Seems like it doesn’t take much these days to get people’s knickers in a twist. A few weeks ago Target announced they would no longer use gender-based labeling in the toys and children’s bedding areas. It ignited an excrement-storm of invective on Target’s Facebook page. Mike Melgaard was reading the posts, found them hilarious, and got an idea. He opened a fake Facebook page with a very Target-like red bulls-eye, and called it Ask For Help. He got over fifty posts before the site was taken down eighteen hours later. The way he handled irate customers is high satire. I have gleaned some of the jewels for you.
This respondent brought in the “S” word: Why are you letting socialist activists run your business? You do realize that almost all Americans hate political correctness, right?
Ask For Help replied: We at Target believe that the socialist agenda is a righteous cause and fully support it.
Another wrote: I shopped at Target once in while because it was convenient for me on way to work or going back home. Other stores had better prices but still stopped at Target due to convenience. Well, now that Target is trying to be overly PC and basically just want gender neutral or transgender to shop there, I will go out of my way to shop elsewhere.
Ask For Help: We at Target have heard your concern. Sorry for being nice and taking others into consideration. We know there’s just too much of that going around in the world these days and it surely upsets folks like you. We’ll try harder to be not as nice next time.
Someone else replied to the post: Sarcasm and content is not customer service. Screen shotted this and Fw to corp.
Ask For Help: Please don’t. I am sorry. It’s my first day and this is just really frustrating dealing with all of this (two frowny faces).
Dana wrote: Just wanted you to know that I and my family of both sexes by the way . . . Boys and Girls . . . will shop elsewhere. I can’t believe that you have decided to pander to the “Politically Correct” nonsense that has overtaken common sense. Have any of you been around small children? Do you really think that they don’t have their own identity? Obviously this isn’t for children . . . it is for adults that cannot stand reality.
Ask For Help: Dana, we applaud you for the bravery in admitting that your family has both sexes. It’s customers like you who give us a sense of purpose. We don’t choose to spend our time around small children, so to answer your question: No. Is there anything else we can assist you with today?
Lisa wrote: I am EXTREMELY OUTRAGED at your stupidity for doing away with gender separation at your stores. I just want you to know that if it means making 20% percent [sic] of your customers happy to loose [sic] the other 80% . . . you just did it. I wish I had known this before I went shopping this weekend. THANK GOD I haven’t bought school clothes yet for my kids. You just lost my business@!!
Ask For Help: Lisa, you sound like you need a snickers. We sell them by the packs here at Target. Stop on down and buy some!
Rosie (with picture of elderly man) wrote: Wait!!!!! What?????? Where will I find my tampons at oh no I’m so confused.
Ask For Help: Rosie, we at Target are confused. Your picture is of a man, but your name is Rosie and you’re asking where the tampons will be. The tampons will be in the same section they have always been, the feminine hygiene section, which contrary to your belief, is not the toy section. Thank you for your customer loyalty!
From Judy: I’v been a Target customer forever. Sometimes shopping there 2X weekly. If you change everything into gender neutral you have lost a customer. I read you also condoning Shiria [sic] law in Michigan. Shame on you, this is America.
Ask For Help: Judy, we at Target would just like to say one thing: Allahu Akbar.
Jewel’s response had a Confederate flag next to her name: I have just UNLIKED your Facebook page along with your store. I will no longer shop there. You have outraged many customers just to appease a few. God created males & females differently. Why would you try to remove the difference? Get a clue Target. Your stupidity is showing.
Ask For Help: Jewel, we’re sorry you feel that way. We’re also sorry you have such a strong opinion of things like flags, the labels of toys being “girl” or “boy” and whatever else easily offends you. We at Target wish you well.
Eddy and Kandie: I just want to say that I am totally against Target doing away with gender-based bedding etc. for children. We will no longer be shopping at your store.
Ask For Help: And we at Target just want to say that we are totally against couples having one Facebook account. It is ridiculous and just wrong. We will now be adding you to the “can not shop here” list.
Gary wrote: I know this means little to Target, but I am tired of all this political correctness . . . but after this latest move with your signage I am going to do my best to not shop at your stores . . .
Ask For Help: Actually, Gary, you’re wrong. It means NOTHING to us that you feel this way. Have a great day!
Jimmy wrote: Has Target lost its mind? Boycott . . . or girlcott, whichever.
Ask For Help: We at Target think that was very clever, Jimmy. You’re such a clever little boy. Good work!
Kevin seemed particularly incensed: My family will no longer be shopping in your Politically Correct store any longer. My wife and I have 2 “boys” and 1 “girl,” and we are not transgender. Therefore we will no longer shop & support your PC transgender store. I’ll make sure we even no longer drive thru your parking lot to get to a store next door. I hope your organization as well as the few patrons that you decided to “listen” to find this as equally offensive as I do that Target would make such a ridiculous decision as this.
Ask For Help: Kevin, there’s no real nice way to put this, so we at Target will just say it: You’re a real dick.
Melgaard told reporters later: “I definitely side with Target and support their decision wholeheartedly. That being said this was, for me, more about the laughs. Every one of these people gave me the ammunition I needed for a great response. I absolutely love satirical humor, and I think Americans could use a little more laughter.”
Target put out their official statement: “At Target we are committed to providing outstanding service to our clients whenever we engage with them . . . Clearly this individual was not speaking on behalf of Target.” They can’t have been too upset with what Melgaard did, because later that night Target posted a picture of two troll dolls on their Facebook page with the caption: “Remember when trolls were the kings of the world? Woo hoo! They’re back and only at Target stores.” Good on ya, Target. And for me Mike Melgaard is a true American hero, because we need to be poked in the eye once in a while. He was right about us not laughing enough.
Never underestimate the power and social value of ridicule. — Earnest Prankheimer.