Letter Of Resignation From The Overqualified Cart Organizer At Target

By: Kenneth J. Vanko

Dear Brent:

It is with deep regret and a sense of unfulfilled promise that I submit this notice of resignation from my current position at the Batavia Super Target. While I harbor no false illusion that this employment relationship can be repaired, I am hopeful and reasonably optimistic that you will learn from your managerial shortcomings and utilize the talents of the unlucky soul who succeeds me.

My work at Target began last November with big dreams and visions of grandeur. Although I was somewhat disappointed at the corporate office’s summary refusal to interview me for an open senior management position, I did take its e-mail suggestion to pursue what it termed “local retail management opportunities.” When I explained my credentials to you at our initial interview, you appeared energized by my candidacy and genuinely amenable to my hypothesis that talented minds merited strong advancement consideration throughout the organizational hierarchy. You went to great lengths to explain that the inside work environment tended to stifle creativity due to the stringent dictates on store lay-out from headquarters.

And so began my tenure as Director of Outside Logistics/Second Shift, a title which we agreed was befitting a man of my accomplishments and a job which was, according to you, a “total bitch to get anyone to do.” You encouraged me to take on this intellectual challenge, remarking that my civil engineering degree and doctorate in applied mathematics would be put to good use. With the benefit of hindsight, however, it appears that your pull within the organization was not as advertised and that those much-discussed opportunities for “advancement” turned out to be a good bit of crafty salesmanship on your part.

During the Fall months, I spent endless hours developing a complex algorithm that Target could have employed in all of its retail facilities to ensure more efficient cart utilization for the holiday shopping season. You assured me that you would forward this on to “your contact” at the corporate offices in Minnesota. Instead, I come to find out that you and Kristen from “Electronics” used this proprietary diagram as rolling paper to smoke reefer in the storage room after a school formal.

Things got worse after the new year. I did not appreciate your efforts to jettison my union organizing campaign among the junior associates. The fact that they were not able to form legal contracts due to their age does not give you any right to sequester my union activity from their parents and guardians. Among other inexcusable acts, you scheduled “hookah night” at the same time I had planned on convening the initial meeting of the organizing committee. Please be aware that there are legal remedies for interference with federal union campaigns, and I suggest you obtain counsel to ascertain any liability you may have. Perhaps when you graduate from high school, you will learn that not everyone has access to basic health care coverage and other perquisites of employment. In the meantime, the legal process will sort this out.

Even more troubling was your involvement in undermining my February rollout of the titanium infused flat-bed warehouse cart. You initially supported me in this endeavor, assuring me that the company was “on board” with a strategic plan to redress problems associated with the involuntary lot migration of red plastic carts during windy spring conditions. It was also implied (falsely) that Accounting would reimburse the start-up costs I fronted. To develop a prototype, I worked with Lu Shin, a former MIT colleague, whose doctoral thesis “Nonlinearity in Applications of Corrosion-Resistant Metals Through Climate Dynamics” received widespread acclaim in civil engineering academia during the late ’70s. When it was time to implement the prototype, Skip and A.J. decided to take a mid-shift frolic through the Wendy’s drive-thru, load the cart up with “Biggie” colas, and see whether it would make it across Randall Road during rush hour. I think you know how that experiment turned out. I have not spoken to Lu Shin since.

My career has inexplicably stagnated, and responsibility rests at your juvenile feet. The events of the last ten days simply have resulted in a workplace to which no reasonable human being should be subjected. Myriad instances of neglect and malfeasance continue to occur under your watch. I show up to work on Saturday morning for opening shift to find out that you and your buddies saran-wrapped all the shopping carts and chained them together in the Applebee’s lot. I wish I could begin to describe the chaos that resulted from 8 until noon.

Also, please don’t think I will forget last Thursday’s practical-joke-turned-attempted-assault any time soon. Officer Washington of the Batavia Police Department informs me that the craigslist personal ad in question was posted in “Casual Encounters — M4M” and contained an embedded picture of me on duty along with a list of deplorable and morally bankrupt “turn-ons” that I supposedly was seeking to fulfill, which included aggressive role-playing and submitting to something called “roofies” (?). I hope you are aware that the armed, leather-clad perpetrator was a registered sex offender from Nebraska now facing extradition proceedings. I have a strong suspicion that you and your friend Mark were behind this little ruse, but we’ll have to let a federal court subpoena resolve that. (You’ll note that my labor rights counsel, Marvin Winger, is copied on this registered letter.)

Am I left to conclude that those opportunities for career advancement that you sold me on last November were not as plentiful as I might have first thought? With my departure, who is going to help you with all those vexing geometry assignments? And what is the future of outside logistics at the Batavia Super Target? The answers to these questions may not be easy, but they are indeed self-evident. It is disappointing that our relationship thus comes to an unsatisfactory denouement.

Very Truly Yours,

J. Caldwell Robinson, Ph. D (MIT, 1981)

cc: Marvin C. Winger, III., Esq.