Friday, May 4, 2012

Not Helpful

Any Parks and Rec fans out there? Remember the episode when Ron Swanson decides to fix everything in Andy and April's house?

Well, this pretty much sums up how I've felt lately when I walk into a certain home improvement store:

A couple weeks ago, I asked someone if they sold Kreg Jigs. They had no idea what I was talking about. I said, "You know, something that helps you drill pocket holes?" He still had no idea what I was talking about.

A few months ago, I had to ask three people where to find staples for an electric stapler. The first took me to pneumatic staplers. The second just pointed in a direction. Finally, the third took me to the right place.

On another visit, I asked a man where I could find sanding discs for a power sander. He proceeded to educate me on what the different grits were and was asking me what I was doing so he could tell me what I needed. This would've been fine, except every sign I gave him (including a quick response to "hook and loop or adhesive?") pointed to the fact that I knew what I was doing. Then, I watched him help a lady and her husband figure out what power sander to buy. He totally ignored the fact that the woman wanted something that fit in her hand and kept emphasizing warranties. All she wanted to do was scuff up paneling so that she could paint it. I wanted to point out that if she's going to be using it on a wall, she probably won't really hold it in the palm of her hand, so she didn't need to worry about the size so much as the weight. But I didn't want to be a know it all. I spend too much time being one already.

By the way, I ended up buying the Kreg Jig at Woodcraft, which is well-stocked with both woodworking supplies and helpful salesmen.

I'm majorly frustrated with the quality of service at these big box home stores. I read somewhere that Home Depot was trying to make their store more female-friendly by carrying Martha Stewart home items. Some Ace Hardware stores were "brightening up" a couple isles and selling more things like scented candles. Are they going to start selling Tampons too? I can buy patio furniture and scented candles from Target. When I go to a home improvement store or a hardware store, I want to talk to someone who knows how to complete a project from start to finish, and who doesn't treat me like I'm an idiot just because I'm a girl.

Maybe I'll just start wandering the isles of Home Depot looking for a forlorn DIY cohort, and we'll find the stuff we need together.


  1. Welcome to my life - I've started using Home Depot's order online and pick up at customer service system because I usually already know what I want and find it waaaay easier than trying to talk to those employees. Yet I STILL get condescending questions. Check out my blog post about my attempt to buy a saw:

    1. Ha! I love that post. I haven't tried the order online, pick up in the store option. Yesterday I was there looking at air compressors and didn't get any weird questions. Improvement maybe?

  2. You go, Girl! I loved reading this post and couldn't agree more with you. I try to go to our smaller hardware stores over Home Depot, if I can manage it. Love your writing style!

    P.S. I can't wait to get my own Kreg Jig.

  3. I don't put up with this. I've been doing carpentry for longer than most of the HD employees have been alive, and I cut them short when the 'here's what you need to do, Sweetie' stuff starts.

    Our Lowes is really good ... but, they know me there. Ran into the Lowes' manager at Target one day, and he said to me, "You giving Lowes a break today?" (I guess you could assume that I'm a regular.)

    1. I wish there was a Lowes closer to my house. I feel like they cater much better to DIYers than HD, given all the effort they've made to publish their free magazine and online content. It sounds like I need to make friends with some store managers!


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