Aug 30, 2012

A Bitter Target Experience

Don’t get me wrong, I love Target. I much prefer it over Walmart a million times over so my experience with the cashier at the Folsom Target on Sunday will not prevent me from shopping there in the future, though I may avoid her if I ever see her again.

The experience definitely rubbed me the wrong way. Lynde was with London and I and she was just as surprised by the conversation that went down with the cashier and agreed it was totally inappropriate. Of course, to tell you the story, you may get a little too much information here, so consider this your warning.

I didn’t have much to purchase – the sheets and mattress pads for London’s bed, a lamp I found for her room, fresh mozzarella for my latest cravings and some cleaning supplies. Oh, and disposable breast pads. Sorry, I’m 7 months pregnant, and well, I’m leaking a little.

Lynde checked out first and the cashier hardly said a word to her. Then I get up there and she starts passing my items over the scanner. The she makes a comment along the lines of “oh, good you’re pregnant. I saw your daughter and was going to say she is way too old to still be breastfeeding.” Obviously, she had scanned and noticed the breast pads.

Ok. No harm, as I am definitely not one of those mothers that breast feeds for as long as the child wants to. Had I been, I’m sure I would have been quite offended. And you never know who is in ear shot of a loud-mouth cashier.

I kind of laughed it off and reacted by saying “oh gosh, no, I’m just leaking a little. I actually don’t breast feed.”

And that’s when she went off on me, saying how easy breastfeeding is and why wouldn’t I breast feed.

I tried to squelch the conversation by saying it wasn’t easy for everyone. This woman could not get her head wrapped around this idea, it had been for her, so it had to be the same for everyone else. She would not shut up, so I tried again, saying I had tried and couldn’t produce enough. Nope, no luck.

So I just shut up and paid as quickly as I could. All while this woman went on and on about how easy it is. Not once did she mention all the health benefits I constantly read about breast feeding. I think at one point Lynde or I tried to stop it by saying it’s a woman’s PERSONAL choice. But we literally walked away with her still talking to our backs about it.

And, when I got home, my fresh mozzarella was not in one of my bags. Checking my receipt, I could see I had paid for it. I called Lynde. Nope, it wasn’t in one of hers. The cashier had been so busy telling me how easy breast feeding is, she forgot to give us the bag! Not a nice thing to do to a pregnant woman with cravings!

I know several women beyond myself who would beg to differ with this cashier that breast feeding is easy. We all struggled with it for different reasons. Some powered through and were eventually successful. I was not one of them.

And after we put London on formula, I admit it, it was a relief. My mom and Cameron could help with feedings and I could relax – breast feeding had been a very anxious and frustrating time for me. There were tears in the hospital, in front of a doctor, that I think they were about to diagnose me with post-partum depression. As soon as London was happy, and sleeping with a full belly, and I also got some rest, those tears disappeared.

Cameron and I actually have no plans to breast feed Sydney. I haven’t even decided if I will even try, or at least pump for a month like I did with London, but the expectation is she will be primarily formula-fed, just like I was, like Cameron was and several friends of mine were. I am well aware of the health benefits of breast milk over formula. But in the first few days of having a new born, being able to get the sleep I need to recover from my c-section and not be overly frustrated and tired so I can bond with my child versus resenting her overrule such benefits FOR ME. And I don’t feel like I am a horrible or failing mother for it.

Had I even had a chance to say any of this to the cashier, maybe she would have learned a lesson. But at the same time it wasn’t any of her business. She should have kept her big mouth shut. Treat disposable breads pads the same as regular pads and tampons please. Pass them across the scanner and keep your thoughts and big mouth to yourself.

I did shoot off a rather nasty email to Target on Monday (once I figured out how – they don’t have an easy way to lodge complaints). In it I mentioned my loss of $6.99 for the mozzarella, but mainly I emphasized the need to train their cashiers to handle delegate and personal conversations – in that don’t bring them up! Pretend the item didn’t just pass under your hands.

I did get a response back from Target today. Of course, the first line says" it seems you left behind an item you paid for.." No I didn't leave it behind - the dahm cashier forgot to hand us all my items. Don't push the blame on me. Only at the end does it mention that a pleasant check-out encounter is important to Target and that my thoughts and comments have been forwarded to another team for review. 
Maybe I will at least call to try and get my money back for the mozzarella. 

~ Sarah

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