The garden hose

It just so happens that I work near a Home Depot and we could say that it is more convenient for me to get to the store than, say, my husband.  But, I really don’t like going there.

Please don’t misunderstand me.  I love building things and looking at light fixtures, plumbing fixtures and power tools.  I am the first in the family to try to rebuild a toy.  I just don’t like going to the store.  I think that it has something to do with the store layout.  But more than the layout, I despise (hate, loathe, want to pull on my hair out and scream for mercy) when I have to return something to the store. 

Our garden hose did not survive the winter. To say that it sprung a leak is an understatement.  So, my husband politely asked me to return the hose to HD and ask for a gift card.  He even put the darn thing in the back of my car so I would not get too dirty from the winter sludge. When I asked how I was going to get the mammoth pile of decaying rubber (or plastic?) out of my car, he suggested getting a giant flat cart.  Good thinking.

So, there I am, all 5’2 of me pulling on the hose.  There are plenty of people in the parking lot who might have been willing to lend a hand.  After all, I was wearing my professional garb including heels.  But alas, no one offered to help and I was left with dragging this thing onto a squeaking flat bed cart.  Once the hose had transferred all of its dirt to my clothes, we (Snakey, the garden hose) and I headed to the return section of the store.  

I had one hour before I needed to pick up Kayla from after school care; plenty of time to get in, return Snakey and get the heck out of Dodge.  But I was behind several strong smelling men who took their time.  By the time I got to the head of the line, 15 minutes had passed. 

I pushed Snakey to the return counter and the very toothy and not to pleased sales associate looked at me, the hose and then said “What is this?  You got a receipt?”  Uh, what do you think it is lady? A ginormous boa constrictor?   And no, I did not have a receipt!  I explained to her that I had purchased the thing last year and they should be able to look me up in her system. But instead of even going through the “pretend” action of looking me up in her computer she asked me “How do I know that you really bought these hoses here?”  Uh… Because you sell them at the store.

So without saying a word, she walked away from me and returned with a gentleman who gave me and my hose (!) the once over (I swear, I was not wearing anything mildly interesting!)  Mr. Manager said to me, “Sure, we sell these hoses but we don’t guarantee them.”  I’m sorry?  Home Depot Dude says what?  Okay, you carry the freakin hoses in the store, and I bought them at that very Home Deport but the store doesn’t guarantee their product!?

So the Home Depot dude writes down the names of the companies that sell the hoses currently in my possession and tells me that I can send them (the companies) their hoses, explain why I was returning them and request that I either receive a “certificate” for a new hose or monetary compensation.  The dude was nuts!  Was I the only person involved in the conversation looking at the girth and length of these hoses?  Did he really think that I was going to send these plastic snakes to Good Year and whatever other company sells the green plastic garden variety garden hose?  

There was only one thing to do.  I looked at Home Depot dude and Return Lady with Attitude, looked at the hoses and said, “Enjoy your new hoses folks.”  And promptly walked out of the store.  The people who had been standing behind me gasped and gawked at me (or at least I imagined that they did) as I took my “Gloria Swanson-like” exit.

I was ready for my close up but not with a dirty garden hose.  What will happen now?  I can only hope that they found a good home–or at least some duct tape.  Me?  I went to Home Depot’s competition who, coincidently, told me that they stand by their products but, just in case, I really should hold onto my receipt.

Good to know…good to know. 

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  • Jim Thayer

    Love this post! Not only too funny, but so many can relate!