Hardware

I just got back from Lowe’s Home Builders Depot Square Bargain Warehouse Store. All I needed was three inches of 5/8″ hose. Finding it was an adventure. After twenty minutes I found a guy who told me where it was but he couldn’t get it for me (too dumb, to dangerous, I don’t know). I think he worked there because he said he would call somebody that could get it for me.

Ten minutes later a guy about my age was walking by with his son and I said to him that his son was too young but that he and I remember when a hardware store was a real store. As we talked for a moment they told me that they had just had a piece of hose cut earlier and it took forever for the guy to get there and then he acted like it was a real imposition to have him cut the hose. They told me to look for a guy talking on the phone and walking around at the other end of the building.

As I started out to search for the guy, about half way down I came accross a woman pushing a huge cart, not one of the ones for customers so I asked her about the hose. She said sure, she would be glad to cut me a piece. As we walked over I told her of my meeting with the other customers and she was not happy. I think she might have been the manager or something. I think I should clarify that this was not during peak hours, in fact the only other customers I saw in the place were the ones I talked to and a few up front lined up in the one open checkout line.

Now this place isn’t going broke, in the morning it’s packed with contractors. Nights and weekends it’s packed with homeowners. And I understand they pay an above average wage so you would think that in these times they could find enough people that give a rats wazzoo to staff it. I don’t know who’s at fault here but this is not the first time I have heard a story like this repeated about one of these joints and I just believe it’s not a symptom but a cause of cultural decay.

As I walked to the checkout, forty minutes after entering the place for a single piece of hose, I saw a guy walking around talking on a phone. When I got to the checkout my new friends had just reached  the front of the line and there was some kind of problem with the way the guy had marked their hose or something so the woman in the returns booth took me. I guess I was lucky because they were still their when I left.

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