In an ad flier in today’s paper, I saw a big headline, “We’ve Got Zhu Zhu Pets!” and thought to myself, “I am not going within 100 feet of that store today. People get a little frantic this time of year, and people are definitely nutty over Zhu Zhu pets.
So nutty, in fact, that one woman lost her job over the furry little robotic hamsters.
A Target employee was fired for buying a Zhu Zhu Pet during her overnight shift a few weeks back. Susan Kronbeck has worked for Target for 13 years, but when she bought this season’s hot toy four hours earlier than rules allow, she was let go.
Target told third shift employees that they would not be allowed to buy Zhu Zhu pets before 8 a.m., to give shoppers a fair chance at snagging their own. Kronbeck says she was never told about the rules, so she bought hers at 4 a.m.
In a statement, Target said:
“At Target, we have policies and procedures in place to ensure our team members follow specific guidelines when purchasing items during their scheduled shifts. These guidelines are in place to provide our guests with the same purchasing opportunities as our team members….The team member purchasing guidelines policy is clearly communicated to all team members in the team member handbook and reminders of this policy are often communicated through such means as:
· Notifications posted in our stores
· Reminder articles in internal team member news vehicles
· Team huddles
Violations of these policies may lead to corrective action up to and including termination. Because this is a personnel issue we are unable to provide additional specifics regarding this incident.”
While Kronbeck clearly broke the rules, it’s not as if she bought a carton of the little rodents to sell on eBay or something, which is likely a big part of the reason why Target has its policy in place to begin with. In a big picture sense, it seems kind of silly, though.
What do you think? Should Target have fired Kronbeck for this small infraction, or should she have just received a warning? And how far would you/have you gone to snap up a Zhu Zhu pet for your kid?