A Nurse with a Gun

Monday, November 17, 2008

Target Craziness

How does a perfectly sane 79 year old lady go against her will from the local Target to the emergency room for a mental evaluation? Try returning two shirts that did not fit and expecting the money you paid in return rather than a gift card.

Crazy? Yes, in the eyes of "Mr. Nasty," the manager of the Super Target in Plymouth Minnesota, that constitutes the need for a mental evaluation. "If they thought I was a cranky old biddy, they should just have given me my money and let me go," said Christine Brown. "I paid in good faith, and I wanted my money back. That's all. It's the principle."

Not only did Mrs. Brown have her receipt, she also had the bank's record of the electronic transfer of funds to Target from her checking account. She was not unruly. She simply informed Mr. nasty she would stay at the store all day if necessary to get her cash refund. He told her she was trespassing. "I'm not trespassing. I'm a customer," she said. "Give me my money and I'll go."

The manager threatened to call the police. Mrs. Brown called them instead. The officers of the law did a cursory interview, and had the elderly lady strapped to a stretcher for ambulance transport to the local ER. The medical staff there did their evaluation, saw no reason to keep her, and released her the same day.

For her trouble, Mrs. Brown wants an apology. She wants her thirty bucks plus reimbursement for the unnecessary ambulance transport and medical evaluation. She also wants Target to address this issue and educate their employees.

I want to know how the Hell a manager at Target believes he is credentialed to determine a customer is a danger to themselves, a danger to others, or gravely ill. As Target's manager and agent, he is acting for them. Target is apparently standing behind their man, as they have signed a no trespassing order against Mrs. Brown, banning her from the store.




Anonymous wizardpc said...

I witnessed similar Target Management in action about a year ago.

I had a really long thing typed up, but the summary is that the "manager" was being a sphincter about giving a refund, and the very well behaved middle aged businessman asked for the regional manager's name, to which the manager replied, "I don't know."

Businessman said, "You mean to tell me you don't know who your boss is?"

"That's right."

At that point I got involved and grabbed a cart-pusher, who helpfully told all of us, including the manager, who the regional manager was, where is office was, and the number to call to get him.

I saw that cart-pusher working at starbucks the next month.

5:35 PM  
Blogger lee n. field said...

Methinks everyone involved except Mrs. Brown is on very shaky legal ground.

Sue their asses, all and sundry.

5:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

From what you wrote, it sounds as though the police, not "Mr. Nasty," were the ones who thought they had the right to do that to a nonthreatening woman.

6:41 PM  
Anonymous Throckmorton Pootenhower said...

I hope Target gets exactly what they have coming to them.

7:33 PM  
Anonymous Kristopher said...

The police reacted to disobedience they way they often do ... over-react, and then make up an excuse afterwards.

The mental eval was an attempt to avoid getting sued.

The Target droid was in his rights to trespass ... If a store had done something stupid like that to me, I would have picketed outside on the sidewalk until they decided to refund me.

7:46 PM  
Blogger Isaac PC said...

Didn't they just release a movie about this? Cops have a lady accused of mental instability, thrown to the psych ward? Oh yeah, "Changling". But wait! This is for real!

7:47 PM  
Anonymous OrangeNeckInNY said...

"Changeling" was based on a real-life event too.

8:02 PM  
Anonymous OrangeNeckInNY said...

Well, I just sent my letter of disgust over to Target. They just lost a customer.

8:28 PM  
Blogger El Capitan said...

I quit shopping at Target when they refused to let the Salvation Army collect outside their stores during the holidays. Well, that, and their decision to not use the word "Christmas" in their ads.

They're nothing but a Woolco with a better paint scheme, anyway.

8:45 PM  
Blogger Diogenes said...

One more reason not to shop at Target. Geez - this notebook is about full...

9:46 PM  
Anonymous Joseph said...

The ambulance crew would not have transported unless the lady was arrested already. It seems that the manager and the cops all had a very large helping of "stooopid" for breakfast.

For sure, sue Target.

10:12 PM  
Blogger Vincent said...

My wife had an item get double scanned at Ragert once. Caught it in the parking lot and immediately went back to get a refund and they pulled this same "gift card" crap, even though THEY double scanned the item.

10:24 PM  
Blogger Divemedic said...

There must be more here than meets the eye. I don't know what the law is in Minnesota, but I would imagine it is the same as Florida:

If the police officer determines that the person is a possible danger to themselves or others, or the EMS crew has reason to believe that the person is not capable of understanding the consequences of refusing medical care, they can and must transport the person to the hospital to be evaluated, whether that person wants to go or not.

I don't take orders from Target managers, I doubt these guys did,either.

5:00 AM  
Anonymous Cory said...

I really have a feeling there is more to this story than we know from just Xavier's post alone.

When you are presented with two sides of the same story, the truth usually lies somewhere in the middle. And in this case, we only have one side of the story.

I would suspect this woman was probably at least a little on the belligerent side (and perhaps rightfully so), and probably made at least one "crazy" comment to the police that for all we know could have been genuinely crazy, or maybe just sarcastic and taken out of context. But we really can't know without BOTH sides of the story, can we?

Additionally, Joseph's comment about the police having to arrest someone before they can put them on an ambulance for mental health reasons is totally incorrect. Maybe in whatever state he is from that is true, but I used to work in a mental health unit at a hospital in Minnesota, and he is simply wrong.

5:21 AM  
Anonymous Wolfwood said...

Much as I dislike Wal-Mart, I will say that whatever refund you need they'll pretty much just give you in cash.

6:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As someone who lives in Minnesota and has nothing to do with Target, a few things that should be cleared up. First el captain, Target donates more to the Salvation Army than most any other corporation. They stop letting the bell ringers due to other "charities" wanting to place people in front of there Minnesota stores too. So they just stop SA bell ringers to keep everyone happy, and started donating a portion of there sales to them.

As for the "lady," this happened back in August and although I don't remember all of the details, I do remember after reading the facts I felt sorry for the manager, police, and the EMT. I think the gal was way out of line. But that's just me.

Again, I do not work for, nor have anything to do with Target. Just a citizen looking for the truth.

9:06 AM  
Blogger Broadsword said...

Minnesota is not the Land of 10,000Lakes, but the Land of 10,000 liberals, and the Land of 10,000 Therapies. It is a place where everything not prohibited is mandatory, (person-a-tory...?). It's a place you can still see (new!) Wellstone and Kerry/Edwards bumpers stickers. There are yard signs, "Happy to pay for a better Minnesota", and, on some businesses, "So & so bans guns". At a local restaurant above one of these signs is a bright red with white letters sign, "Need cash! ATM inside". My wife and I stood, before the coronation, er, election with signs, "A vote for Obama is a vote for dead babies", and had crazy things shouted at us from passing cars. It's a looney place.

9:38 AM  
Blogger TOTWTYTR said...

I'm with the "there's more to this story than meets the eye" contingent.

Maybe it's just the cops that I know, but very few of them would go to the trouble to call and ambulance for something like this. Mostly because it entails a report and partly because they fear law suits.

They'd be more likely to ask her to leave and get a lawyer to deal with the problem.

An arrest would be the LAST thing that they would be inclined to do.

9:38 AM  
Blogger nature223 said...

Call COMPLAIN and NEVER register your gift choices there...and tell them WHY.
I am getting married next year,I'll be damned if they'll get my friends and relatives hard earned..this is reprehensible,and deserves a swift kick to their collective corparate asses,and a very strident:"dont EVER do that"

4:52 PM  
Anonymous ditto said...

It seems a shame that just anyone can be placed in to the looney bin with just one or two unqualified peoples say so.
There is something inherently wrong with our system for that to happen.
Was there no judge to admininster the required testing?
Does this mean we as the consummer have to watch our p's and q's so that we are not shoved into the slammer for being "crazy"?
Why shop somewhere that thinks of it's customers that might complain as not having all of their faculties?

5:38 PM  
Blogger nature223 said...

Cory...where did you see the target manager/doctor psychology study?? it's profound you find that the CUSTOMER is at fault versus a store not giving back a meager amount of funds to solve the whole frickin problem.
and I hate to tell you this Cory,in correct circumstances,You could be rated "crazy" too,the mere fact you USE such a term, tells me you werent the care giver present,you were the hands on person who dealt with the "crazy's" and probably got handed the dirty end of the stick by them and your attitude helped you naught.

5:46 PM  
Anonymous cory said...

Nature223, your reading comprehension leaves something to be desired. I never said I agreed with Target's refusal to offer a refund. I agree that no matter how things actually happened, the situation would have never gotten so out of control had the Target employees in question weren't so rigid. Additionally, I never said I personally thought anyone was "crazy." I was just trying to present another possibility because the original story had so many holes in it. I certainly wasn't trying to offend anyone by using that naughty word CRAZY! Sounds like someone needs a B52...

5:01 AM  
Anonymous Blakenzy said...

Well, at east the cops didn't use "pain compliance" on her (a.k.a torture them 'til they can't take it anymore and do what you say), a trend that is becoming disturbingly popular now a days.

12:42 PM  

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