Follow by Email

StatCounter

Saturday, June 7, 2014

The small hardware store



Just about every year my daughter in Massachusetts and I end up doing a little construction project together. One year it was a new basement door. Another year we remodeled her bathroom. They are fun little projects.

The worse part is dealing with the big box all-in-one builder's outlet with the big orange signs that will remain nameless. If I'm lucky I can find all the stuff I need myself. If terribly unlucky, I have to ask for assistance.

It was during the bathroom remodel. I needed to get connectors to go from the old style plumbing to match up with the new stuff. I even had a fair idea where they were located in the store. Unfortunately I could not find the parts I needed and was forced to ask for help.

The first guy could not help me. Neither could the second, or the third. Eventually they noticed that something else had been stocked in place of the part I needed. At that point they forgot all about me. Things devolved into a rotating blame game on who was responsible for parts stocked in the wrong place. They had even lost track of the fact that didn't have the part I needed.

In the end I gently eased them aside and rummaged though the parts until I found a work around. When I left they were still arguing.

My local hardware store spoiled me. My house looks like a display model for the history of plumbing. It's had a lot of changes over the years. Plumbing materials and fittings come in and out of fashion. One time I came in with two odd, uncommon plumbing connectors.

“Find me the parts I need to get from this one to that one, with as few adapters as possible.”

First the guy found two parts that would do the job. He wasn't satisfied and dug around until he found a really odd ball connector that could do it alone. It saved a few dollars and would be quicker to install. Smart clerks, imagine that.

-Sixbears







14 comments:

  1. Same over here. The sales assistants have no idea what they sell, no idea what most things are for, or where they are. If the computers are down they are lost. On the other end, I have a small hardware store nearby, fairly old fashioned in that they know what they got, they know what it's for and where it is! The men there are pleasant, happy to spend the time of day chatting. I like old fashioned.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'll even pay a bit more for people who know what they are doing. My time has value.

      Delete
    2. Me too. I have been going there long enough that I get a discount on what I buy. I'd still go even without the discount.

      Delete
    3. I find the savings from the big box store is not worth it and sometimes the small guy is even cheaper. Go figure.

      Delete
  2. Let's face it guys, we're part of the old school and we're a dying breed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No apologies for that. Besides, I ain't dead yet!

      Delete
  3. I was told point blank by an older ex contractor who was working at the Big Orange Sign place once that the joint is set up expressly for contractors and everything else they sell is just gravy for them.

    I was in one recently and couldn't even find anyone who knew what all thread IS, let alone where in the hell it might possibly be.

    Give me a small time good old fashioned HARDWARE store any day.

    There is an Ace hardware not too far from me that has a young lady there that knows what is in that store front to back.
    She stocks the damn thing and probably knows it better than the actual owner.

    I go find her when I need something I can't find myself.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. She's a find, that one. Hope they keep her.

      Delete
  4. I agree with Phil our Ace is family owned and run right.The owners Mom is my go to gal then him his daughter and son.What the hell is 5% extra when you get in out and good advice in one.Most his workers are old contractors that just like talking and seeing their old buddys.I always pick ACE over the orange one.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are lucky to have a store near you that still knows what customer service is all about.

      Delete
  5. I am lucky to have a hardware store fairly near, closer than the big lot stores, and they are very helpful. You either take in what you want to replace or just tell them and they personally take you right to where the parts are and even help you choose what you need.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was said that the big box stores would kill all the little hardware places, but plenty of them are holding on.

      Delete
  6. we have 'handyman' here no further than the orange store. they know everything and each little part and its place.
    great place. n e ohio
    went to orange store in another state and got a piece of downspout. lacked a number sticker. he said he'd call plumbing. i said it isn't plumbing and told him what it was. he called plumbing anyway with me standing there saying loudly, 'it isn't plumbing.'. he said they didn't know what it was. i repeated that it wasn't plumbing. i gave up and returned to get one with a sticker.
    those guys are either dumber than dirt or do it on purpose so you'll give up and do it yourself. that way they don't have to stir their stumps.
    a ccording to what you werertold they don't care if the customer walks out if he's not a contractor. now it all makes sense.
    deb h.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Makes you wonder if there was something wrong with his hearing. :)

      Delete