Sunday, November 18, 2012

Shopping in the USA

Tell me if this doesn't sound familiar. A simple part breaks on (fill in just about any major appliance or fixture) so you pop down to the "big box" we got everything hardware store. After being greeted by the loosing employee of the week  (makes you wonder what he/she did to get door duty) who is there not so much to help you but make sure nobody sneaks out the entry without paying, you inquire where the section keeping your hoped for product might be found. No point in asking specifics here this guy couldn't tell you where he left his car keys. Invariably what you're looking for is at the other end of this mega complex and almost always in the rear. After a walk of what might exhaust a marathon walker you come to the general area. Large overhead banners are there to give a general sense of direction and should not be considered accurate. After all they might have moved everything last week and failed to move the banners. I think that's their little employee revenge.

Sauntering down the aisle scanning the widgets and doo dads trying to hone in on the exact needed part you give up and look for assistance. Help is like a cop, never around when you need one but always there when you don't. On your trek back to the general area at least two of the orange vested have asked you if you needed assistance but you thought "hell I can find it myself when I get there" right? Wrong. It almost never fails that if they do have what you were looking for it's only to be seen as a display model neatly bolted to the shelf with an empty rack underneath. Maybe just maybe they have some stashed in the back room you thing half kidding yourself. So it's now time to find the elusive sales clerk. Like gazelles at the sound of a lion they have scattered to who knows where. Did everybody go on break at the same time? Eventually you spot one of the elusive beasts at the other end of the store. (The vision isn't completely gone. Didn't even need binoculars to spot the orange vest). Maybe you'd be lucky and spot another along the way but somehow that's never the case. You make the mad dash to the other end of the store only to spot your prey disappear into the employees only area. You finally make contact at the outside garden section of one offloading heavy bags of manure and you know the routine there. He'll direct you back to the section you were just in. But you just wanted one simple part. Okay then he'll call on the radio for back up. "Know the part or item number? He asks.

After a long walk back to where this all began you are fortunate enough to corner a section chief (assistant to an assistant in training) and he'll look in the back for you. Finally some service. You stand there for what seems like a half an hour (probably because he can't find it in the back either because he's going through the same process you just did) and the end result is either they just ran out or you can order it and it will be in Wednesday. You can come back then. There is in rare cases where you're lucky enough to get the very last of an item which is always made in China by workers who could care less if something works or not. They were just happy to make their quota and have a roof over their head. Then there's the stores policy of satisfaction always unless it cuts into their profits. Return it in what is it now 7 days for a refund or replacement? Funny how such things manage to make it about a week before the cheaply made item fails. After which you can still get a refund or replacement by writing the manufacturer, sending the faulty item back with a complete explanation of your dissatisfaction, plus shipping and handling charges. Sheesh I've had lesser punishments from a high school detention. Oh and I failed to mention that these items always come two three or six to a package.

How I miss the days when a hardware store was not much bigger than a living room, Clyde knew where every nut and bolt in the store was, things didn't break down as often and when they did it didn't take two weeks to fix them. Most everything back then was made of metal and it didn't take an engineering degree to repair.

Okay and while you're at it get off my lawn!


Steven Dunn said...

I can relate...but I have a happy ending. I went to one of the local BBS's looking for 4 Philips Head MB8x25 bolts. The clerk that I asked for help couldn't leave his post...apparently, he was counting folks as they came in and greeting them with 'Can I help you?' He then noted that action on a clipboard. He wasn't really going to help but he gave me an aisle number and which side of that aisle. I found the location and also found that they had MB8x20 and 25's.
On the way out, the helpful clerk whispered to me that I should try Colliers hardware store, downtown. Colliers is a store with high ceilings and wooden floors. There are shelves and nooks everywhere. A clerk there asked if he could help and I gave him my order. He said 'Follow me' and he was soon in a dark area of the store I had never seen before. He reached up high into a bin and came out with the bolts I needed. 4 of them. 4 washers as well. And he counted them out one at a time and put them in a little paper bag and penciled in the price. We thanked each other and the deal was more BBS's for us!

Tom Harper said...

Ah yes, the sales clerks that fall all over you when you're not looking for something; then they fall off the Earth when you do need help.

It's the same syndrome as restaurants. The waiter/waitress hovers and pesters you to death while you're reading the menu to see what you want. Later, when you want a coffee refill, the waiter/waitress has disappeared into another dimension.

BBC said...

Most stores here isn't all that big and generally I have good luck with the things I buy. And they'll refund your money if you are not happy with it.

harry said...

SOME people just ain't happy unless they got somethin' ta bitch about!

Randal Graves said...

The only time I don't use the local mom and pop hardware store is when I need a key duplicated because their machine sucks.

Demeur said...

Steven I haven't seen a store like that in years.

Tom they were probably kidnaped to work in a Starbucks in Rangoon.

Billy just wait until the younger executives take over. All that will change.

Harry like you don't bitch either?

Randal, Pop ran off with the shoemakers wife and mom is now in the poor house. Who can compete with Walmart?

harry said...

No, I DON'T bitch.

I AM the bitch!

Demeur said...

Lol Harry you show one ugly bitch too!

The Blog Fodder said...

Peter's Hardware had everything or could get it and knew where everything was and what it was called. Peter retired and no one wanted the business.

Anonymous said...

The next time I read a blog, I hope that it doesnt disappoint me as much as this one. I mean, I know it was my choice to read, but I actually thought youd have something interesting to say. All I hear is a bunch of whining about something that you could fix if you werent too busy looking for attention.

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