Monday, May 3, 2010

How I didn't want to be a Barbie Girl, but Target forced me to.

- Hi Barbie!
- Hi Ken!
- You want to go for a ride?
- Sure, Ken! - Hop In!
- Ha ha ha ha ha!

During my first year of college I worked in the back stock room of an unheralded Target.

One might say I was known as the "Target Super-Stud" of the back stock room area. It's a title I held dearly as there were only two of us men that worked back there, and the other one may have had an eleventh finger growing out of his shoulder.

For those that may not be aware, Target is your home for Furniture (crappy), Patio Furniture (still crappy, but not as crappy), Gardening Tools (those little hand rake things), Swimwear (non-exotic), Electronics (hand-held, ahem "back massagers"), Toys (including hand-held, ahem "back massagers"), Men's and Women's Clothing (finely crafted), Video Games (expensive) and Bedding (both human and canine).

Alas, this story is not about the marvelous goods and services offered by Target; they are indeed bountiful. No, this is a story about a lowly stock boy and his being treated inhumanely by the corporate Target king fish.

I'm a Barbie Girl in a Barbie world
Life is plastic, it's fantastic

You can brush my hair, undress me everywhere

Imagination, Life is your creation

Every day. Every day. Every fall-ooping day (pardon the language) at 10:30, I would take my break in the designated Target break room.

Contrary to popular belief, the Target employee break room is not a pastel gorged romper-room filled with 25 cent mechanical ponies and curtained photo booths to make out in. You would think there would be at least some giant darts to toss around at all the red circles, but there's not.

No, the Target employee break room is basically a room with some tables and a hanging television that plays a single station: the Target music station.

Come on Barbie, Let's go party

I'd rather not.

Target music television essentially looped the same videos over and over. My break began promptly at 10:30. Barbie Girl started at 10:35 and lasted until approximately 10:38. Every day.

I worked at Target for six months and this music loop did not change during that entire time.

T'was, my own... living... hell.

You can touch, you can play
You can say I'm always yours, Oooh Whoa

The Target break room television sat approximately 14 feet off the ground. A hard shoe toss at the screen proved futile after the third try. I tried dragging a table to the site of the television, but was still unable to reach the volume because there was no volume; nor was there an on and off switch. There was nothing - just Aqua and Barbie and me.

Make me walk, make me talk, do whatever you please
I can act like a star, I can beg on my knees
Come jump in, be my friend, let us do it again

Hit the town, fool around, let's go party

It's like the lyrics have been scalded onto my brain with one of those fiery hot poker things that they use on cow behinds. (I forget the technical name.)

Every time I step into a Target - that tune, those lyrics, that living purgatory - immediately enters my mind. I only wish I could discard it, head-vomit it out of my ears, let it ooze out of my nose; yet it lingers, reminding me of those many hours we spent together so long ago.

And that, my dear friends, is how I became a Barbie Girl - made of plastic, it was fantastic.

I shall never escape her wrath.


Kristina P. said...

Thank you for this. I will never get it out of my head today.

I work in a counseling center, and we have a radio in the waiting room. I HATE Lady Antebellum, with a passion right now. And they didn't even do anything to me.

VKT said...

Oh my goodness....six months of that!!!! I wonder if Target subliminally wanted you to take a shorter "break"? You poor thing. I am surprised you lasted as long as you did.

Beth said...

I've never heard that little ditty but I think I will be steering clear of any and all Target break rooms!

Serene is my name, not my life! said...

Just wait until you have a daughter... or two. There is a reason we don't listen to the radio much and avoid the toy isles in the store altogther.

Now, if only you had your own dance video to go with your theme song.... Maybe that could be you think when you get 400 followers... lip-syncing to that song!

sammy said...

i never the knew the name of that group and wish i never had. im really ashamed to know i know the song quite well.

i heard it while in college and its the type of song that never leaves no matter how many times you say it sucks or pour gasoline directly into your ears.

i believe its 'branded' into everyone's brain. (was that the word you were looking for?)

MiMi said...

Huh. My hubs was the Walmart Super Stud.
Also, when I worked in a dept. store it was the Muzak version of Foreigner. But you know what? That was too cool!
They changed it to something LESS peppy. It was hell.

Alicia said...

UGH! now that song's going to be stuck in my head...and what can you expect from target, they're french.

Lisa said...

Who could forget that song? Sounds like you never will. LOL

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Barbie and her band are waiting for you in hell, I'm sure!

Hope Chella said...

Hilarious :-)

Melinda said...

Hahaha Darts for all the targets around...awesome. I loved that song when it first came out, but I was like 12 so I can't be held accountable.

The Empress said...

Oh, in the name of everything that is holy, I could have NEVER survived that for 6 days, much less 6 months.

You are made of much sterner stuff than me....

That was a nightmare!!

SueLovesCherries said...

Hmmm, which is better - a Barbie Girl or a Material Girl? Glad you morphed into a Cheese Boy!

I'm assisting you with your mission - I put a cry for help on my sidebar to see you get your 200 followers!

Brandi said...

What a nightmare and, thank you... the next time I go to Target, I'm sure this song is going to pop into my head. :D

Mamma has spoken said...

BUT do you really know what that song is about? Look it up on Urban dictionary......

Nubian said...

It was a plot by Target to have their employees not go on break. I now have that song in my head, which is a welcome change from having the Constitution and US History on continuous play. ;D

GrammyMouseTails said...

NOW that you have implanted that darn-nabbit song firmly in everyones head today... sigh... It shall forever be the Blog O' Cheese theme song! curses!

Beth said...

I received the Sunshine Award today along with an admonition to pass it on to 12 others. Your blog is one of many that brings sunshine to my life so I am choosing you to pass it on to. Please come here to pick it up. Thanks!

Janelle said...

I didn't know all of the words to that song...thank you for being forced into becoming a Barbie Girl!
So do you continue to shop at Target despite the torture?

I did a short time at Mervyns during the beginning months of my pregnancy (during the heavy morning sickeness time)...For a few years afterward I couldn't pass Mervyns without that nauseous feeling coming back...

VaLon said...

Did you know Michelle's fiance works at Target now?

Oh, and I own that CD, and decided not to sell it...

Traci said...

I really have mixed feelings about that song. On the one hand, yes, it's annoying. On the other hand, I once heard it on the radio in a taxi in Jerusalem, only sung in Arabic. Still REALLY annoying, but a happy memory.

Connie said...

I never knew a Super Stud would have the words to Barbie Girl on his mind! It goes to show what 6 months of the same thing can do to you!
Poor thing!

Anonymous said...

Ha! Serene is right... Reminds me of my dad's woeful feelings toward Mariah Carey and the tune "Someday" during my senior year of high school. Over and over and over again is how often a teenage girl can play a song she loves. And my poor dad. Three girls to torture him our whole teenage lives.

P.S. Your use of the word "linger" at the end there reminds me of how a friend prone to using puns always used that line from the Cranberries... "Do you have to let it linger...?" in potty humor reference to certain smells. "Do ya have to? Do ya have to? Do ya have to let it linger..?"


Anonymous said...

P.S. High maintenance, I am not. Thanks for noticing. I know. The 'en' never seems right to me, either. Luckily for us, it's not a first grade word.

Joann Mannix said...

Branded. You were branded by a Barbie girl.

And Trail Mix. Target has the BEST trail mix. All the dried nuts and fruits.

And now, I cannot get that song out of my head. It's like a bad computer virus in my brain. Thanks.

Green-Eyed Momster said...

I always wanted to work at Target until I read this post.


I'm so glad you don't have to work there anymore. Maybe you could sue them?

Ally said...

Oh dude. I hate that song. Sadly, I kinda dig Target though and I'm sure you were stud regardless of the ratio of men that worked there.

Have to tell you that I loved your current poll. I am currently writing two articles on Tay Lautner and just don't see the attraction. Like I'm not into Twilight anyway, but at least RPatts has the accent and cool 'do goin' on ...

Emmy said...

Lol! Yes that song gets stuck so so easily. What a horrible thing to always have play in your head any time you see a Target... poor poor man

Pat Tillett said...

Just when I thought that music was gone from my head forever....
thanks a lot. Not!

Noelle said...

You poor poor thing... :) i'm glad I have never heard that and couldn't hear a tune in my head...because if I had you would have been toast!

Oh...and your peter pan post? Where were you when I was in the first grade? I'm guessing you are one cool teacher!

Tammy said...

I love Target and I love that song!

RawknRobynsGoneBlogWild said...

Surely there must be a medicinal or surgical remedy by now, or perhaps a 12-step program..? It all seems worth a try, Cheeseboy.

järnebrand said...

Wow. This was hilarious. I feel so sorry for you though. You've suffered through some pretty advanced torture there, I tell ya!
Glad you made it out of there... :)

Oooh Whoa... ;)

ScoMan said...

Thanks. Now you've got it stuck in my head too.

And I think the only way to get it out of my head, is to bring down Target.

I'm known as the office stud for a similar reason.. it's just me and an overweight guy in his 60's.

Hooray for default!

järnebrand said...

Oh, and... "tag"! You're it! Come by my place if you want to play... /Jo.

Powdered Toast Man said...

I actually liked that song a little when if first came out, you can murder me in my sleep if you need to.

I work overnight at Kohl's and they play the same loop of music too. It sucks!!! Especially around Christmas.... the horror!!

Teachinfourth said...

That IS fantastic…

Bossy Betty said...

You have ruined my vision of the Target break room forever and I am not sure I can forgive you for this.

Vanessa said...

Cattle prod. Is that how you spell it?

So does that mean my daughters dresser that I got at Target is going to fall apart at any moment? Crap.

See Mom Smile said...

You know of my love for Target. And that is just mean of them. I guess it could have been worse. It could have been John Tesh music.

Lindzena said...

I dislike that song. I need to quickly go find something else to occupy my thoughts before it gets stuck there!

Ces't La Vie said...

ohhh that song, that song....

i would have become a psychopath

like seriously...


Damn it sir! This brings up scary memories from working customer service at Toys'R'Us during the Christmas season....

And now the Barbie Girl song is stuck in my head....

Alex @LateEnough said...

My college essay was on Barbie so when I got accepted and the song came out a year later, I thought it was my theme song. It turns out that it was yours. And I'm sorry and relieved all at the same time.

Jessica said...

If you could see my look of horror right now.

Copyboy said...

Jeeze, I wonder if Kmart subjects their employees to the same (hell) work conditions.

Jason, as himself said...

Such fond memories!

I used to work for Fred Meyer. I was the King of Fred Meyer. Before it picked itself up and got itself out of Utah.

Lisa Loo said...

Wow--I'm still hung up on the fact that I didn't catch on to your "You would think there would be at least some giant darts to toss around at all the red circles, but there's not."--reference to Targets trademark until I read your comments. {hangs head in deep shame}
And maybe THEY were watching you and testing you like they did Will Smith in "Men in Black" Do you think you passed?

Tracie said...

That's worse than waterboarding.

PS Thank you very little for getting that song lodged in my pea brain for the rest of the night.

tammy said...

And now every time I shop at Target (which may be weekly), I will think of you and this.

Anonymous said...

Hi Cheese, I tagged you on my latest post :o)

warmchocmilk said...

I love Target, but seriously the barbie song would have driven me out :)

Dave said...

One of my roommates in college had a big playlist of music on his computer. Every day when he got home he would start it at the beginning. Aqua was the lead song since it was sorted alphabetically. Man, I really hated him.

Queenie Jeannie said...

Gosh I hated that song too! You poor thing!!!

Diane J. said...

Oh my gosh, I used to work at Target. We had an interesting man that used to work in the stock room. One day he greeted me with, "Guess what?" "What?" "I changed my underwear today." OH! That's a good thing.

Oh, this post is so funny. I threaten my son that if he ever gives me grief I will pull up in front of the high school with Barbie blaring and yell out "Hey, sweetie-pie, mommy's here." He usually gets horrified and behaves right quick :)

Cheeseboy said...

@ Kristina - Ew, Lady Antebellum must be the coolest named band that sucks the most.

@ VKT - I thought about teaching my first graders this song, but decided against it because of the message it sends. And because it sucks.

@ Beth - I'm sure you've heard it. As soon as it hits your ears, you'd know it.

@ Serene - It would take much more than 400. Maybe 1000! And I don't think we are having any more kids, so I am safe.

@ Sammy - BRANDED! Thank you. And why is it that song is one that everyone remembers from the college days.

@ Mimi - Walmart superstuds might be cooler than Target superstuds. And I would have killed for a little Foreigner.

@ Alecia - Target is French? That explains so much.

@ Lisa - It's one that can not be forgotten.

@ Alex - Hope I'm not going to hell, but if I do, I'm sure they'll be there.

@ Hope - thank you.

@ Melinda - At least you have changed your "tune".

@ Empress - I feel that I am a better man for it.

@ Sue - THANK YOU! I appreciate the support.

@ Brandi - Target and Barbie Girl will forever go together in my brain.

@ Mama - I'm sure I don't want to know. Plus, I can't stand that racist website.

@ Nubian - I think that that song might actually be about the constitution. I'll have to check the lyrics again.

@ Grammy - this was a subliminal way for everyone to forever remember the Blog O' Cheese.

@ Beth - Thank you. I will be blogging about it today.

@ Janelle - Fortunately, my wife does most of the shopping as when I go, I buy a bunch of crap. This has saved me big time.

@ VaLon - No, I had no idea about Michelle. I actually liked working there for the most part. I doubt you could sell that CD to anyone now.

@ Traci - It was sung in Arabic? I can only imagine that it would be less annoying. Amazing how some songs just take you to an exact place and time in your life.

Cheeseboy said...

@ Connie - Thank you. I need all the sympathy I can get. I am a sympathy hound.

@ Fabuleslie - Linger - LOL! Your dad had it much worse off than I did.

@ Joann - Trail mix eh? I'll have to give it a shot.

@ Greeneyed - Target was actually okay to work at - besides the crappy pay.

@ Ally - Target is fine. Just stay away from the break room. I'd love to see your article on Taylor - especially if you are blasting him.

@ Emmy - Yes, it was truly awful. I look at the terror and agony around me and think, you don't even know.

@ Pat - Yes, every time I think it is gone too, I go back into a Target.

@ Noelle - Count yourself as one of the lucky ones that has never heard that song. And I like to think I am a cool first grade teacher, but that is just my self perception.

@ Tammy - Okay, remember how you said that you were surprised that some people see the world differently than you? Well, look at these comments and you will see that EVERYONE sees the world different than you in some things.

@ Rawkn - 12 step program. Perfect. I wonder if they have one at the YMCA? I'll have to look.

@ Jarnebrand - I agree. I am one of the lucky ones. I'm sure there are a couple people still there suffering. I promised myself I would never go back to the island.

@ ScoMan - At least you have the advantage on the overweight guy in his 60's.

@ Powdered Toast - Do they play that awful "Simply Having a Wonderful Christmas Time" song? I hate that song.

@ Teachinfourth - thanks. Fantastic indeed.

@ Bossy - I am sorry to put those horrible images in your head.

@ Venessa - No, no. Dressers are actually in the higher realm of the Target furniture. I think we own a target dresser actually.

@ See Mom - Oh yes, how could I forget about your Target experiences? John Tesh would have been a welcome site after two months.

@ Lindzena - I hope you found something and I apologize.

@ C'est - Please don't hurt me.

@ Obama - Toys R' Us played it too? Well, I guess they would have had to.

@ Alex - a college essay on Barbie? Hope you did well on it.

@ Jessica - I can only imagine.

@ Copyboy - Not sure about KMart. I imagine it is something even worse.

@ Jason - Ha ha! Fred Meyer. That is a store I haven't heard of in ages.

@ Lisa - Well, they did invite me when I was about to quit to go to Cali and do some "Target Corporate TRaining" gig thing that I flatly refused. Retail was for sure not my thing.

@ Tracie - you are welcome. Sorry I couldn't come through with the waterboarding as well.

@ Tammy2 - That was my hope.

@ Niki - Thanks! I may get to it today.

@ Warm chocolate milk - Everyone loves Target it seems. Everyone but me.

@ Dave - LOL! Was your roommate named Satan?

@ Queenie - More sympathy. Thanks, I am soaking it in.

@ Diane - I am going to do that to my son when he is 16 even if he hasn't done anything wrong. Maybe I will even wear my pink sweater vest!

Tammy said...

You are right on your comment back to me Abe. How strange!

The Crazy Baby Mama said...

(come on barbie, lets go party...") crap.

slammed back headfirst into 9th grade. (commence PTSD tick)

thank you.