Friday, October 2, 2009

Familiar Faces in Hostile Places

I'm fully aware of the fact that serious building and supply stores like LaValley's and Home Depot don't have time for Johnny Come Lately's as myself, but you'd think they'd put a little bit of effort towards taking our money. It's intimidating enough to go into these places and talk shop with experts, who are all real-men in the truest sense of the word (the parking lots are like Ford Truck dealerships), but then you go in and they make you feel like a loser. You have two choices in this matter. Either you go to Home Depot and get no service, or you go to LaValley's and they are incredibly cold and unfriendly. I, personally, would opt for the former. Home Depot works well if you know what you need, can find it, and get out with little to no interference.

Then again, it helps to know what you need, and I'm not that sort of person. So I have to ask questions, and that's the problems arise. I'd avoided LaValley's in the past because I hate asking questions. They are so unfriendly there. When I went to Home Depot, if by some miracle I could even find someone to help me, when I asked a question, I would get the Circuit City effect-they would not know what they were talking about but would try to pass it off like they did.

To their credit, Home Depot has improved their customer service significantly. Now when I go there, I get the Walmart effect, with someone waiting at the entrance to smile and greet me and ask me if they can be of assistance. It's nice, but in most instances, when I do have questions, I got right back to the Circuit City effect (you know the one, where you ask about a piece of stereo equipment and they simply read the information card on the display). This happens quite frequently, though every now and then, you'll get lucky.

Anyway, back to LaValley's. They know their stuff over there, and they have good pricing, and what I perceive to be better quality. They are just used to catering to professionals who know what they are doing and talk the talk. That excludes yours truly.

I went in there the other day to buy lumber and supplies, and of course got the cold shoulder as usual. Sometimes I think if I quietly stood there, they'd ignore me all day. Well, from the darkness, a ray of sunshine appeared, as I mentioned before, in the form or H from Britton's. I used to go there solely to get H's advice on things, he was knowledgeable, friendly, and always willing to help. He must have recognized my cluelessness and felt sorry for me.

Whatever be the case, he's now at LaValley's because Britton's in on the verge of collapse. It sure makes shopping there more pleasant. Now, if I could just get the cashier to look at me (I've given up on getting them to smile), life would be good.

Until the next time, thanks for reading, and thanks to Peter Miller for the pic.

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