Hi Roy -
If we won't sell to Berkshire-Hathaway, there's not much chance the Borg
would do any better...:)
Robert (nailshooter) pretty much hit it on the head...the Boxes just aren't
flexible, or agile.
But that's the way it is (mostly) with the drive for profits that many
retail companies use. They hire employees for as low a wage as possible, but
with a modicum level of knowledge. Naturally, those low wage employees are
going to know only so much.
I remember once going into a low end graphics store to have a map scanned.
Even though I didn't own a scanner and had never used their model of scanner
before, I was the one that had to show the employee how to use the scanner.
Didn't stop them though from charge me $6 for using it.
My last lesson was knife hinges. I didn't really expect to find them in
HD, but I was there for some PVC pipe and thought I'd save myself a trip
somewhere else. Instead I spent 10 minutes explaining and drawing knife
hinges for three of them and still had to make the trip somewhere else.
Now I just ask if they know where I can find something. If they say they
know, I look there first. If it's not there or they say they don't know,
I wander around until I run out of patience or convince myself that they
don't have what I'm looking for.
That said, one of the local HDs had a guy in a wheel chair who could tell
you to within a foot where to find anything in the store and where to buy
it if they didn't carry it. I always hunted him out, but they seem to
have disappeared him.
The place I try to shop at most often is an Ace Hardware where Every
employee seems to know what everything is and where they keep it. I don't
know how they manage it, but you can walk in there and ask a fresh faced,
new HS grad if they've got a 7mm Ratrafratz Bolt and get told to go to
aisle 4, 2nd cabinet on the left, 3rd row, 2nd drawer from the left - and
*find* it right where they told you to look! Also the kind of place where
you can walk in with a problem you don't know how to solve and walk out
with a solution and the materials to do the job.
There aren't too many places like that around anymore, but I do have to
concede that the Home Depot I go to has many older employees and most of
them have the experience with stuff to be able to help me out when I'm
having a problem. The greatest difficulty that I experience is getting them
to understand what I want to buy. It's usually some type of esoteric
fastener of some type, just that my experience and names for something
doesn't always match theirs.
On Thu, 12 May 2005 03:18:50 -0400, the inscrutable "Upscale"
Some helpful tips, especially for plumbing problems:
If it's a replacement part, TAKE THE PART WITH YOU to the stores or
take a digital pic and print it out. Show it to the drones so they can
point (or more likely) shrug and shake their heads.
If it's a new idea, draw it on paper and take it with you. Show it to
the older, more experienced workers rather than the younger drones.
Chances are much better that they've seen it or know of something in
stock which might work. (Unless you get the old guy in the HD plumbing
dept which had never worked there before and neither knew the stock
nor how to plumb. Instead of a 3/4-1/8" reducer, he picked out half a
dozen pieces in galv, black, and pvc which eventually ended up
somewhat close, but not exactly where I wanted to go. He caught the
nick "The Brainless Goldbergian Plumbing Drone of HD." I was so fed up
after talking to him that I put off locating the airbrush fitting
indefinitely and just went home.)
If it's existing hardware and you can't wait to get it from Lee
Valley, take the Lee Valley Tools hardware catalog with you and point
out the picture.
We're born hungry, wet, 'n naked, and it gets worse from there.
- http://diversify.com Website Application Programming -
on 5/12/2005 1:40 PM email@example.com said the following:
Why? Do you really think the all the old duffers (and young ones) at
the big boxes were hired because they were mentors to Norm or Tage Frid?
More likely those with some experience were fired from the trades as
finish carpenters because their thumbs shrinking with old age and thus
being incapable of smoothing out a 3/4" line of caulking compound to
"finish" the trim job<g>
There's an old guy in the tool section of the local HD that told me he
had a copy of the LV catalog in his locker, and that he'd go get it if
I wanted to wait. I told him I had the current one at home and not to
This was a couple of years back, and I don't recall what I was looking
for at the time. I probably did end up ordering from LV, though.
~ Stay Calm... Be Brave... Wait for the Signs ~
On Thu, 12 May 2005 13:51:15 -0600, Dave Balderstone
Most of them are OK when you talk about buying stuff from Lee Valley they don't
carry, but when you mention stuff like sandpaper and other 'disposables' they
get a little uptight.:)
I was annoyed on a recent local purchase of a 10" steel sanding disk for my RAS.
They sell the disks but NO sand paper to fit.
They sell every size EXCEPT 10"
Thank God for Lee Valley.
The problem is that all the posters are right, at least some of the
time. Oft times the person you talk to at HD or elsewhere hasn't a clue
and other times you might just as well be talking to the person who
invented the "left-handed framistan" you happen to be looking for.
The problem is you NEVER KNOW which one you've drawn that day.
It's kind of like those old logic puzzles that begin...
"You talk to two guards. One never lies and one will never speak the
If you don't know the answer yourself you'll likely walk out of there
with a nice new MAPP gas torch so you can fix the gas tank on your
I doubt I'll ever forget, in Lowe's (not HD), standing near the
Customer Service desk in the new store. Two guys come in asking where
the brick mold was placed. The woman sent them to the plumbing
i don't know about that. a few years ago i had to search out a replacement
valve stem for an old faucet at a hole in the wall place that had stuff on
shelves that you didn't know you needed . lots of knowledgeable guys there.
i happened to find a joker that day who thought that telling me to use a bit
of jb weld inside the valve stem would prevent it from leaking instead of
turned out the manager didn't think it was so funny and he was fired on the
cave creek, az
You were a bit faster then me:
Early January, I was delivering some goods to a local Kmart and the
bloody forklift *did* get me !!
A crushed left ankle, Trip to the local hospital, 600 km flight to Perth
and a week in Hospital to get it all fixed.
Only hung up my stick a couple of weeks ago and am getting about not to
Moral of the story "If you pick on a forklift be prepared to come of
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