19
   

Please help me decide whom to be frustrated with

 
 
Thomas
 
Reply Sat 9 Apr, 2011 10:48 am
Let's say you walk into an American hardware store and ask the shopkeeper: "Some idiot just stole most of the screws holding my license plates. Can you sell me replacements, please?" What reaction do you expect from the hardware store guy?

  1. From your narrative, he knows the length and girth of the screws you're talking about. So he reaches into his drawer and sells them to you. Where could there possibly be a problem?

  2. He admits he doesn't know what-size screws you're talking about. To find out, he asks you if you could show him one of the remaining ones.

  3. He has no idea what you're talking about. But he makes a competent face anyway, reaches into his drawer, and confidently hands you a screw that turns out to be absurdly long, absurdly wide, and slotted rather than Phillips. When you return to the shop to complain and exchange, he is nowhere to be found.

For now, I won't share what really happened, nor how I'm feeling about it. I don't want to skew your responses.
 
View best answer, chosen by Thomas
Ceili
 
  1  
Reply Sat 9 Apr, 2011 10:56 am
@Thomas,
I know from experience that these screws are best purchased from a car/automotive parts store. Hardware store staff generally don't have the parts or the expertise to sell this kind of stuff.
I'm going to say based on you writing this, and the said frustration, the answer you got was #3... Just a guess though.
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  2  
Reply Sat 9 Apr, 2011 10:58 am
@Thomas,
I'm with Ceili. You go to the automotive parts place, then you at least can't be frustrated with yourself for having gone to the wrong place.

That might just be the Canajun perspective.
0 Replies
 
aidan
 
  1  
Reply Sat 9 Apr, 2011 10:59 am
Well, as there's only one other person in the incident and you are the one who is frustrated, I can't see where there's a decision to be made - by default, it must be the person who sold you the wrong screws.
0 Replies
 
parados
 
  2  
Reply Sat 9 Apr, 2011 11:16 am
@Thomas,
What reaction do I really expect? Or what reaction would be most helpful?

I usually expect the person working in a hardware knows less than I do and maybe more than a 6 year old.

I'm just glad it's not that way when I go to the Dr or Dentist.
0 Replies
 
JTT
 
  -3  
Reply Sat 9 Apr, 2011 11:31 am
@Thomas,
I would expect a man of your age and obvious brights to know what he needs and wants when he walks into a hardware store.
0 Replies
 
dyslexia
 
  1  
Reply Sat 9 Apr, 2011 11:32 am
does that mercedes take metric screws?
0 Replies
 
facepainter
 
  1  
Reply Sat 9 Apr, 2011 11:49 am
@Thomas,
surely any and all frustration must remain with the lowlife who stole the screws.

Had that act not taken place, nothing subsequent would have occurred.

Therefore anyone else drawn into the situation, in this case the sales person, is innocent and only involved because of the original act.
0 Replies
 
dyslexia
 
  1  
Reply Sat 9 Apr, 2011 11:56 am
before I sold my Porsche it needed a new battery, I went to the auto parts shop for the battery, "Nope", they said, "no Porsche battery in stock but we do have a Mercedes battery that's exactly the same"
0 Replies
 
chai2
  Selected Answer
 
  1  
Reply Sat 9 Apr, 2011 12:21 pm
Well, like a couple of other people, I would have gone to an automotive store.

In addition, I wouldn't have told the clerk about the idiot that stole the screws. I would also have had one of the other screws in my hand and said "I need one of these screws. The kind that screw your license plate to the car. " Although that 2nd sentence wouldn't have been technically necessary, I would have added it in for clarification. It would also be to prevent the clerk from asking "What do you want them for?"

I went into HD once and went to the general area where I thought they would sell wire cutters, because I needed to buy a pair of wire cutters. Walking down an aisle I came to a clerk, and asked where the wire cutters were. He asked "What are you going to use them for?" I really didn't want to tell him because (a) I'm fairly sure it was for nothing he had ever used wire cutters for, since he didn't look like he had ever arranged artificial flowers. (b) it would reinforce the "trying to help the little lady" vibe he was giving off, by now making him think "isn't that cute, the little lady is gonna arrange some pretty flowers" and (c) What did it matter what I wanted wire cutters for, I need wire cutters pal.
When I told him "That doesn't matter" It was like he decided he wasn't going to show me. When he finally did, he walked like 10 yards from where we had been standing, and there were all the wire cutters HD sold.

I said "Ok, thanks" he continued to stand around, like I'd obviously start weeping at the huge selection, and confess my need to him. That's because I was obviously going to be unable to read on the front of the packages what size wires they were meant to cut.

********

I thought what happened to Thomas was usually a male to female communication thing. I see now it is also male to male.

The practice that a guy has a problem with saying "I don't know" when a female answers a question.

I read this a long time ago, and I remember this as being true....In grade school, girls would raise their hand if they believed they knew the correct answer. The boys would raise their hand with an answer even if they really knew it wasn't the right one. They just want to give an answer, right or wrong.

Once, I was walking around Baron Spring Pool, which is a natural spring fed pool. I started wondering where exactly underwater the spring actually fed into the pool. I was walking around the back end where there is a retaining wall, and came across 2 young men, who looked like they spent a lot of time there. I causally asked them the question, on the off chance they knew. One of them immediately said "Oh yeah. Uh....(thinking quickly)....it comes from, uh....up there....." pointing at an area beyond the retaining wall.
We could see over the wall where we were standing, and I said "No it doesn't. There are no streams coming from there. It's all dry ground."

So now of course I'm being a borderline bitch for not just saying "Oh! Yeah, thanks!" He said something else that made no sense and I replied "Look, the spring must obviously be on this side, and somewhere underwater in this pool, because the whole thing is surrounded by a concrete walkway, and no water is spilling over...Why don't you just say you don't know rather than making stuff up? It's ok not to know."

The whole concept of not having an answer (right or wrong) was foreign to them.

Would a guy have done that to another guy? If the first guy said, "that's makes no sense" What would have happened?
parados
 
  3  
Reply Sat 9 Apr, 2011 12:29 pm
@chai2,
Quote:
Would a guy have done that to another guy? If the first guy said, "that's makes no sense" What would have happened?

I don't want to reveal too much about male bonding rituals..
But..

A fist fight.
As soon as the first one started bleeding the fight would end.
A half hearted attempt to clean up.
Then we would go have a beer as if we were long lost buddies.
Proceed to get drunk
maybe another fist fight preferably with someone else so we could have each other's back.
then we would go look for loose women.
chai2
 
  1  
Reply Sat 9 Apr, 2011 01:15 pm
@parados,
men are a strange breed.

Now they've goat bloody noses, and they still don't know.
0 Replies
 
Mame
 
  3  
Reply Sat 9 Apr, 2011 01:27 pm
@parados,
Hey, you stole my answer!

Chai, it's the same as when guys don't like asking for directions. We would simply pull over to the nearest gas station and ASK or, better yet, BUY A MAP, but NOOOOOO, men want to waste your time driving all over, back and forth, to and fro until you get pissed off and finally say you have to pee, so he pulls in somewhere and you can finally ask for directions. Of course, if the clerk was a guy, the odds are that you'd get the wrong directions, so best if you just buy a damn map.
dyslexia
 
  1  
Reply Sat 9 Apr, 2011 01:33 pm
@Mame,
horse hocky,
women= I don't need to write down the address, I know it's the blue building" with the green door behind the taco stand.
Um what street are we looking for, what's the address"
Just look for a blue building with a green door behind a taco stand.
well, yeah but we still need to know what street.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sat 9 Apr, 2011 01:35 pm
@chai2,
This is why I used to prefer old time lumber yards/hardware stores. I rue their disappearance, or mostly disappearing, at least in areas where I have lived.
Don't know about automotive shops and their employees.

Adds, I'd be frustrated with no. 3.
0 Replies
 
Mame
 
  1  
Reply Sat 9 Apr, 2011 02:21 pm
@dyslexia,
LOL --- not all women are like that, but I grant you some are, and we are more 'landmark-oriented' than men; however, I like to use a MAP and an address rather than guessing where it might be Smile
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Sat 9 Apr, 2011 02:40 pm
There is a hardware store, about ten minutes from here that I go to particularly if I am in doubt as to what I nee. These folks stop you at the door and ask what you need. They take you straight to it. Last time, I brought my old parts for reference. The clerk said, "They don't make that anymore, but, this -" he grabbed some parts" - will adapt it perfectly." He even demonstrated how it works.
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Sat 9 Apr, 2011 02:56 pm
Thank you all for answering!

The reason I wasn't sure whom to be frustrated with is this: Back in Germany, practically every hardware store guy would have been able to answer my question from street smarts, common sense, and actually knowing how the typical applications for the hardware he was selling. Indeed, until a few hours ago, choice #1 would have been so obvious to me that I didn't even consider the other options. Then I encountered option #3, as Ceili had the clairvoyance to guess. So now I wasn't sure if I was dealing with one rotten apple, or if I had simply had carried over unrealistic expectations from a country I was no longer living in. From your responses, it seems it was the latter.

So thanks for the reality check. (Yes, Parados, I did want to hear which reaction you guys really expected.) And, I am relieved to hear that at least one poster believes he can expect greater competence when he walks into a doctor's office.
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Sat 9 Apr, 2011 03:18 pm
Ceili, Beth, and Chai: An automotive parts dealer? Hmmmm.... That's where I'd go for spark plugs, car batteries, or any products you wouldn't use anywhere but in a car. There is nothing car-specific about the screws holding a license plate. They're just standard screws of a certain girth and length. But as I said, I'm in a different country now, so I was probably wrong to expect that anyone selling those screws could look at a fairly common application for them and tell which kind was needed.

dyslexia wrote:
before I sold my Porsche it needed a new battery, I went to the auto parts shop for the battery, "Nope", they said, "no Porsche battery in stock but we do have a Mercedes battery that's exactly the same"

Shocked Car batteries aren't standardized across car manufacturers in America? Seriously? Thanks for telling me. You may have just saved me from another avoidable SNAFU.

Edgar, perhaps I should have moved to Texas for the hardware stores. And if I run across a guy who gives me the New Jersey treatment, well, that's nothing a good ole shootin' won't fix.

Chai2 wrote:
I would also have had one of the other screws in my hand and said "I need one of these screws. The kind that screw your license plate to the car. " Although that 2nd sentence wouldn't have been technically necessary, I would have added it in for clarification. It would also be to prevent the clerk from asking "What do you want them for?"

I think I'll go with this answer, because that's what I'm now planning to do when comparable problems come up in the future. The fist fight seemed tempting, though.
Mame
 
  1  
Reply Sat 9 Apr, 2011 03:21 pm
@Thomas,
Thomas wrote:

The fist fight seemed tempting, though.


Don't go there, my German friend...you know you'd lose Smile
 

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