A young mom and college student named Gia (@gianwillow) went viral on TikTok after sharing an “embarrassing” experience she had at a Target location.
Gia says she was insulted and bullied for using WIC payments on her groceries and Target app reward points to buy her kid, Willow, a coloring book. When Gia was prevented from using her Target store credits to complete the transaction due to a glitch in the point-of-sale system, she says two managers got involved and spoke loudly about her being at WIC was, which relates to the special nutritional supplement program for women, infants and children.
To make matters worse, Gia says that she didn’t have any other form of payment with her, so she couldn’t complete the transaction for the coloring book, and the staff couldn’t isolate the item and remove it from the transaction entirely.
Gia says she’s uncomfortable with the manager’s loud talking at this point, as a line begins to form behind her at the checkout. She says the manager calls another manager to help, which ends up making the situation even more “embarrassing.”
“Now this manager comes over and says, ‘Honey, you paid with WIC. I’m not sure if WIC will refund you in time. I would have to cancel the WIC payment, I don’t know I don’t even know if you would be able to get your groceries because I don’t know how quickly WIC would charge the payment back to the card'” claims Gia, the manager told her.
The second manager’s attitude and questions continued to have a negative impact on Gia. “She starts to ask, ‘It’s only five dollars, can you pay for it? Do you have the money? Can’t you pay for it?’ Gia says.
She continues: “So I’m sitting there, frozen, trying not to cry. She ended up voiding it and giving it to me, but basically she just threw it at me and pretended she was better off.
@gianwillow Part 2 has been posted…it’s humiliating even to talk about it but I do this for other young women or people who use government benefits because it doesn’t mean you are “less than” everyone else and you should be certainly not be treated as you are… #fyp #foryoupage #target #target2022 #youngmom #storytime #cancel @target ♬ Original sound – gia
In a follow-up video, Gia says she felt “put down” by the second manager’s actions, especially in such a public setting.
“I’m sitting there trying not to cry because she makes me feel so small, and I don’t know if that’s because I used WIC or something,” says Gia. “And I only had WIC and my Target app with me, but yeah, she was basically just very condescending.”
The TikToker says after being asked five times why she couldn’t just pay for it, the manager enters her code into the system to take the amount owed.
“Just roll your eyes and throw the bag at me,” Gia claims.
Gia said that after the other manager wished her a Merry Christmas, she started crying in the store and that she was still emotional after going to her car where she was sitting in the parking lot to commemorate her negative experience to cry more.
The second video shows her at home stating that she didn’t know why the manager had to harass her for using a WIC card and Target balance to shop at the retailer.
@gianwillow @target #target #storytime #part2 ♬ Original sound – gia
“If we’re being honest I’m only 22 and yes I use a WIC card but you know I’m a year away from medical school and you don’t see that I’m acting like I’m any better than everyone else just because I plan to be a doctor,” says Gia.
“Yes, there are people who take advantage of the system, but you shouldn’t just assume that everyone who uses it is,” she continues. “…And if we’re really honest, this manager was about fifty years old and ran a Target, who is she to judge anyone? But yeah, I don’t even think I want to go to that destination again.
TikTokers who saw Gia’s story were horrified and urged her to write to the company about the situation, which she says she did. Gia added that when she searched other reviews on this particular store, she saw other complaints about the same manager.
Some users on the platform started sending gifts to Gia and her daughter Willow for the holidays, for which TikToker says she was very grateful in follow-up videos.
In the comments section of her first gift, Gia said the store offered her a $10 gift certificate for the experience. However, she clarified in a comment that she would be returning the gift card as “it’s not worth going back.”
The Daily Dot contacted Gia via TikTok comment and Target via email for more information.
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*Initial publication: December 3, 2022 3:37 pm CST
Jack Alban is a freelance journalist for the Daily Dot, covering trending human interest/social media stories and real people’s reactions to them. He always tries to incorporate evidence-based studies, current events, and relevant facts to those stories to create your not-so-average viral post.
https://www.dailydot.com/irl/target-manager-humiliates-customer-paying-wic/ Mom says target manager humiliated her for using WIC payments