Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Did Target miss the Bulls-Eye in not hiring people with disabilities?

Since the news was released that Target was leaving Canada there have been many stories on how this will impact their employees. After all 17,600 people who currently work for Target Canada are losing their jobs. More recently there is a story being shared through social media on the impact there leaving will have on those they hired who had disabilities. This story claims that Target did a great job of hiring people with disabilities in Newfoundland which is great. Like most people I feel really bad that they are now losing their jobs. One part of the story that is being left out is the poor job Target did in hiring people with disabilities in other provinces. You see from my perspective they actually did a very poor job. As an individual living with a physical disability I was one of the many people across the province of Ontario who applied for a position. Many months before Target opened their very first store. Like many people I applied online and was lucky enough to secure an interview. My interview was set up and would take place at a local convention centre located about 30 minutes away. I am sure you can understand I was excited to have been chosen for an interview. After all like many people I was excited about Target coming to Canada.

Target Interview: Part One

So after a few months of waiting the day of my interview arrived. On that day I was so excited that I forgot my wallet at home. I was almost half way to my interview when I realized this and then had to race back home to get it. You see it was very important for me to have it with me as having some form of I.D. was required to be provided during my interview. Thankfully I made it just in time and when I arrived I was greeted by a few Target employees who welcomed me with a smile. It was actually a very friendly environment which helped to set my mind at ease. After all who isn't a little nervous before and interview. Eventually I was called in for what I could only guess was a pre-interview to make sure I was a good candidate for the position. This part of the interview went very well, I even explained to the two the ladies who were interviewing me that I had a disability and that didn't seem to be an issue. I let them know that I believed that the position I was applying for in there clothing department would suit me perfectly. They were very friendly and from what I could tell the interview was going very well. Eventually this part of the interview came to an end and then they asked me to take a seat back in the waiting area. At this point I was very confident that things were going very well. 

Target Interview: Part Two

After a few minutes of waiting I was called back in for the second part of my interview. It was a huge relief to know that I had made it. At this point I was greeted by two male employees, one who I believe was the manager of the store I was being interviewed for. Yet again the interview was going very well the other interviewer even said to me that my call centre experience would really help with answering the phones in that department. I felt like everything was going very well until the man I believed to be the store manager opened his mouth after I mentioned I had an disability. He started saying to me that I would have to help out in other departments with carrying out furniture and TV's. I was open and honest with him that due to my disability that simply wouldn't be possible. To be honest at this point I felt as if he had already made up his mind to not hire me. Next thing he tells me is that I would have to start a 4 am if I was hired and he asked if I could handle that and I said it wouldn't be a problem. I felt as if he wasn't open to hiring me simple because I had a disability. Maybe it was my fault for being so open with them after all I have heard from others with disabilities who suggest if we can - hiding the fact that we have a disability. Anyways this part of my interview came to an end and I was asked to have a seat back in the waiting area. 

Target Interview: Opportunity Missed

Well after a few minutes another Target employee came out and thanked my for my time and told me that they would call me once a final decision was made. I left the interview with a feeling that if they were going to hire me that they would have called me in for the third part of the interview - instead of sending me home. The reason I believed that there was a third an final part of the interview process was due to the fact that while I was waiting that some people didn't even make it past the first part of the interview. See I was there long enough to see someone called in for the third part of the interview. This is where new hires sat at a table where they provided the interviewers their I.D.'s and fill out what ever forms they were required to fill out as a new hire. It was obvious to me that the last interviewer had and issue with me having a disability. To this day I wonder if those who worked in the clothing department ever had to do carry outs of large heavy TV's or furniture. I also have to wonder did anyone who worked in the clothing department at Target ever actually start a 4am? Was the interviewer lying to me? To this day I truly believe that I was discriminated against simply because I chose to be open and honest about having a disability. So when I hear that some people claim that Target was good at hiring people with disabilities in my experience I know first hand that this isn't true!

Even though I feel that I was discriminated against I also wanted to see Target succeed in Canada even if they didn't want me. The people I do feel bad for is the 17,600 Canadian employees losing there jobs.

Good-bye Target Canada!

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