . check out the naggerly retail comments. They be looooong.)

  18. Maybe you should post the transcripts as comments . . . They seem like they can go on literally forever.

  19. And I clearly am awesome and like to double (now triple!) post.