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Tag Archives: bad service

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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P.I. Work Isn’t All Glamour

20 Nov

November 20, 2017

As my fictional detective Hollywood Russell would be the first to tell you, being an investigator is not as glamorous or dramatic as the movies make it out to be. There is a lot of drudge work and a lot of striking out and getting no results. But like any other job, there are silly, funny things that happen when you least expect it. Take this story, which actually happened to me last week.

My partner and I were in Queens checking out a witness. We were interviewing a hotel manager who was called by the police to provide the video from the hotel security cameras. There was an accidental (it seems) death and it may have been recorded. For the insurance company, we needed a statement. It was provided and we wrapped it up. Cut and dry.

My partner wanted to grab a snack. He’s been on the job for over two decades and it seems that one perk of longevity on this job is knowing every place to eat in the city. So we went to a small diner he knew on Roosevelt Ave and 111th street. I may be a rookie at this game but when it comes to eating out, my instincts have him beat.

The first thing I noticed, aside from the fact that it was dark and dingy, was that the Department of Health rating was “Grade Pending.” Now while I would not normally go into a place without an A rating that wasn’t a deal-breaker for my partner. Hey, it wasn’t shut down, right? That must mean no one has died from their food. (Recently.)

I’m not saying this is the place we went to but yeah, this is the place we went to. Notice that they USED TO HAVE an A rating.

So I wasn’t going to order any food and I figured the best way to stay out of the hospital was to just order a can of soda. It arrived and with it was a glass and a straw. No ice in the glass, just a plastic glass. So what was the point? I picked it up and I didn’t need to hold it up to the light to see that it was dirty. OK, I’m going to drink this straight out of the can. And I’m not going to use the straw either. The waitress did that thing where your straw has already been unwrapped and only the top inch is still on. Why do places do that? Is it classy? I don’t know but this place clearly did not care about class. Class to me is giving a clean glass. And since the straw was unwrapped and touching the dirty plastic that was no longer an option. I wiped the top of the can and drank it that way. But this was simple compared to my partner’s order.

ME: Just a can of Coke.
PARTNER: I’ll have a cup of tea with lemon and a toasted bagel with butter.
WAITRESS: OK, that’s a can of Coca-Cola and a toasted bagel and butter.
PARTNER: Don’t forget my drink.
WAITRESS: Do you want a can of Coca-Cola too?
PARTNER: I asked for a tea with lemon.
WAITRESS: No Coca-Cola?

A couple of minutes later the waitress came back and told him they had no lemon and no regular tea, just green tea or ginger. He took green. That came not in a dirty tea cup but in a paper takeout container so he was probably safe as long as nothing was floating on top.

Right after the tea came she brought over his bagel with butter. It had a big hunk of sausage on it. And not like a breakfast sausage or patty, it looked like a half of a bratwurst stuck between the slices. He looked at me and I looked at him. I had no sympathy. I never would walked into this place to begin with.

My partner called over the waitress (“Hey! Hey!”) and told her he didn’t order any meat on his sandwich. This confused her.

WAITRESS: You don’t want?
PARTNER: Meat. You put meat on it. I didn’t want meat.
WAITRESS: You don’t want?
PARTNER: No, you put meat on it.

I don’t want to give the impression that my partner is not a good communicator but he was definitely not getting his point across.

ME: All he wants is a bagel and butter. Nothing else on it. Bagel. Butter. That’s it.
WAITRESS: Ah.

She took away the plate and after a lot longer than it should have taken (which was another warning sign) she came back with his bagel, toasted, with butter and bacon.

My mouth slowly dropped open. I wasn’t surprised, not really. I was amazed at how stupid the situation was, not to mention the waitress. I looked at my partner who looked stunned and give him a look that asked “OK Champ. Now what? Dare you send it back?” (My facial expressions can be incredibly loquacious.)

“If I send this back who knows what it’ll have on it next. Liverwurst?” So he shrugged and ate it. And how was the bacon? “Crispy and tasty.”

So we left and as we walked back to the car he pointed out another dinky little place and told me that last year he had a whole chicken dinner there.

Next time I choose the restaurant.

 

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