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Thread: What the???

  1. #11
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    Default Re: What the???

    Love this thread. ROFLMAO! Too funny. And really appreciate everyone's contributions.

    I had to yank a client's wooden exterior door a couple days ago to strip and refinish both sides. This is not their main entrance and so it's not a big deal for them. But I gotta plug the hole with something even though there's a nice storm. Don't have any spare sheets laying around right now, so go to Menard's to acquire a sheet of rigid foam insulation. Find some 1 1/2" sheeets, but no price anywhere to be seen. Grab an employee (about 30 YO) and he goes to the closest puter to query. In the search field he types .....insolation. Hits the enter key. No results. Looks puzzled. I point out that he mis-spelled the word. "Oh, yeah". Types again......insalation. Same result. I bite my tongue. He grabs his phone and calls another employee. "How do you spell insulation?" (Hey fella, ask me, I know. ) He hangs up and mumbles something to himself, then reaches for the keyboard again. This time he types....foom. I correct him and so he then tries......foam. Took ten minutes, butI finally got a price. All the while there is a huge freakin' sign on the wall right over his head that says......FOAM INSULATION.

    BTW, we aren't "customers" at Menard's......we are "guests". "Guest needs assistance in electrical department." Give me a freakin' break. I ain't your guest...I'm just a shopper lookin' for materials. If I was your guest......... you'd best be offering me something to eat, something to drink and a Lazyboy to digest in. "Guests" at our house don't come to spend money and go home with purchased stuff.

    As far as big-box "previous shoppers" giving you the shaft by returning goods for a refund.....that aren't what they oughta be......

    A few years back we were involved in a very extensive woodwork refinish job while the clients were gone to Germany for three weeks. Everything had to go just so or we (3 of us) weren't going to make it by the time they returned. Cleaning, recoloring mucho woodwork and then clear-coating with nitro-cellulose lacquer. One day we're shooting nitro over what we'd managed to prep & recolor the day before by 9 PM. Am out of lacquer thinner by mid-morning and so run out to Menard's to grab a couple gallons. (It's a bit closer than Sherwin-Williams) Return and mix up more nitro. Spray away. I later look back on what I'd shot about two hours prior and it all has the sugar-frosted flakes appearance. Moisture is getting in the nitro somehow. It isn't humid at all, so that isn't the cause. We break for noon and decide to test my suspicions while we chow. Pour some of that new lacquer thinner into a shallow jar lid and wait. Sure enough, all the LT evaporates, leaving a layer of pure water behind. Someone had used some of the LT, then refilled the gallon can with water and returned it for full refund. That little stunt cost me about $500 in restripping, recoloring and re-nitro. If I find that perp......it's hang 'em high time. I won't buy any more solvents at a big box....ever.

    (Yes, we made it in time. I finished all the final clean-up and everything was sparkling spic and span...... 2 1/2 hours before they returned home. Yikes! <G>)
    Last edited by goldhiller; 03-10-2008 at 11:34 PM.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    Default Re: What the???

    When I was in "training" at HD, I had to watch a cartoon video about customer service. In it, their competition down the street was a company called "Slowes."
    One night, in the lighting dept, I spent an hour or so with a woman, helping her pick out lights, fans, etc for a new house. She spent close to $2000, and she was happy as can be that I helped her (it was a Slowe night anyways). Well, the customer service guy pulled me aside later and told me not to spend so much time with one customer. "You're not a personal shopper, you know," he said.
    They actually told us in training, and I quote, "Our lumber sucks because we store it inside."
    I've heard theories that both companies are owned by the same family.

  3. #13
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    Aug 2007
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    Default Re: What the???

    Battis,

    Interesting to hear another "insider" perspective. (Funny stuff, BTW ) Jibes with everything I've heard/know.

    A fella I used to encounter for years when doing business with a local plumbing supply house....... later went to work in the plumbing department of Menard's when that particular plumbing supply closed the doors. (mostly due to Menard's undercutting local prices by $.01 per unit)

    He was once a vibrant guy who loved his job and it showed.
    A joy to deal with.

    Now he's the manager of the plumbing department at Menard's and constantly has a totally worn-out.......who gives a damn...expression on his face everyday. I talk with him once in a while. He hates his job there. Another good one has bitten the dust.

  4. #14
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    Mar 2008
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    Default Re: What the???

    I'd redoing a bedroom and my wife and I did buy the wallpaper and ceiling paint at Lowes. I also bought a DeWalt compressor with two nail guns for $239 (damn, I wish I bought one years ago) minus 10% for opening a charge (at 22%). I also bought beadboard and 3/4" plywood at Lowes, too. I went down the street to HD for floor finishing supplies because the guy in the tool rental dept at HD is helpful and knowledgeable. But I bought the new floorboards (shiplap, 9" wide) at a lumber yard two miles away - they have great stuff at great prices, with free shipping. The manager of HD used to buy lumber for his house projects at this place - that was funny.
    Back to the tools - does a company like Dewalt sell their regular products to places like Lowes, or is it a Walmart-type deal where they make items specifically for Lowes (or HD)? My new nailer seems pretty good. Oh yeah, put Tool Knowledge right next to Water and Electricity on my DoeDunk List. I always measure twice and cut once, but the one cut is usually a finger. I do get an A for Effort, though.

  5. #15
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    Mar 2008
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    Default Re: What the???

    Thanks for that Harborfreight tip. I will definitely check it out. I wish I bought an air nailer long ago. I'm redoing my entire house, a big old Folk Victorian (they call it a Folk Victorian because it has some, but not all, of the major features of a true Victorian. Kinda like a poor man's Victorian, made in the 1870s to 1880s). Everything I do, I'm inventing because I've never done it before. I wish I had found this forum when I started the house 5...yep 5...years ago. Seems like a good bunch of knowledgeable, helpful people.
    The outside of the house was, originally, clapboards halfway up, then shingles (shakes?). Over the years, the entire outside of the house was covered with panelling, then more shingles on top of the panelling. I've been removing the outside shingles and panelling, and trying to restore, replace and save everything underneath. It's coming out pretty good, but slow. To make it worse, I'm afraid of heights (though I did parachute the first time I flew way back when.) So, when I'm over 10' off the ground on pump jack staging, I wear a safety harness tethered to something up high. I get some funny looks and comments from passerbys; the first time I used the harness and tether, an older neighbor pointed out to me that a 12' tether wouldn't do me much good being 10' off the ground. Ah, yeah, DUH. I shortened it.
    Last edited by Battis; 03-11-2008 at 12:18 PM.

  6. #16
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    Default Re: What the???

    Quote Originally Posted by asc2078 View Post
    In my present state of being to old and to cynical, I am convinced that the whole world is on back-order and will be in next Thursday. If you don't think so, just check the computer. LOL

    DB
    Your story reminds me of a similar fiasco. I was working out of town as well, had ordered a unit of 2x12's and was told "one week". No problem, I've got things I can be prepping and doing while I wait. A week comes and goes - no phone call, no materials. I call up the supplier and the guy I'd been dealing with was on vacation and wouldn't be back for a day or two. I go down to the store upon his return and ask where the heck my unit of 2x12's is. He then proceeds to tell me that they're sitting right there in the yard, but that they were such poor quality they didn't want to send them out. THANKS FOR THE PHONE CALL! He then proceeds to tell me that them mountain people are on a different time schedule that us flat-landers. WHAT?!?!?!? How does telling me it will take a week to get material, letting that week pass, receive faulty shipment in the meantime, and NOT calling the customer to apprise them of the situation equate to a difference in time schedules? I ended up having to take the next week off because the material had to be reordered, instead of it just happening when the garbage hit the yard. A simple phone call is all it would have taken to keep things under control and everyone happy.

    I'm a very easy person to get along who is infinitely reasonable, with one exception - don't even think about lying to me. After you've gotten your bum ripped for doing it, THEN we'll discuss whether or not you will retain my business. I am a one-stop-shopper and am perfectly willing to wait whatever time is required when placing an order - it's all accounted for in job scheduling. I am willing to pay more for materials because of the luxury of one-stop-shopping, particularly special order items not usually stocked. I want a relationship beyond "some guy" needing to "buy some stuff". In general there are few problems, where issues arise is when a new salesman/account rep takes over who considers himself a real wheeler dealer. You all know the kind, the ones who tell you what they think you want to hear to make the sale. Listen carefully, Mr. Account Rep., I'm already here, there's no selling to be done. I will ask you for your best price and your best timing and expect a straight answer. I'm not going to beat you up for a few dollars, I'm not going to complain about having to wait for the item. Just be honest and we'll get along fine.

    Enough ranting, here's a GOOD story! I was doing a couple of reroofs and needed 1-1/2 units of plywood sheathing. Evil Orange had the same plywood for some unreal price that was $10 less per sheet than my normal supplier. I simply asked the manager of my supply house if they could match the price. I wanted to buy from them, however with the difference in cost I would have to buy from the competitor. He didn't even answer me, he just went out and jumped on a fork-lift and loaded the plywood in my trailer. He smiled, said "thank you for your business, see you next time", and sent me on my way. THAT is what a real supplier does. They also don't charge delivery fees for purchases over $500 - $750. And they ALSO don't make you pay for carpenter pencils.

  7. #17
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    Mar 2008
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    14

    Default Re: What the???

    I'm guessing that most of you guys here are contractors or legitimate carpenters (or maybe illegitimate, which is OK, too) not just a DIY homeowner like me. There is a different attitude towards homeowners at the local lumber yard/building supply store, where they cater more to the pros. I'm sure it's easier to deal with a pro, who knows what he wants and what to do with it, than with someone like me who asks basic questions. That is why Slowes and HD survive.

  8. #18
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    Mar 2008
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    Default one of those questions - an example

    The Dewalt compressor I just bought is a 2 gallon tank and a max. PSI of 150. Could I use a framing nailer with that or is it too small?
    Thanks.

  9. #19
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    Aug 2007
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    Default Re: What the???

    Battis, you're right, most of the regulars who offer their time and assistance here are professionals in the trade. You're also right in that dealing with pros is far easier than John Q. Public, however there's no need to solely cater to one extreme or the other. And regardless of whom you're catering to, having knowledgeable staff is a must for customer relations. Box stores wouldn't know service or quality product even if they were willing to carry it.

    Congrats on your compressor. The tank capacity isn't what determines what types of tools you can run off of it, it's the CFM rating (cubic feet per minute ). I've got a 3 gallon Superior (Italian brand if memory serves ), and it has no problems running a framer. As a matter of fact, I helped the shop I bought it from do a test to see how many 16d nails it would drive before 1 - it would kick on to recover, and 2 - before the heads required additional setting with a regular hammer. If memory serves, it countersunk the first 4 or 5 with no problems, then tank pressure dropped and it was driving the next 2 or 3 nails flush, after that it couldn't keep up and you'd have to wait. In real world use, I can nail sheathing off with 8d and 10d nails and the gun would run out of nails before the compressor was below the pressure threshold to set the nails properly. I don't do production framing, so I've never been able to out shoot the compressor capacity when using 16d nails.

    I also use this little compressor to shoot wall and ceiling texture. It doesn't like it, but it will do it. The way I make it work is by adjusting the sprayer nozzle size and controlling the pressure with a slicer valve at the gun. I've even run a pneumatic hammer on occasion with good success. Basically, run the tool until it ceases to do the work, let the compressor catch up, then continue (same thing when using any air tool ).

    FYI, your typical pressure setting for running a framing nailer will be between 80 and 100 pounds, most guns give strict warning not to exceed 100 pounds. Finish guns and small staplers will use 80 pounds or less. The key is to set the tool pressure at a level that the fastener is properly driven and no more. A properly driven fastener is flush or just slightly below the surface of the material.

    Congrats again on the new toys ... er, uh, tools!

  10. #20
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    Aug 2007
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    Default Re: What the???

    Quote Originally Posted by asc2078 View Post
    When they lie to you like that and waste your time and money, don't it make you want to reach down their throat and pull out a vital organ!

    DB
    Uh, why yes, yes it does!

    Like I said earlier, I'm infinitely reasonable. I understand weather delays, back orders, bad lots, whatever. Poop happens. It is the creative use of "the truth" by the local individual that irks me so.

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