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From: J.C. Wren <>
Date: Sun Oct 19 14:36:10 2003

        My friends judgement of a good hardware store started with if there were any
horse collars hanging on the wall or not. No horse collar, bad store.

        So one day, we're standing around in the hardware store (Dux, down near
Georgia Tech, about 15 years ago. Prerequisite horse collar on wall), and
this guy about 70 walks in, holds up a part and says "You got one of these?"
The hardware guy goes "That's a butterfly valve from a 1936 Ford tractor, and
I got two of'em. $10 each, or $17 for the pair."

        We stood agog.


On Sunday 19 October 2003 15:11 pm, R. D. Davis wrote:
> Quothe Tony Duell, from writings of Thu, Oct 16, 2003 at 09:41:11PM +0100:
> > > I constructed my PDP-8 replica with materials all found at Home Depot
> > > (or Lowes since it's closer, but the people at HD in my area are pretty
> >
> > Your DIY stores keep ICs, etc????
> No. Imagine what it would be like trying to find one if they did.
> After all, this afternoon, the manager of the electrical department at
> the local Lowes store didn't even know what an Edison base fuse was.
> Doh! ...and the electrical department sales droid that I spoke with
> over the telephone, who had to ask him what one was, didn't know
> either. The sales droid told me that her manager was an electrician,
> and I told her that he had no business being one if if didn't know
> what an Edison base fuse was. Next, I explained what an Edison base
> fuse looked like, then proceeded to tell her that the people working
> in the local small hardware store, which Lowes helped to drive out of
> business, knew what an Edison base fuse was.
> About the aforementioned small hardware store: the owner, a very
> pleasant older gentleman, was in his 90's, and he just died recently
> while the store was still having it's going out of business sale... it
> appeared that he knew more about hardware than all of the employees in
> all of the Home Depot's and Lowes stores combined... plus, he spoke,
> and could comprehend, fluent English... something that many of the
> minorities (more like majorities in many areas though) and immigrants
> working in those big stores don't appear to be able to do! (yes, I
> know, that wasn't a politically correct statement, however, it was the
> truth; screw political correctness, which is helping to destroy
> western civilization)
> > My moan is not that the salesdroids are not knowledgable. I don't expect
> > them to be. All I expect them to be able to do is to find me the item
> > that I am asking for. If I want some 20mm M3 screws, then they should
> > know where they are. Most of the time they don't.
> Yes, that's the problem. They don't even know much about their
> inventory. Despite the size of those stores, the selection of
> inventory is still lacking. Try finding hose supplies in the middle
> of the winter, and be told something like "that's a seasonal item, we
> won't be getting any more until spring." Ok, so, I guess I was
> supposed to either tell the horses that needed water that a hose
> coupling was a seasonal item, or else carry many five gallon buckets
> of water from the stream to the barns; yes, right.
> > I don't expect them to tell me how to use the stuff, or to suggest what
> > product I need (in fact, I find it _very annoying_ if I go to a shop and
> > ask for a particular product and the salesdroid finds me something else
> > which is 'just as good'. Hint : If I ask for something by name, then I
> "But look, this is made in China, Japan, Outer Mongolia, Mexico or
> Ungabungaland, and its cheaper, uh, somewhat inferior, but cheaper,
> and our profit margin is higher if you buy it."
> > have a good reaso nfor wanting just that item, I'd use a generic term if
> > I didn't care).
> They're not in business to sell us what we want or need. We're supposed
> to exist only to increase profits for shareholders and to help increase
> government revenues.
Received on Sun Oct 19 2003 - 14:36:10 BST

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