Thursday, April 21, 2005

Lumber Yards

Yesterday, Toby sent me to Home Depot to buy two exterior doors and one pocket door. These were the main items on my list plus several small things like nails, a washer for the bolt that fell off the nail gun, etc. I started off with lots of excitement about picking out my doors - feeling like the contractor instead of the grunt. My bravado sooned turned to confusion, dismay, and anger. A young man (really just a boy because he certainly was not old enough or wise enough to be considered a man) came over to help me. I told him exactally what I needed and pointed to the style I liked. First of all he informed me the price of $159.00 that was marked over the doors was only the installation price; the price of the doors that I liked was $179.00. This put the first dampener on my day. Then he informed me that the doors that I wanted were up on a high shelf, and he could not get them. He then said, "My deal is broke." This is where the confusion set in, and it must have showed on my face. Then he said, "You go have you some lunch or something, come back in about an hour, and I will have those doors down for you." Several thoughts ran through my mind like, "I don't want lunch; I want doors. I have a dentist appointment at 2:00. Here I am ready to spend $400.00 and your 'deal is broke'. What can you do in an hour that you cannot do right now?" The young man disappeared about this time which was probably the smartest thing he did all day. After a phone call to Toby, I headed to Sutherlands (across town).

The sad truth is that Sutherlands was not much better. The young man (boy) who helped me knew absolutely nothing about doors (not his department), but was very willing to climb all around the shelves to find what I wanted. After several trips to the front of the store to discuss doors with the man behind the counter, I got the doors of my choice at $149.00. The problem came with the pocket door. It turned out to be a kit costing $60.00 plus you had to buy a door separately for about $20.00 more. The young man found the kit for me (the last one in the store), but it had a big dent in the box and the metal was smashed. "I bet they will give you a big discount on that." said the young man. "You will only have to pay about $40.00, and you can beat the dent out with a hammer." This was not my idea of a great buy. After more phone calls to Toby, I headed back to Home Depot - this time with a feeling of dread.

As I approached the door department, the young man recognized me and hollered, "Hey, you are right on time. I got those doors down for you." I explained that I spent my hour at Sutherlands and bought doors there, but I still needed the pocket door. This seem to irritate the young man who then spent the entire time it took to get my pocket door telling me that I had not gotten a good deal at Sutherlands and that Home Depot doors were better. I took my chewing out in silence thinking it was not my fault his "deal was broke". At this point, I just wanted to get the hell out of Dodge.

One last note, the young man at Sutherlands stayed right with me even taking my doors out to the truck and helping me load them. The you man at Home Depot put my pocket door on the cart and disappeared. I loaded it myself. I was hot, hungry, angry, and I missed my dentist appointment. I took off in the truck thinking, "What the Hey! I got a the best prices on my doors." I got myself an ice tea and chicken McNuggets, and I called the dentist to reschedule. It all worked out well enough. I won't even tell you about the lady at Home Depot who treated me as if I were an idiot when I asked her for a price on asphalt siding nor the lecture she gave me on how I should ask for a quote on the whole house not just one panel.

Later while working at the house, we did some demolition on the old part of the house. It felt good to just be a grunt and swing a hammer and smash things.

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