Day Sixteen

-A distressed-looking man came through my lane. After everything I said, such as “I hope you found everything easily today”, “this will be your total”, “your receipt will be in your bag”, he would whisper “I hope.” There was emptiness behind his eyes. Who hurt you, sir. I hope free coupons will help.

-A college boy spilled a bottle of Axe on my conveyor belt. For the next hour I smelled nothing except toxic masculinity and overcompensation. 

-I met a baby who lived for the spotlight.  As soon as anyone looked at her, she would pose and smile. I have an undying respect for this infant diva. She is destined for big things.

-A girl was on her phone for the entirety of her transaction. This is nothing new. She was on the phone with someone standing ten feet away. This is questionable.

-I have discovered that I can calm even the loudest of crying babies simply by rolling my eyes into my head and sticking out my tongue. My superpower is changing an infant’s mood from distraught to delighted in a matter of seconds. I always knew that having such a funny-looking face would pay off in the end.

-A mother asked her young pre-teen daughter to get two ice waters from Starbucks. The daughter put one hand on her hip and the other in front of her, palm-up, expectantly. The mother told her that water was free. The daughter retorted, “Just give me some money already.” This worked. I question her manners but I respect her go-getter attitude.


“The lights are on, surely they will make an exception to me and reopen their registers to let me purchase a $2 pen”

We got to talk to the brain behind Target ReTales

His name is Tom and he’s a delight! Read our chat below and check out his store here

Hi Tom! Tell us a little about yourself!
I’m a twenty year old guy who spent all his life in California, now lives in Virginia, and wastes too much time on the internet.

Where did you get the idea for Target Retales? What made you decide to post it online?
Well I got hired at Target, which was exciting since I really needed a job and was really crossing my fingers on this one, and my first day just had so many weird and unexpected people and things and events? I wanted to share it with a few people in the hopes of making someone else laugh, so I posted some highlights to Tumblr, then it just blew up. People kept asking for more and I figured that as long as interesting things kept happening, I’d keep sharing them, and luckily they still haven’t stopped happening. Eventually this whole thing got big enough that I branched out and started social media just for my entire Target experience.

How did you find out you went viral? What was your reaction? Has anything changed at all?
It was sort of a weird thing. First I got a message that it had gotten huge on Imgur, which frankly was a site I had barely heard of at that point. Then a few days later I was sent a link to a Refinery29 article on it! Then I started getting requests for interviews, more articles were written, I got a job offer, all sorts of ridiculous things I never would have expected and still can’t fully comprehend. It was incredibly exciting but also pretty overwhelming. Nothing has really changed yet, but there’s something in the works that definitely has the potential to shake things up a little.

What’s your favorite Target story?
My favorite kind of stories that happen a lot are the ones with kids and stickers, but my favorite specific one so far would probably be the Mountain Dew man. From the two carts overflowing with Mountain Dew, to his outfit, to his announcement about getting drunk on it, to the way he practically bell-kicked and skipped away, everything was just completely surreal and I feel like a changed man.

I see that you’re really active (and funny!) on a lot of different social channels, how did that start?
I started on Tumblr in 2012 just because a few friends had it and it just became an easy way for me to find funny things or share my own not-funny jokes. I then started using other sites over the years, but essentially I just use social media to waste my time and try to convince myself and others that I’m funny. I’m still working on the last part.

I really love what you’re doing on Youtube! How did you start your channel? What made you decide to start vlogging? Any advice for aspiring vloggers out there?
I appreciate that! This is actually the… third channel I’ve had? Both of the other two flopped after my first video, as I basically had no idea what I was doing in any way and wound up discouraging myself. This channel actually has a very unique origin story… My first video (which is now unlisted) was just a dramatic reading of a story by Chuck Tingle. The title was Space Raptor Butt Invasion. I’m still not sure how I feel about that being my first big splash on my channel, but I’ve really picked up since then. Really I’ve just always been into performing and I love to make people smile and laugh, and YouTube is really just perfect for me in that sense because I’m totally in control of what I make and how I make it! I’d still say I’m very much aspiring myself, but really just start putting things out there! The only way to make content you like is to make content. Then you can look at what you’ve made, decide what you like and what you didn’t, and keep working towards making what you like!

What’s your favorite TeePublic design that’s not your own? What product are you most looking forward to seeing your designs on? What’s the next Target ReTale that you’re planning on having a design for?
I got the Love Wins design as a phone case, and I just ordered a Jellyspace shirt, but I honestly love way too many designs on this site to choose just one. I’ve got a shirt with my design on the way, but if I saw my design on a mug or phone case, I’d just lose my mind. I’m currently working with my artist on a Cat Lady design, straight out of “Met a woman referred to only as The Cat Lady. She asked if I wanted her to buy me a keychain from Ross. I told her I had no keys. She nodded solemnly and walked away, whispering their exact location inside Ross, “just in case” and I can’t wait to see how it turns out!

Any other projects in the works?
I’ve actually got something incredibly exciting that might be coming up! I don’t want to say too much about it yet until I’m certain it’s going to come through, but in my opinion, this is bigger than everything so far combined.

Where can your fans follow you (online)?
Glad I saw that you said online before I went ahead and sent you my address and schedule.

Tumblr: or

Twitter: @tomgrennell or @targetretales

Instagram: tomgrennell

Facebook: Target Retales

Snapchat: tomgrengren
Basically I’m everywhere, regardless of if people want me there or not

Okay, quickfire:

Favorite color


Favorite movie

Changes all the time, but right now, Deadpool!

Favorite tv show

Bob’s Burgers!

Favorite song

Also changes all the time, but I can’t stop listening to Dodie Clark’s cover of Into You!

Favorite book

Probably Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix or Maze Runner!

Favorite food


Favorite holiday

My birthday! Or Halloween!

Cats or dogs?


Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings?

Harry Potter all the way!

Target or Walmart? (just kidding)

I need to keep my job at least a while longer for the sake of my blog, so Target!

Summer or Winter?


Rain or snow?


New York or LA?

Spent all my life near LA but desperately want to visit New York, so I’ll go with that!

Cake or pie?

Pie but I’ll eat either if it’s put in front of me!


New ReTales about the return policy at my old job


‘ReTales: Closing’, A Funny Animated Cartoon About People Who Walk Into Retail Stores Right at Closing Time

I don’t think people understand how much shoplifting affects us, the actual employees of the actual store they shoplifted from.
You see, it’s this HUGE chain reaction. When you steal, our sales for the hour go down. We get yelled at for “not paying attention” to you. If our sales go down enough, some people get their shifts cut. With less employees helping customers, customers leave out of frustration because it’s totally our fault that we are understaffed and don’t have the capacity to physically be in 94 places at once. When that keeps up, we lose money for the whole day. When we lose money, the company loses hours to give to us, the employees that AREN’T managers, who definitely still get their 30 hours a week. We, the employees who are supposed to be out on the floor helping you, the customer, in turn get less hours, I make less money, of which I didn’t make much in the first place, and I have to start deciding if I’d rather have electricity/water/car insurance so I can make it to work to continue to pay for those things, or if I’d like to eat for the week. At one point, the shoplifting that occurred within the time where we were also hiring so many new people was so fucking bad, I went from getting 25+ hours a week, to 11. I get paid every other week. $xxx every two weeks is not enough. “So just get a second job” IT IS NOT THAT FUCKING EASY. It was hard enough for me to fucking get this one. It is hard enough to keep working with this company and continuously proving that I’m good enough to keep.
Don’t you dare say that you shoplifting a couple things here and there doesn’t affect me. Because other than you, 20 other people are probably doing it too. Most of us are trying to pay our way through school. Almost all of us are just trying to fucking survive until we can jumpstart our fucking careers. You’re fucking terrible if you think shoplifting is in any way okay.


An elderly man in a fedora pushed two full carts into my lane. They were both filled to the brim. He bought 52 12-packs of Mountain Dew. 12 were diet. He repeatedly told me he was 80 years old. As I handed him his receipt, he leaned in and whispered, “I’m going to get DRUNK.” He pointed at his carts, smiled at me, and scurried away with his definitively alcoholic purchase. I wonder if he knows. I wonder if he cares.

FIRST TARGET RETALES DESIGN IS UP! I am BEYOND thrilled to be showing this to you guys, thanks to @saracastically! AND it’s on sale for the rest of the night! All shirts are only $14, and all other products are on sale prices too! And this won’t be the last sale I have, so if you can’t buy anything tonight, not a problem! It would mean the world to me if you guys checked out my store and considered supporting me! I’m working with some great people to put out some great products and I’m so excited to get to share it with you all! Plus I’ll be curating new collections of shirts every week, so be sure to check in now and again to see what’s new in my shop!


Mountain Drunk

Island Foxes



Love Wins



New ReTales Video!!~ (☉‿☉✿)

Adventures in Retail: Dumbasses and Thieves

So some background information: My work has the chip reader…..but it isn’t activated yet. And we had so much confusion at the register and just, it was a mess, that my manager and I decided to take two blank gift cards and write “No Chip, Please Swipe Card,” on them and insert them in the chip reader and it helped stopped the confusion. We occasionally have people still try to insert their chip when there is already a gift card in it, but that only happens some of the time.

So, today when I come into work I had a lady hand me a necklace, that she claimed was damaged. I examine it and see nothing faulty with it. My manager comes over to assist me when she hears that the customer would like a discount on the “damaged necklace.” My manager informs her that we do not discount damaged products, we damage them out. I ask the customer if I can get another necklace for her, she says, “well the other one is damaged too and I really want the necklace!” I say “well let me go check anyway.” And I find the other necklace. It’s also perfectly fine. So i show her that necklace and she says…”welll….alright I guessI will take it..” and we sell it to her for full value (and it was only like $10.99 goodness..)

Well here is where I figured out just out sketchy she really was. After the transaction I tell her to have a nice day she suddenly hands me a card and asks how much is on her gift card. I take the card from her and then I see “No Chip, Please Swipe” written on it. Confused, I don’t check the card I just inform that it has nothing on it. She seems surprised, and asks if I am sure. I tell her, “Yes, Ma’am, we wrote on these blank gift cards to inform customers we didn’t have the chip reader.” Now she looks confused. She takes the gift card back and then she sees the writing on it and says..”Oh…” then she puts the card back in the reader and walks out the store.

Lady….do you not read and do you think I was born yesterday? You try to scam us into giving you a discount on a necklace that isn’t damaged, and then you try to take what you thought was someone else’s gift card???? I swear the nerve of some people…..


Here’s the Q&A video, wherein you all sent me Qs to A! Enjoy the As and let me know if you have more Qs!


Me encanta echar de menos. Es de las cosas más bonitas que pueden pasarme por dentro. Saber que hay algo o alguien que está separado de mí por una distancia o un tiempo insalvables, y aún así, quererle bonito y desearle bien, pero de lejos. Amar la ausencia del que va a volver tiene algo tremendamente excitante, la de rellenar su hueco con retales de sueño e ilusión.

Que extrañar tiene mucho en común con extraño. Que si la primera refleja lo que sentimos, la segunda debería indicarnos cómo no sentirnos ante lo que sentimos.

—  Risto Mejide

I’d just like to say thank you to each and every person who reads this. The entire Target Retales experience has become one of the most strange, most bizarre, most inexplicable, most exciting, most wonderful things to ever happen to me, but this never would have come about if it weren’t for the people who read my stories and encourage me to keep sharing. I wouldn’t be where I am right now, with all of the incredible experiences and opportunities I have, if nobody had ready my silly recaps of my time at work. Thank you so much, all of you, and I hope my stories continue to make you smile.