At least once a week I have to go to either Lowes or Home Depot.
Sometimes more than once.
Sometimes a lot more than once (hey, sometimes I break stuff while fixing other stuff. It happens. So, put a sock in it, Bob Villa.)
This does not make me happy.
I really don’t like those places. They’re supposed to be one stop shopping for home improvement needs, but they’re really not. They never have what I need, and I end up having to go to both stores almost every time in order to get the supplies I have to have for whatever job I’m elbow deep in at the moment. Seriously the damned stores are always located together anyway, where you find one, you find the other – they ought to just build them on opposite sides of the same parking lot. It would sure make my life a lot easier.
What should be a fifteen minute errand always turns into a two hour adventure at Aggravation World.
I always get the helpless helper. You know, the guy in the blue or orange vest who comes rolling up with a big smile and says “Hey, what can I help you find?” Against your better judgment, you tell him because maybe this time it will be different. But no. Hell no. As always it turns out that he has no damned clue as to where the item you need might be or if they even carry it. So he says brightly, “Well, hey, let’s go look for it, follow me!” Sure, just what I need, a snipe hunt with my new best friend. I don’t need help wandering aimlessly up and down random aisles, you idiot, I was doing just fine with that on my own before you showed up.
What’s the phrase? Let’s build something together? Uh, no. Have you seen some of these people? Yesterday there was a wild eyed guy working in Lowes with hair down to his ass and a equal length beard. Yeah, me and Charlie Manson will be out back building a swing set if you need us.
Lowes has this phenomenally irritating automated paging system. I’m fairly sure this thing was cooked up by the same charming folks who invented the waterboard. Some brainless clod pushes a button and the damned system starts blaring over the loudspeakers “Special assistance needed in the board cutting area! Special assistance needed in the board cutting area! Special assistance needed in the board cutting area!” And the impatient mouth breathing dolt back there in the board cutting area just keeps pushing that goddamned button over and over and over until I’m ready to go back there and jam his head into the saw myself. He’s like a little kid on a road trip, “are we there yet are we there yet are wethereyet?” And when some helplessly helpful employee finally does show up to give him the special assistance, some other gomer starts pushing the button elsewhere in the store, “Special assistance needed in …” Jesus H. Christ, one of these days I’m going to snap and run screaming around the store with a pair of wire cutters lopping off those stinking help buttons and maybe a button pressing index finger or two.
I was in Home Depot on Sunday and they must have had every single forklift in the place moving crap around. The beeping was deafening. It was like Day of the Daleks in there. I kept expecting the stinking things to pick up a plunger in the toilet aisle while blurting “Exterminate! Exterminate!” If they started vaporizing customers I would have been cheering them on.
Whatever I need, they’re out of. If I go in looking for 250 feet of 12/2 U/W copper wiring – every damned body in the Valley suddenly decides to put in patio lighting that needs outdoor two-strand 12 gauge wiring. If I need 8mm recessed hex head screws – so does everybody else. It doesn’t matter what it is, or how unusual or obscure it is, they only had two of them and they just sold ‘em that morning – but, hey, no worries they’ll have more next week. They’ve got a whole huge pile of the size I don’t need, and apparently neither does anybody else. Just in time delivery is a business model that can kiss my ass.
I was standing in the electrical supply section, trying to figure out what I could substitute for the things I needed and they didn’t have. Behind me some halfwit was asking the helpless helper for advice on rewiring his main electrical panel. Now the the guy giving the advice was the same dipshit who didn’t know the difference between 12/2 and 14/3 outdoor wiring, but suddenly he’s an expert on your home electrical system? Yeah, better swing by aisle ten and pick up a couple fire extinguishers. Just saying.
Apparently both Lowes and Home Depot get a volume discount on those big rolling stairway ladder platforms that are blocking every single damned aisle. I swear it’s like the silly sons of bitches are doing it on purpose. I think they’re tracking me with those little radios, “sssssh beepblop, this is Charlie on parking lot patrol, he’s getting out of his truck, looks like he’s got a busted sink fitting in one hand!”
“SSSSrk! Bleepblop! Roger all, Charlie, we copy. Try to stall him with the Helpless Helper routine while we move every fucking ladder in the store into the plumbing aisle!”
“fzzzztp! Beeelbop! Yeah, this is Charlie again, looks like he’s in a hurry, better get a couple of the forklifts too…”
“ssssvippp! Roger. Exterminate! Exterminate!”
What chaps your ass about big box stores?