Ready. Aim. Fire up that credit card!

Yup, that’s right, the Slattern family is just one of the millions of households whose personal data got lifted right from under the Target Corporation’s big old, bargain-hawking, crap-flogging nose this holiday season. I know this because I just spent three hair-combusting hours on the phone with every Target department from Fraud to Customer “Service” to Credit Card “Services,” right on down the line to Internet Orders and the guy who swabs out the executive washroom at the corporate treehouse up there in Minneapolis. His name is Frank and he’s very sorry about my problems.

Having failed to get any information whatsoever from the gratingly cheerful folks at Target, I hung up the phone — well actually I slammed the receiver repeatedly into the cradle in time to the torrent of filthy invective that was surging from my mouth like the Susquehanna after Three Mile Island — and called my credit card company. As a result of navigating approximately six dozen phone trees and speaking to ten guys named Ryan whose accents were suspiciously sub-continent, I came up with this:

Someone hacked into the Target database and stole some information about me. Or maybe they didn’t. It could be that they got my credit card information, name, mailing address, phone number or email address. But no one really knows if they did or not. And despite my very clear, very loud questions as to the nature of what they took or what said miscreants might do with it, I still have no idea what to even look for as an indicator that fraud may — or may not — have occurred in my name.

Well that is just swell. So now, owing to a foolish impulse purchase of a folding table to accommodate my holiday dinner guests, I have to undertake the process of canceling my credit cards, combing through the holiday purchases to see if I can ferret out anything that looks untoward (at this point it all does), changing all my internet and account passwords, and updating the credit card information on my recurring payments. I have no doubt that there will be at least one that falls through the cracks in the portable bar, which will probably result in my having to crash an EZ Pass toll gate, reinstate lapsed insurance coverage or go without my gym membership for a week or two. Guess which one doesn’t piss me off?

Now to make matters worse, this is the guy who is overseeing the rectification of the whole nasty mess:

Target guy

His name is Greg Steinhafel, and he is the CEO of Target Corporation. Doesn’t exactly inspire confidence, does he? Just in case you think I cherry picked this photo, I want you to know that it comes straight off the Target data breach and happy time website. Check it out for yourself.

So let’s break this down, shall we? My personal information, and that of millions of other people was mismanaged and left unsecured by the folks at Target, and now Gomer here is going to sort it all out and tighten everything back up? Go-o-o-lly, that’s great! Apparently this guy is competent to run a cash register, stock shelves or greet me as I enter one of their retail pleasure palaces, but CEO? I’m not buying it. Chief executives should wear TIES, Greg. FYI, they look like this:

"Let the firewall slip, did you? You're FIRED!"

“Let the firewall slip, did you? You’re FIRED!”

Or this:

"It's about time Target got as organized as organized crime."

“It’s about time Target got as organized as organized crime.”

Or better still, this:

"Target has no truck with terrorists. Or idiots."

“Target must have no truck with terrorists. Or idiots, Gregory.”

Aw forget it, I’m going off the grid. I hear the Upper Peninsula is lovely this time of year.

About WSW

Writer, wife, mother. Toiler in the bottomless, black, soul-sucking coal mine of domestic life. Thank God for the portable bar.

Posted on January 17, 2014, in Commentary, Life and times and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 12 Comments.

  1. I was another victim of the “possible” Target credit card breach. Like you, bought something from Target before the holidays, have been poring over my credit card bill and agonizing whether or not to cancel the card. Then, the other day I received an email from Target’s CEO…EXPLAINING, rather than apologizing for the problem. And not only that, the email told me how *I may avoid credit card fraud or any kind of scam fraud in the future*. It was pretty insulting, considering where the advice is coming from. Did you get such an email?

    • Huh, amazingly I did not. I suggest a strongly worded reply of the sort I routinely send to banks, airlines and the guy who rips the Red Sox sticker off my car just as soon as I put a new one on. In extreme cases, I like to compose my crank letters in ALL CAPS just so that the recipient understands that I AM SCREAMING.

  2. KS, I’m so sorry you got nailed and not in the good way. Target is my favorite store because Mall-Wart opened a crap load of stores then shut them down when everybody was hooked and they have to go to a superstore. The minions keep asking me if I want a Target card and I tell them no. I never thought it would happen to someone close to me.

  3. Ah, yes, we had the pleasure of getting a new credit card, too. I understand the system they use in Europe makes it extremely difficult for something like this to happen, and yet the US hasn’t adopted the European types of credit cards, because changing everything over would be too expensive. Seems to me money well spent.

    Sorry you have to go through this, but I like that you’ve kept your sense of humor!

    • In my experience, the Euros bring those weird little machines to your table. I can never figure out how to use them, then I have to fumble around for my glasses because I can’t see the display in the dark…more trouble than they are worth. As is Target.

  4. It’s a lot of driving up there. But there’s a lot of booze, too.

  5. You know what the real problem is, don’t you? You’re not buying the Martha Stewart line of disposable tables from KMart, or Penny’s, or Macy’s. I get all of her kingdoms completely confused.

  6. Haha! I’m so sorry about your target situation–but you sure did make me laugh about the whole thing. Hopefully that means you’re laughing about it a little, too 🙂

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