This older couple stopped me today while I was working at Target.
“What is this Cartwheel thing?” the tall, white-haired man asked me.
“Well, Cartwheel is an app that you can download that allows you to get a percentage off of certain items,” I answered, all professional-like.
“Because we were at the vacuums and we saw this sign that said you can get 20% off with Cartwheel, and we wondered what that meant,” he continued.
“Target wants everyone to get this app so it can save you money,” I said.
“You mean because it saves us money AND it drives more sales,” the man replied, laughing.
“Well, of course it does. Target knows what it’s doing, but the app does save you money,” I said with a smile.
“You seem like a smart young man.”
“Well, I try.”
“So are you in the management training program here?”
“Actually, no. I’m a teacher.”
“That certainly doesn’t surprise me. What do you teach?”
“I teach English at the local community college.”
“That’s great. So you do have a smart head on your shoulders.”
“I’d like to think so. You enjoy the rest of your day.”
“You too, young man. You too.”
That was just one conversation in probably 50 different ones I had today, but it stood out to me because I had to think for a second when he asked me if I was in the management training program. For a long time I probably would have said yes, that I wanted to move forward in Target, to rise in the ranks, but my answer really said it all, how I feel now. I realized as I said it that that’s how I see myself now. Yes, I’m still a Target employee, but I’m a college teacher first and foremost. That’s who I am, and how I identify myself.
And I just want to thank that older couple for helping me realize it.