Flamebait: My Weekend at Home Depot

Ok, so I've heard you guys complaining about places like Lowe's and Home Despot. I've never had any problems with them so I thought it was just mostly snobbery from people who were anti-corporate America. Well, you may be anti-corporation, but it ain't snobbery. The BORG really is bad. Here's my story.
Saturday morning I needed to pick up some MDF and hardboard. I have no truck nor trailer nor available friends with such equipment, nor will an 8x4 fit into my little Honda. I decided to wing it. I went in, paid for my products, and decided to roll the dice with having the Home Depot monkeys cut it to size for me, thinking it'd then fit in my Accord. I approached the only guy I could find in the lumber area. He looked like he was about 23 and had probably been sneering since he was about 14. I said, "Hello!" and he just stared at me, as if I may as well have said, "Eat ferret dung!" I said, "I've got some 8x4's here that won't fit into my car. Think I could talk somebody into cutting them to size for me?"
The guy continued to look at me. I thought maybe he didn't speak English. He then spoke - and this is amazing - without ever really opening his mouth. He said something like, "Mayzel jizgitur truck." I caught one word there that I was positive was English: truck. So, I said, "Oh, is there a truck I can rent?" He rolled his eyes and shot me this impatient glare, like he was trying to explain calculus to a 4 year-old. He said, "Ya-er-izifu gowda Special Services." Ah HA! "And where is the Special Services counter?" I asked, trying to maintain good cheer in the face of having a semi-literate orange-vest hardware jockey talking down to me. The guy pointed and issued a simean grunt. I politely thanked him and started heading towards "Special Services." I'm not a class warrior or anything, and I have much respect for people who are willing to work a job at Home Depot on the weekends, but I've worked my share of service-sector jobs and even in the height of my adolescent rebellion, I managed to usually treat people with a modicum of dignity and courtesy. Maybe I was raised wrong.
Anyway, beyond having to wait 15 minutes for the truck to be returned by the last guy (not a big deal) and having another Home Depot employee try to steathily take it from me, the rest went smoothly.
So you guys aren't kidding! Some of the marginal life forms meandering the aisles of Home Depot make the skin crawl. The people are Lowe's are never like that to me. At worst, they pretend to know things they don't and cheerfully offer helpful "advice" that's so obviously wrong that even I know enough to nod politely and ignore it.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Hmmm...I went to my nearby Home Depot on Sunday morning, approached a young fellow in the lumber area, and said, "I need about 28 inches of a 2x6 pressure treated board." He promptly picked out the straightest he could find, measured 28", started up the radial arm saw, and cut the piece. Wrote me a ticket for $2 and away I went. YMMV.
Jim Stuyck
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Jim Stuyck wrote:

The two biggest factors in the quality of big box store service are the local store managers and the local labor market.
The hotter the labor market, the poorer the quality of the available employees the local big box store manager has to work with.
I have found our local big box store employees to generally be courteous if not too knowledgeable.
Dick
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
there is a corporate policy that pressure treated wood NOT be cut. Every HD I've been in has a sign near the saw stating that they won't cut PT wood. and of course, they SHOULDN'T. the sawdust and junk floating in the air around that part of the store is not something you'd want your kids in strollers breathing, nor yourself for that matter. One day a local HD was cutting PT so I informed the MOD, who admitted that it should only be cut when the store is closed. I contacted several agencies to see if they would contact HD officially, but they all passed the buck. (Health Dept, OSHA, and a few others) I ended up calling corporate myself where I got the official line that they aren't supposed to cut it. I give PT wood the respect it deserves when I have to cut it at home.
dave
Jim Stuyck wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Some are, some aren't. Don't judge the entire chain, good or bad, from your own experience at one store. The quality of help can vary quite a bit in 30 miles. Or even across the street. Ed
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
or even from one warm body to the next. HD help varies from guys with years in the trades to no-nothings with bad attitudes. It's best to ask around for names of the knowledge fellows and better yet find out what days they are there. some of the workers can be a great resource. My local HD had a jewel of an employee who knew everything necessary for me to do some roofing. Great knowledge AND a great attitude. All HD employees are NOT clunkers.
dave
Edwin Pawlowski wrote:
snip
The quality of help can vary quite a bit in 30

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
THAT'S WHY I ALWAYS GO AROUND EVERYWHERE NOW, INCLUDING THE INTERNET, ALWAYS SHOUTING. IT IS THE ONLY WAY TO GET ANYONE'S ATTENTION ANYMORE.
;-)
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Oh so true! I have a Sears, Home Depot,Osh all within a few miles. I also have an Ace Hardware just down the block and the owner lives across the street. I run an open tab, and pay it when I remember. Many times when I'm in a hurry and can't get down to the store, the owner will drop it off to me on his way home. Sure, I pay a little more at Ace - but you can't put a pice on that type of service.
vgb

part
starts
to do

here
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Oh Yeah, how about this one!
Two years ago SWMBO and I removed and replaced the vanity, sink and faucet in our Cape Cod cottage with a vanity, sink and faucet from Home Depot. Most of the install went smoothly, except for the plumbing part... I HATE PLUMBING!!!
Anyway, two weeks ago the faucet started leaking... no problem, we'll make the 10 mile trip up route 3 to get a new cartridge. Well, much to my surprise, they don't stock the cartridges for that faucet... AND THEY STILL SELL THE SAME FAUCET... there were literally HUNDREDS of them on the shelf. (BTW, it's a Glacier Bay... avoid it like the plague). This is THEIR brand faucet and the management (snicker, snicker) couldn't give me an answer as to why they don't stock the cartridge... they couldn't even find a listing for it on the computer. Another rocket scientist suggested I call the 800 number packed with the faucet and "order" the cartridge... Sure, 10 weeks without a bathroom sink... that would go over big with SWMBO.
To make a long story short... I convinced the Yo-yo in charge to credit me for the stupid mistake I made (choosing that faucet), but only after I returned the bad one. I bought an American Standard (at least I know my local plumbing supply house stocks parts). Thankfully, my daughter's boyfriend is handy with tools (mark that down in the "Plus" column). I have a torn rotator cuff and Mike did all the work with some direction from me. We had the new one installed in about 1/2 an hour. Of course I still had to make the trek back up Route 3 to return the old one... and had to tell my story all over again to the new regime installed for the day. And to make matters worse, since I didn't have the slip, all they would do is give me a store credit for the old one. I'm still fuming over the fact that they don't support their own product... geesh!
Venting off... Don
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
That employee was definitely sub-standard. But while venting here may feel good it really does nothing to solve the problem. Unless the chairman of the Home Depot board of directors reads rec.woodworking there is no one on the wreck here who can do anything about the guy.
There is a person who can do something: the store manager. When you walk out disgruntled - and take your business elsewhere without bringing the trouble to the boss's attention they lose the sale and never know why. And if the management knows that they have a problem they can either do something about it or not. If they don't then the lost sales are their problem. And there is always a chance they will correct it.
And no, I do not work for HD or even own any stock in the company. Most of my experiences with the store have been as a customer . Usually the sales staff is knowledgeable and helpful. When I get a worker to acknowledge my presence, that is. The stores here are definitely understaffed.
Patty
W

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@aol.comGreg
writes, Unfortunately there are no full service lumber yards here
I bet there used to be.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Site Timeline

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.