I went out at lunchtime, and stopped by Home Depot for some supplies, including a roll of general purpose electrical tape to replace the two active rolls that I misplaced, and 25′ lengths of 12/2 Romex wire in 12 and 14 gauge sizes.
Unfortunately, I wasted time earlier looking for my 14 gauge wire, and it wasn’t until I was utterly frustrated that I realized I used it all up.
And yes, I know that larger roles have better per-foot pricing, but 25 feet is more than enough right now.
Side note – I had been looking for my spool of wire so that I could create a short leash for the end of a run of coax wire. I was mounting some stuff in my daughter’s room and replaced a coax bulkhead jack with a flat plate. But what if we need that coax run in the future? So I wanted to push it back in the hole in the wall, but with a small tail to pull it out again if needed. I ended up using a 6″ piece of yellow wire that came with a wall dimmer switch in case the user wants to do a 3-way installs. Would there have been a better way to do this?
Anyway, so I had a great time at Home Depot, thanks to a short but warm and amusing conversation with an older associate. From an interaction he had with another associate, it seemed like he was having a rough day. So, 11 spools of 12 gauge 250 ft x 12/3 Romex wire had gone missing, presumably because someone had filled their cart and walked it right out of the store. This seemed to weigh on him, that over $1000 of merchandise was missing and presumed stolen, but he remained chipper and friendly. Unfortunately, it appears that this kind of thing happens a lot.
I spoke with the associate for a few minutes, and he also helped two customers in that time as well.
Here’s what I loved about the encounter – the associate helped two customers and interacted with me, with all of us leaving in smiles. Despite being frustrated about the missing spools of wire, the associate was obviously a happy person who loved his job.
We talked a bit, and he referenced having regular customers. Our local electrician shops at electrical supply houses, but also picks up certain things at big box stores. So, it makes sense that the associate would have some regulars.
I don’t think I’ve ever interacted with this Home Depot store associate before, but I’ll be looking for him in the future.
This was all at my local Home Depot, where I’ve had a couple of notably positive experiences before.
This associate had a strong joking nature, and by that I mean he came across in an eccentric uncle or dad joke kind of way, but not silly in the way that makes you roll your eyes.
Before we spoke, he or his associate asked if I needed help with anything.
Some people are bothered by these questions, but I’m not. It’s better to be asked “can I help you find anything” and politely decline than to have to hunt someone down when I do need help.
The thing to remember is that retail experiences can vary from store to store, depending on store management and sales floor associates alike. When interacting with individual store associates, a positive mood is almost contagious.
It’s amazing how different my quick supply trip worked out today, thanks to a brief encounter with a friendly and helpful Home Depot associate. But, I suppose it shouldn’t be a surprise, considering how sour less positive experiences can make us feel. You know what I’m talking about – when a store’s website says they have 20 of an item in stock, but you spend a half hour trying to find it and then more time trying to find someone to get it down from a shelf for you.
Have you had any especially pleasant experiences at a local home center or supply shop?