Disclaimer: If you happen to work at one of the big box hardware stores, don’t get all bent out of shape and start hating. This highly intelligent and intellectual observation is based on years of scientific research and data compilation and should be viewed as an objective and highly respectable post thingy.
The air was still and warm, and a light smell of floor cleaner lingered gingerly on the edges of my nostrils. Around me was the culmination of hundreds of thousands of hours of research and development, millions of dollars of marketing, and efficiency guidelines complicated enough to make even the most bespectacled of attorneys quiver.
Although I was blessed with the strong foresight and knowledge to have made a comprehensive list of materials needed before entering this consumer monolith, trouble was afoot. I hurried from one point to the next, craning my neck as I looked around with confusion.
I was in a Big Box Hardware Store.
After weeks of abstaining from the lower prices offered, I reluctantly broke down and drove mournfully past my local hardware store en route to the colossus. What I needed was not something one typically finds oneself trekking to a hardware store for, so I held some trepidation on my approach.
I had done my research diligently, as one who labels himself “Captain DIY” must do, and I had armed myself with a mental map based on the aisle markings found on the labyrinthian website they provided. I strode in with full intentions and external confidence, ready to prove my manliness as I swiftly emerged with my product choice.
Except that isn’t what happened.
The website had led me astray, and now I found myself frantically searching the aisles, zipping wildly from Garden to Plumbing to Lumber and beyond. “I know”, I thought to myself. “I’ll find someone who works here and ask them to help me.”
With a renewed sense of purpose and direction, I gallantly waited near the end of my current aisle, hoping to catch a glimpse of the telltale employee garb. A flash of color would come from round the corner and my hopes would rise, only to be squelched as the adornment was proven to be civilian clothing.
I made my way dejectedly to the service desk, feeling the weight of my manly failure. After waiting for the crew behind the oversized desk to finish tending to the return needs of the moderately irate customer in front of me, I was given my chance to present my request.
“Please,” I said, “can someone help me find this small arbitrary object?”
“I’ll call Kevin,” said one of them disapprovingly. “He’ll meet you in aisle thirteen.”
As I began my journey to the famed aisle, the comforting sounds of Kevin’s page echoed throughout the mighty hall. I sensed an end to my harrowing odyssey, and felt the first inkling of relief of the day.
The edge of aisle thirteen came into view and I could see the light shine just a little brighter. I quickened my pace.
I rounded the corner with gusto, only to find several bleary eyed customers wandering around slowly, pretending to look with interest at random items on the shelves as they waited. They looked up hopefully as I came into the aisle, then back down again with the same expression of defeat I had shown during my earlier wait. This did not bode well.
One of them asked me if Kevin had been seen anywhere, to which I replied to the negative. I was met with exasperated groans, and I knew I should have eaten lunch before I came.
The motley group continued their moping as I joined their ranks. Some day our prince would come, Kevin be thy name. Until then we wait, and remember the times when we could find an employee to help us in our search at our local hardware store.