Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Buying lumber and measuring wood

Why is it that every time I go to Home Hardware to buy some wood for a project I end up having to prove my manly worth to a bunch of surly low paid lumber yard jocks?

I'm building a new floor for my bunny cage for when I move out and I needed some plywood and a few boards. I went to Home Hardware and I was met with minimal customer service. I told the guy what size I needed and without asking me any other questions he gave me a bill to have paid at the front. Turns out I didn't really get what I wanted. The boards I got were really rough and not what I expected. I'm not sure how the guy came to the conclusion that I wanted some narled wood without feeling the need to ask me.

After paying for said wood comes the fun part. Driving into the lumber yard to pick it up. Right off the bat I didn't even know where to drive to get inside the fence. I found it, but only after going the wrong way. Once inside it gets dubious. There was a little shack labeled "Customer Service", it was uninhabitated and there was nobody around it. I have no idea what the etiquette for being in the lumber yard is. It's like if you went to a resturant and were told to go pick up your food from the chef in the kitchen and he wasn't there. Do you go looking for him? Well I did, I was getting pretty fed up with the poor help I was receiving and I wanted to go home.

I spotted a pair of slackers chatting by a forklift and began to approach them. I started to get nervous because neither one of them acknowledged me or moved to intercept me. I kept walking or rather I mantained my stride and stood tall and firm. This is why I hate buying wood, because in order to get any help you have to show that you have a pair. Not only a BIG pair but you also need to whip it out and have it measured in order to prove you are worthy of buying such a manly product as lumber. I have to talk in short cool sentances. I have to move with confidance and appear physically tough. I need to act like I know everything about lumber, tools, and building everything. If I don't I'll be eatten alive and end up with something of no use to me.

It almost happened too. He almost cut the wood the wrong way, but I stopped him. He set me up by asking me to get a pencil from my truck. While I was gone he used his own and marked the wood where he was going to cut it. It was a test perhaps or maybe a challenge. I stopped him and had him mark it elsewhere to avoid ending up with plywood cut into a shape that would make it useless for my purposes.

He still got the last laugh. He choose the boards I needed and brought them to me. "Wait here" he said. He came back with two rough and splintered 1X4's. One of them has a big chunk missing out of the middle of it. What can I do? The guy inside sold me this rubbish wood and the guy outside can't do anything about it. After all he has a get out of responsiblity free card in the form of a green invoice. He dosen't make changes, it's not his job.

I think I can work with what I got in the end. I'll cut off the really bad parts of the boards and I'll sand them until they aren't a sliver hazard. I hate being a guy and having to deal with other guys. It always come down to the size of one's penis.

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