Hardly Helpful: An Arduous Journey to the Hardware Store

Allison OropalloOn one Monday morning this fall I needed to take a trip to the hardware store. For the sake of the hardware store, I will not expose the name of this particular store, but let’s just say it was an ultra-popular corporate hardware store. The reason I had to make this trip was because of my light bulb in my refrigerator. It died the first Sunday night that All American Handyman aired. How convenient right?

So, I’m on my way to this massive hardware store to get a simple light bulb. I anticipate the trip to be a couple of minutes… one of those trips where I say, “I wish every trip to the store was this easy!”

Right off the bat, even before I was completely through the front doors, I spotted the bulbs! Good sign; they were right near the entrance door so I was thinking in and out trip… so I thought.

Once I actually got into the store, I made my way over to the bulbs. I didn’t have a problem locating the refrigerator bulb on the top shelf that I needed. But then I notice the bulbs were actually frosted glass. I knew I had to keep looking because I didn’t want a frosted glass, I wanted a clear glass because its a little brighter. Finally, after looking for ten minutes, I came to discover that the clear bulbs I was looking for were actually shoved into the very back of the top shelf. There was no way I could reach the bulbs without a ladder.

With this unfortunate realization, I approached a store associate for assistance, and it ended up taking me 20 minutes to wait on a person to get a ladder. I mean, I’m pretty understanding, but this took long enough to where I was literally mapping out in my mind the route I was going to take to climb up the shelving and pull the clear bulbs out myself.

Eventually… finally… this associate came over with a big grab stick and pulled out the impossible-to-reach-refrigerator-bulbs to the front of the shelf. He grabbed one for me, and right as I was thinking that I could finally get out of this store and end this trip once and for all, the guy turns to me and says, “What are you using this for?”

Now, I’m not sure if men get asked 101 questions for whichever product they happen to need from the hardware store on any particular day, but I do. I rarely can buy something without having to experience some awkwardness at the store… like this Monday morning for example. This individual really felt the need to give me his unsolicited and, it turns out, misinformed “advice.”

I go on to tell this individual, “it’s for my refrigerator”.

To which he replies, “that’s not what you need…those bulbs aren’t for refrigerators”, like I was an idiot.

I was dumfounded by any such response so I replied to this guy with, “Then why is there a picture of a refrigerator on the package”? He says, “they must have made a design error, ” while walking me over to light bulbs that go into halogen flood lights. Go figure.

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