I gotta pee
April 1, 2009 12:56 PM   Subscribe

Despertaly needing some extra income, I've applied to Target for a position unloading trucks at night. I have two concerns. Drugs and money.

I do not do any illicit or illegal drug, and haven't for over six months (pot). I do, however, take a rather low dose of Lithium (300mg daily) as well as Prozac (60 mg), Serequal
Serequal (50mg) and 1-2 mg of Klonopin a day.
Additionally I take massive vitimas and minerals. I inject (MD prescribed) 2 mg of liquid (obviously) B12 every 3 days. Orally I take 10,000 MG of B12, 35 of Niacin,45 MG of B6, a liquid concoction of 130 nutrients and vitamins. 10 ml of cod liver oil, 15 mg of Flaxseed oil, and a quart of sugar free fruit juice.
This is excessive, but temporary. My concern is...the urine/drug test, not only will I pass it, but will I come off as a freakin psyco dude.
And if I can slip this in, I'm used to making a salary. I am supposed to ask them for an hourly wage, which they will meet, offer a comprmise, or just laugh and tell me to hit the highway? What's that kinda job pay in the North East (US)? $15?
This is not as desperate as it might come across, but things will be pretty grim if I don't get a second job.
Sorry for the length and the rambling on about me and my rather minor problems. Thanks for any imput.
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (15 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I don't know about the drug testing (I would think you'd be fine, as all they're looking for is illegal drugs, and if you have a prescription it shouldn't be a problem, but that's just my opinion).

As for the job with Target, I doubt you'll have much latitude to negotiate a wage, at least at first. I think they'll probably tell you what they'll pay you when they formally offer you the job. At that point you can accept it or walk away. There's probably no harm in trying to negotiate a higher hourly wage, but I doubt you'd be successful in this job market.
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 1:03 PM on April 1, 2009

I have no idea about the drug testing issue (or really what your question even is in that regard).

But with respect to whether you are paid a salary or by the hour is determined based on applicable wage and hour law. An employer in the U.S. cannot, lawfully, just decide not to pay someone hourly if the law requires, based on that person's job, that they be paid hourly and subject to wage and hour provisions. I would be quite surprised if the hourly pay for a part-time employee at Target is a negotiable rate. It is more likely set by corporate policy, and you'll either accept the wage offered or decline the position.
posted by The World Famous at 1:05 PM on April 1, 2009

Unloading trucks at Target is pretty much a min. wage labor job. I'd expect no more than $7 or $8/hr.
posted by M.C. Lo-Carb! at 1:06 PM on April 1, 2009

The entry wage for Target probably varies a bit but is above $7, under $8. Specialists get a dollar, team leads get another dollar, management is salaried. You will get shift pay for working overnight, which I'm almost certain varies by state. If I recall correctly in Ohio it was time and a half, same as overtime.

The biggest thing that held people back from getting jobs at Target was always scheduling. They sifted through applications looking for people for had full availability. If you can't work weekends, it is unlikely they would hire you.
posted by Juliet Banana at 1:09 PM on April 1, 2009

1) They're looking for illegal drugs, and though other things may occasionally produce a false positive, these kind of pharmacological screenings are not designed to reveal everything that's in your system. Indeed, they're calibrated to detect a fairly narrow spectrum of chemicals. If you're concerned about a false positive, get a note from your doctor listing your prescriptions to bring with you for the test. You should probably do that anyways, as the technicians will want to be aware of anything you're on that might interfere with their results. Then stop taking anything you haven't been prescribed, and don't burn one down between then and now. You'll be fine.

2) This, like the vast majority of physical labor jobs, is a wage job. You can expect to make in the neighborhood of $10 to start. Salary is right out. And you're not really in a position to negotiate. This basically the bottom of the employment food chain, with the possible exception of food service. You'll take what they offer or you'll go somewhere else.
posted by valkyryn at 1:09 PM on April 1, 2009

I should have mentioned, I don't think any specialists work overnight. If you get the job, apply for any team lead job that comes up. There'll be a board in the employee only area listing employment opportunities. Apply for any O/N team lead position that comes up, and keep applying, and eventually you'll get up to the $15 you might be used to.
posted by Juliet Banana at 1:14 PM on April 1, 2009

You misunderstand how drug tests work. They don't show every possible chemical in your system. The way they work (there are several methods of testing, but just in general) is they take your sample and specifically test it for each illegal drug. Typically, they'll only test for really obvious illegal drugs like marijuana, cocaine, opiates and amphetamines. Military and government tests look for more drugs and are more accurate, typical employment tests use the cheapest and least accurate method. They're not looking for crazymeds, and the test doesn't enable them to find them.
posted by DecemberBoy at 1:17 PM on April 1, 2009

Target pays extra if you work over night, and their base pay depends on the location, most likely. But everyone will probably start with the same salary (except you'll get a dollar more for overnight).
posted by delmoi at 1:18 PM on April 1, 2009

You don't say where in the northeast you are. Somewhere with a higher standard of living (Boston, etc.), they'll start you slightly higher. But, M.C. Lo-Carb is right, you'll be starting around $8/hour. Maybe an extra .50 for the overnight shift. I used to do this for Grand Union/Shaw's, and I got paid quite a bit less than that, but that was several years ago.
posted by General Malaise at 1:28 PM on April 1, 2009

I worked at Target on the freight team from 2004-2005, and what you need to understand more than anything else about Target is that the company is the software.

I didn't have to take a drug test, but it sounds like you do. I can't believe they will be very stringent, because many of the guys I worked with were obvious pot smokers. If everything you ingest is legal, I don't think there's going to be a problem.

I made $7.00 an hour in Missoula, MT, and a dollar of that was because I was willing to work the early shift (which started at 4 AM). If you're pushing freight, you will be working overnights or very early mornings, depending on the store. There will be no negotiation regarding your salary; you will take what they pay entry-level flow team workers, or you will work elsewhere.

Some more things to expect:

The company is the software. Your hours will be determined by the HR manager for the store, who has a given number of hours they are allowed to allocate among various employees. Hours for flow team members are tied directly into the truck schedule and freight volume, which is to say, sales. When sales are up, you will have more hours, and when they are down, your hours will be down, too. Managers have no control over this, as scheduling is determined by software, so no matter how much they like you, you ain't getting more hours just because you ask.

The company is the software. At Target (especially as a flow team member) you will exist to carry out batches of work that are programmatically derived. Your effectiveness and precision in doing so is meticulously tracked and (as of early 2005) made public on a board in the back room. If you are unloading a truck, that truck has a target unloading time (again, precalculated by the software that is Target) and you and your fellow unloaders will be expected to meet or beat this time.

(Anecdotal digression: One morning the flow team lead, an insufferable bodybuilding jock named J____, tells the truck guys -- who were buddies of mine -- "Okay guys, big truck today, 2000 pieces, I really wanna blitz this one out, 'kay?" J____ was obnoxiously palsy about everything. Anyway, my buddies absolutely kill the truck time, like cut it in half, J____ is just beet fucking red in the face from trying to keep up with the avalanche of freight that's flowing out of the dock, but he can't say anything because he told them to blitz it! After that the secret employee code word for J____ became "the Crimson.")

The company is the software. As part of their revenue optimization, I strongly suspect that the Target HR scheduling software tries to schedule their "full-time" employees just barely below full-time, thus minimizing the number of people to whom they have to offer medical benefits.

The company is the software. Carrying around those little laser barcode scanner/database terminal things is pretty fucking sweet.

That's all I got for you. Good luck.
posted by pts at 1:34 PM on April 1, 2009 [17 favorites]

I used to do this job for Mervyn's (owned by Target) in 2002. As others have said, it is a minimum wage, hourly position. Any false positive on the drug test can be corrected with your physician's note, and it only tests for a limited range of illegal substances.
posted by booknerd at 1:45 PM on April 1, 2009

Applies to the SE:

It's not a minimum wage position, but starting wage is dictated by corporate policy, and it is unlikely you will get them to budge (I have yet to hear a success story). Starting wages here have been driven down over the last few years so good luck negotiating upwards. Either way it pays better than day shift (since you get a $1 offset for overnight shift) and you don't have to deal with customers.

You will be worked like a service animal.

You absolutely will not be salaried, even if you are the second coming of Christ. Only ETLs (executive/management) are salaried.

Super Targets tend to pay lower hourly wages than regular Target stores, but sometimes you can catch a break.
posted by Ziggy Zaga at 1:56 PM on April 1, 2009

Klonopin is a benzo, and as such will show up on most urine drug screens. The test will mot say which benzo you're taking. The rest of your meds and vitamins will not show up.
posted by LittleMissCranky at 5:32 PM on April 1, 2009

In 2000, I started at $6.50 as a cashier at a Target on the east coast. I don't think the nightshift guys made much more, if any. After 90 days I got a raise to $6.75, and I think a year later I might've got a raise to $6.80? I haven't really thought about that in years, so I might be off by a few bucks, but I wouldn't expect more than $7.00
posted by Alterscape at 6:01 PM on April 1, 2009

My little sister works for target. She started at $7.50 in Phoenix, AZ and after over a year there makes $7.85. She said the night people make marginally more, but adults with retail experience should try for lead positions. Good luck! You might want to try chain liquor stores in your area. Since they hire 21+, generally the pay starts higher.
posted by lizjohn at 6:42 PM on April 1, 2009

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