I know I'm probably bitching too much, but does it bother any of you when
sales persons at Rockler or Woodcraft, etc. tell you how to do your project?
I ask for product "A" and if they don't have it, they say I should be using
"B" anyways...which they just happen to have in stock.
For example, I went to Rockler (Concord CA) to pick up some Waterlox because
I like it on Walnut very much. I have all sorts of oils and poly's in the
cupboard, but I just like Waterlox on walnut, so that's what I went to get.
I asked the salesman if he had waterlox. "What are you trying to do with
your finish?" was his response. Right away, I got defensive because I
didn't want to justify to him why I like waterlox. I told him that I was
trying to buy waterlox! He quickly said they didn't stock it which is what
On another occasion, I needed to rout finger pulls in some cabinet doors on
a boat because the clients didn't want any protruding hardward (cramped
spaces on the boat). I found that Amana makes one that is 3/4" diameter
while all others were 1" radius. Looked up on the web and found that a
local lumber dealer, Truitt & White in Berkeley CA, are dealers, so down
there I go to order the bit.
I tell the guy behind the counter what I want to order and he looks up the
price. It's a $90+ bit and says I don't want a bit that is that expensive.
He asks what I'm doing and I tell him that I need to rout finger pulls in
doors (it's a finger-pull bit, so I'm not sure what else I'd be using it
for). Anyways, he tells me that if it were him, he'd just use a bullnose
bit. I didn't say anything, but I was thinking 1) a bullnose won't work
because of geometric limitations of the bit and 2) that's probably why he's
behind a counter using a cash register.
I know this probably sounds like I'm just being an SOB, but I really am
getting tired of folks telling me how to do something when I've spent a lot
of time designing and deciding what to do.
Too picky is I?
It doesn't bother me when they suggest alternatives to unavailable
supplies, so that I might be able to finish my project. And I'm
always willing to learn other ways to do things. Did you ask *why*
they were suggesting alternatives? I mean, other than not stocking
it? Maybe there's a *reason* why they don't stock it?
Sounds like they're trying to help you finish your project?
You can do recessed pulls with a bullnose bit. Maybe they know more
than you do?
Consider that they see lots of types of people, and perhaps - in their
experience - people like you know know exactly what they're doing are
the exception. They've probably learned that most of their customers
don't know what they're doing, so they start by making sure they're
not buying something totally inappropriate for their project. Why?
Because they want their customers to come back again.
So next time they ask what you're working on, have plans ready and be
prepared to show it off. Get to know them, so that next time they can
give you help that *you* find helpful.
I see what you were looking at and how the bullnose might work. However, I
think the undercut area would be so small and/or shallow that it would be
hard to grip. Have you ever tried it and if so, does it work?
Here's what I used:
It's on a very nice 59' yacht, so I didn't cut corners. They really liked
the fingerpulls I made with that bit and it really set off the piece.
Woodcraft in Dublin stocks several types of Waterlox. They are further
away by 18 miles than Rockler from where I live, but I only need a few
quarts a year...
I've been known to be a 'bit cranky' at times, myself. Big deal.
Can't please everyone, etc...
Howsoever, the counter guy who doesn't TRY to help sends someone away
without any solution, when something else might have worked that day.
I am not a dumb person, I managed to retire at 40 and had been in upper
management for 99% of my career. I feel that of all the people that I meet
that there is a 50/50 chance that he or she is probably smarter than me or
knows more than 1 way to produce results. I openly listen to new
acquaintances and keep an open mind because I am not ready to stop learning.
I suggest you learn to do so also.
I'm not sure if you're being too picky or just frustrated at the
perceived slight to your intelligence. How exactly is someone, who
you've never had contact with before, on the other end of a phone,
supposed to know how much time and effort you've spent making a
decision? Telepathy? You're assuming that the _salesman_ on the other
end of the phone should just give up, say, "Nope. No Waterlox here."
instead of trying to find an alternative that will make the sale and
help you out at the same time?
The person on the other end of the phone can't possibly know who you
are, what you know, whether you're buying a product for the wrong or
right reason, etc. There is exactly zero reason to be bothered by a
salesman asking questions to determine what you're trying to do and if
there is another, possibly better way to do it. They're providing a
service, and a valuable one for many people.
I think what hits me wrong is having to explain and/or defend what I want.
I'm definitely not the type to think I'm smarter than everyone else, believe
me. However, if a customer asks if a store has "A", then they should say so
and *then* then perhaps try suggesting something IMO. I think it's the
difference between giving a customer what he/she wants versus giving the
customer what will work.
Suppose you went to a lumber yard and asked if they had 4/4 cherry and
rather than give you a price, the salesperson tells you that you should be
using white oak instead. Wouldn't that be a bit annoying?
Well, I was just venting in any case, so it's not worth getting too
I'm kinda that way too, but it's not so much them suggesting something
different. What I dread is going into a store to buy something that is
for some other purpose than usual.
Say I want an alternator, but it isn't for a vehicle. If I go into an
auto parts store and ask for a particular type of alternator, I end up
in quite a frustrating conversation, trying to explain that it doesn't
matter what brand it is, or what car it was meant to go in. I have
walked out in frustration more than once (though the item not always
I was actually quite pleased the last time I did this at Canadian
Tire, when the fellow actually listened to me when I was looking for a
set of ignition wires, and said "It doesn't matter what car it's built
for. I am looking for the cheapest set.". He spent perhaps a minute
on his computer, went into the back, and came out with a set that was
perfect for the task, and was cheaper than any of the stuff on the
shelf. My tractor runs a lot better now, and I only had to spend
about 1/4 of what Case/IH wanted for a set.
O Sibili, Si. Ergo Fortibus es in ero.
O Nobili! Deis Trux. Vatis inem? Causen Dux!
Under no circumstances will I ever purchase anything
offered to me in an unsolicited email message. Nor will
I forward chain letters, petitions, mass mailings, or
virus warnings. This is my contribution to the survival
of the online community.
This is true 99.99% of the time. However, there are exceptions. In a HD
near here me (San Leandro, CA), there are 2 guys that work there that are
great. One is in the tool department, but I haven't seen him in a while, and
the other works in the electrical dept. When I was rewiring my garage, he
helped me a lot. He's obviously an ex-electrician and was more than willing
... and you're pretty much guaranteed that any advice you get will be
If you're gonna be dumb, you better be tough
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.