I’m one of those people who do my best to put my money where my mouth is, if I don’t like a product or a company I don’t give them my money.
With that said, I spend a lot of money at Lowes. It’s convenient. The nearest privately owned hardware store is 45 mins away. I could shop online, but when you need a new drill bit, waiting a week is not an option. Also, last summer Lowes had a giant banner of a bird and since then my children refer to it as the birdie store. For reasons only they know, they love the birdie store. I’m just glad they don’t like Walmart. Another store I despise, but gets my money cuz when you need pain reliever at 2am where do you go?
When we lived in NYC we knew the owner of every store we shopped at by name and vice versa.
Our local hardware store was just a few blocks away and not once was I ever told where to find something. They always walked me to the item discussed my project and offered advice on the best product. No “that’s on aisle 54B” crap. Nope, Hamud always followed up my “where is such and such” with “what ya working on Deidre?”.
I miss that.
Let me tell you a story that will help those that have never lived in a haven of mom and pop stores.
The day I found out I was pregnant for the first time I was antsy to do something. I had woken up sick, wondering what could be wrong with me for so long and counting down my symptoms in an attempt to self diagnose. After a while I realized if another woman had told me all those symptoms I would have suggested she take a pregnancy test. So off to the local pharmacist I went knowing full well I was pregnant. After confirming with 2 “pregnant, not pregnant” dummy style tests I sat down knowing I would be waiting 8 hours before I could tell my husband. I needed something to do, so I decided to clean and disinfect my apartment. I was still young and stupid and thought bleach was the only way to go. Luckily I was not so stupid as to not protect myself. I skipped out to find a gas mask and some serious protective gloves at my local hardware store.
As usual, when I asked Hamud for these things he asked what I was doing. He walked me over to some dish washing gloves and a flimsy white mask. ” I need something better”. He looked at me with an odd expression and asked ” Are you using straight bleach?” “No” I said “mixed with soapy water.” “This will protect you just fine” he said. I stood there for a moment wondering if this person should be the first to know my news and in a burst of unconstrained enthusiasm I told him I just found out, like 30 minutes ago, I was pregnant and I want to deep clean my home, but I need better protection.
This is where Lowes and Hamud are never going to be the same.
He smiled a big toothy grin and looked down at my belly. I remember that first belly look, I didn’t know until later people just do that. Even when there is nothing to see. With out so much as a hint of laughter at the ridiculousness of my request he responded “I see, yes, this must be your first, I know what you want”. He walked me down the aisle and handed me thick black gloves and a mask used for industrial solvents, he even offered up plastic coveralls. When it came time to pay he gave me a “there’s gonna be a new baby in the neighborhood” discount of 20%. He offered congratulations and demanded I bring the little tyke in once it was ready for the world. I saw him a few times before we left the city. I walked by one day when he was sweeping the sidewalk. He looked straight at my belly and smiled, “looking good!”
How often does that happen at Lowes, I’m lucky if I can find a human being, much less one that knows my name, even though I have been in there hundreds of times. And what ever you do don’t expect them to have any knowledge base. I can not count the number of times I have walked out of the store with the wrong item after believing the sales associate.
This is why I do not like Lowes.