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Home Depot, You Let Me Down

6 Oct

October 11, 2018

I think my love affair with Home Depot is coming to an end.

There’s really no better place to go and browse. They have power tools! Hand tools! Huge crowbars, giant sledgehammers, and stuff to slice off your fingers if you aren’t careful. I’m a tool guy. (No, I’m not a tool, guy. I’m a tool guy. Let that be your lesson in the importance of the mighty comma.) I can shop there for days and buy all kinds of stuff and maybe, just maybe, I’ll have a use for some of it. I’m the type of guy who will walk in for a tube of caulk and walk out with a reciprocating saw and three or four new hammers just because, you know, I can’t resist them. My buyer’s resistance drops perilously low at Home Depot. I admit that I’ve never bought an arc welder or a blowtorch but I was thisclose more than once.

This will be me one day!

But this time was different.

I was there for some Venetian blinds. The wife and I are in a new apartment and though I put up curtains months ago I’ve been slow with the blinds. So it is either curtains shut and no light at all or curtains open and the neighbor across the driveway can see straight into my kitchen. And she has both curtains and blinds yet closes neither. I’m pretty sure she wants us to see in because (NOTE TO MY WIFE: Stop reading here. Um, to be on the safe side, maybe I should stop writing here instead and move on.)

See? You get the point and I didn’t type a single word.
NOTE TO MY WIFE: This is a perfectly innocent Seinfeld clip that has absolutely no relevance to this post. Yeah.

Normally I’d have jumped at the chance to put up blinds. I could use my tools! Charge up my power drill! Get out my work gloves with the magnetic patches to hold the screws! And… and… that’s it really. Maybe a screwdriver and that’s no fun. You see. not only are blinds just too simple to put up to get excited over, but I’ve done so many of them over the years it’s actually gotten boring. Give me a job like re-roofing a garage, or building a chimney anytime. OK, I’d probably call a professional, but at least I could stand around and stare at the hacksaws and miters. That’s man stuff right there.

But putting up blinds gave me one thing that got me grooving: I had to buy the blinds. Not exciting? I’m going to buy them at Home Depot!

So last weekend the wife and I went to my little slice of Heaven. I know the place week, know the layout. I fist-bumped the greeter at the door (confusing him to no end since he never saw me before and walked no, strutted into the store like George Jefferson.

I boogied past the  ceramic tiles and moonwalked through the garden hoses. And then I got to the aisle with the blinds and stopped dead in my rhythmic tracks. It was almost empty. Sure, they had the really expensive motorized blinds, and the really cheap paper stuff that you stick on with an adhesive until it either falls off or catches fire from a candle or even the sun, but the normal stuff? Nope.

Or to be precise, yep, but not in my size. I’m used to that while pants shopping (they don’t call me Mr. Big Pants for nothing) but Venetian blinds? Seemed like they had plenty of every size but the one I wanted. (Or the eight I wanted, to be exact.) I needed a simple 31 width. No biggie.

I looked at every box, every single stinking box in the blinds aisle. Nothing. Nada. Zilch. I eventually did what no man wants to do, especially in front of  his wife. I am ashamed to be writing this, and embarrassed to admit this, but I… I…

…asked for help from an employee.

He was walking past and wearing an orange apron so he was either a Home Depot worker or a Halloween chef. I told him the problem and started to bring him to the aisle but he took out his phone and opened the app to find where in the store they have the blinds. And it only took him 6 minutes to discover they were where I was going to bring him 6 minutes ago. Thank you technology!

He went to the aisle and again got on the app. I could see his phone so no, he was not on Tinder or Instagram or playing Red Dead Redemption, he was actually doing something relevant. He poked his phone for awhile then walked away. Simply walked away and never came back, just rode off into the sunset.

This metaphor works because the sunset is Home Depot orange. See the thought I put into this?

Soon another guy in an orange apron came over. Picture a guy who you’e never expect to see at Home Depot but would look right at home on the internet debating if Kirk could beat up Picard, and this was the next employee to help me. I explained to him that someone else was helping us.

“Did he look up the numbers?”
“Um, he bent down and read the label on the shelf, and looked at this phone for a long time.”
“But did he look up the numbers?”
“I don’t know… he read the labels……. um……”
“But did he look up the numbers?”

This guy asked me that over and over and over and I still have no idea what he meant. But eventually he got to work. What did he do? bent down and red the label on the shelf, then looked at this phone for a long time. Then he simply walked away.

Again!

I fully expected this to be a practical joke and soon I’d be all over the internet as “man who can’t get blinds” but no, this was real. I was not about to leave without the Venetian blinds, regardless of whether or not they existed. I was going to take them off some guy’s windows in the building next door if I had to. But as I was looking for a manager to yell at, the second guy came back, pulling a ladder. That had to mean that he knew where to get the blinds, right?

Wrong. He pulled the ladder into the middle of the sales floor, nowhere near the blinds section, and walked away. This had to be a joke, right? What the heck was he doing?????

I never did find out the point of the ladder but he did come back, with no blinds and no clue about where to find them. But he was determined! After complaining about “the girls” who work in this section and how “those girls” never tidy it up, and how “those girls” never stock anything, and how “girls really don’t get it” he asked me to give him a few more minutes. I looked over at my wife who, God bless her, had not rammed anything down this guy’s throat, and looked back at the guy.

“No.”

He stammered a little and then I cut him off, said we were going, and hoped that the next store we went to had the blinds, or at least employees who know what they are doing.

In the interest of full disclosure, I did not walk out empty-handed. I bought a flashlight and some sandpaper. (I have nothing to sand but it was the very fine grade so I had to have it.) The cashier was kind enough to look up from her phone for a few seconds to ring us up. I got a look at the Instagram page she was on and let’s just say the “the girls” she was looking at would have given the last guy a heart attack.

I have never left Home Depot so let down.

 

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Global Warming Of The Brain

29 Sep

September 29, 2018

I had a conversation with a coworker today.

COWORKER: Wow! Did you see all that rain this morning?
ME: Uh huh.

You may already notice that I am not holding up my end of the conversation. That’s because I was clearly and obviously writing a report when this inspiring talk began.

COWORKER: I couldn’t believe it. It was coming down like cats and dogs.
ME: Yeah, it was bad.

I said that without looking up as I continued to type. I hoped she would get the hint.

COWORKER: I wonder if it is raining in North Carolina.

This gave me pause. Was she about to hop on a flight to Raleigh? I slowed my typing just a bit, looked up, and said-

ME: North Carolina?
COWORKER: You know, where they had the hurricane. Can you imagine if it rained after a hurricane. They had enough rain to last!
ME: Oh. (Back to typing.)
COWORKER: I bet it was supposed to be sunny today.
ME: Huh?
COWORKER: You know. The original plan.

No, I did not know. I am not privy to whatever plans she was speaking of. Were they classified? Were they plans made by God? Who was it that had made plans for it to be sunny today? Does Mother Nature have a file I don’t know about? And am I in it?

ME: Whose original plan?
COWORKER: Nature. Or God. Whichever one is in charge of the weather. I bet when the season began and they mapped out the weather this was supposed to be sunny. We had a lot of rain recently so I’m sure this was a going to be a sunny day.

To save us both a little time, let me explain what it took me precious minutes and even more precious brain cells to get out of her. You see, at the beginning of every season (Winter, Summer, Fall, Spring, and Autumn, in that order according to her) the weather forces are mapped out by Nature and/or God (I never pinned her down on that) for the next few months. The temperature each day is planned. Weathermen figured it all out. That’s why the Farmer’s Almanac can tell you years in advance when to plant crops. And, she said conspiratorially, there’s big money in being a weatherman.

I can get behind the idea of a Mother Nature like this.

Well, I’m an educated man. At one point I was on the track to a career in science. (That’s true. No sarcasm here.) I understand what drives weather patterns and I can tell you, unequivocally, that Mother Nature does not sit down and over tea and scones with God write out in her little black book the temperature and humidity for every day of the year.

But to her point, if today was originally penciled in by the Theoi Meteoroi to be a sunny day, why was it raining?

COWORKER: Global warming. It ruins every nice day. This was going to be a sunny day but someone gave it a shot of global warming and all the plans went to pot.

Ah. I see. But what I said was-

ME: I don’t think it works that way.
COWORKER: Sure it does. Why do you think they had that hurricane last week? Global warming keeps creating these hurricanes and pretty soon there will be nothing left on Earth except all these hurricanes we keep having and volcanoes.

Say what you want about global warming, it isn’t germane to this blog, but global warming has been blamed for making stronger hurricanes, not creating them. By a total coincidence, I came across an article just the day before which stated just that, and I brought it up online (saving my report because I never was going to go back and finish it at this rate) and showed her.

COWORKER: I don’t have time to read that.

Yes, just like I didn’t have time for this conversation.

So to recap, fairies put nuts in chocolate bars and nice weather is all mapped out in advance by Mother Earth but we get rain because “someone” injects global warming into the atmosphere without warning.

You learn something new every day.

 

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