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Old 02-24-2010, 04:28 PM   #1
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What's with the lack of knowledge from people who offer advice (in stores)


Online I expect to get a mash of ideas - from diyers like me and pros, as well. All ideas are welcome - online anything can be looked into, thought over and considered. . . get a mix of ideas is what I need online and want online - it's helpful and great.

In a store, though, when I ask about a project or how to go about doing something - I want the person to either A) know the answer. B) if they don't know the answer - to put me in touch with someone who DOES know the answer.

If someone doesn't KNOW the answer to a question they need to simply say "I'm not sure, my knowledge isn't in that area - so-n-so can help" . . and if so-n-so isn't there then that's OK.
I don't want some made up bull dookey thought while the person pretends to know what they're talking about.

Two lines I heard from two different people this week that made me think of this:

"Well - in about 2 years all pros will be switching over to PEX and sharkbites, anyway"
HAH - are you KIDDING ME - I don't think so! Even I know that's some major crap right there from the mouth of the "on staff plumbing expert in aisle 9."

and:
"If the ledger is 1-1/2" thick and supported every 4' then there isn't going to be much sag. . ."
REALLY! Not much sag, hmm? Well - currently I have a 1/2" sag between my piers on my ledger - bringing the supported joists down with it.
If 1/2" sag every 4' isn't alot then I don't know what is.



I get better advice from people on this site, that's for damn sure! Not the pretend-know-it-alls at my hardware store.

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Old 02-24-2010, 05:08 PM   #2
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What's with the lack of knowledge from people who offer advice (in stores)


People are the same no matter where you go. Everyone thinks they have the answer and don't want to admit they don't have the answer. At a "store", my guess is that the person is working there because they could not handle the real world of construction. If they knew so much, why are they working for minimum wage. The drafting people and maybe the manager are the only ones in these "stores" that actually know where they are currently located and only ones worth talking to besides asking what isle something is in.

I take it that you are a plumber and a framer yourself, but probably have a daytime 9-5 job also.........

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Old 02-24-2010, 05:18 PM   #3
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What's with the lack of knowledge from people who offer advice (in stores)


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Originally Posted by Snav View Post
Online I expect to get a mash of ideas - from diyers like me and pros, as well. All ideas are welcome - online anything can be looked into, thought over and considered. . . get a mix of ideas is what I need online and want online - it's helpful and great.

In a store, though, when I ask about a project or how to go about doing something - I want the person to either A) know the answer. B) if they don't know the answer - to put me in touch with someone who DOES know the answer.

If someone doesn't KNOW the answer to a question they need to simply say "I'm not sure, my knowledge isn't in that area - so-n-so can help" . . and if so-n-so isn't there then that's OK.
I don't want some made up bull dookey thought while the person pretends to know what they're talking about.

Two lines I heard from two different people this week that made me think of this:

"Well - in about 2 years all pros will be switching over to PEX and sharkbites, anyway"
HAH - are you KIDDING ME - I don't think so! Even I know that's some major crap right there from the mouth of the "on staff plumbing expert in aisle 9."

and:
"If the ledger is 1-1/2" thick and supported every 4' then there isn't going to be much sag. . ."
REALLY! Not much sag, hmm? Well - currently I have a 1/2" sag between my piers on my ledger - bringing the supported joists down with it.
If 1/2" sag every 4' isn't alot then I don't know what is.



I get better advice from people on this site, that's for damn sure! Not the pretend-know-it-alls at my hardware store.
Hey Snav,

At one time, the big box stores would have a staff of experienced trade people directing the customers. Unfortunately, the typical big box store manager is quite ignorant of the actual working process of most construction procedures. The conflict between the tradesman and the corporate manager are real.

Most corporate managers are big into control. Most contractors scoff at that and will not submit to it. Thus lies the problem. It is much easier to control someone who is less informed than you. So the lack of real knowledge in the box stores is really an issue of the management finding those who have no clue, which leads to a subservient mentality.

Corporate posturing and the reality of hands on construction related procedures don't mix very well. In that lies the conflict.

Kevin
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Old 02-24-2010, 06:03 PM   #4
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What's with the lack of knowledge from people who offer advice (in stores)


I'd be happy if they just restocked the shelves.
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Old 02-24-2010, 06:11 PM   #5
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What's with the lack of knowledge from people who offer advice (in stores)


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I'd be happy if they just restocked the shelves.
Ron


that too!!!
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Old 02-24-2010, 07:27 PM   #6
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What's with the lack of knowledge from people who offer advice (in stores)


LOL . . . yep, same here - there were a few people working at one place that knew quite alot. They were hired in when several companies took a dip in workloads and they were let go of from their construction jobs - but I think the perk in construction has led to greener pastures for them.
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Old 02-24-2010, 09:05 PM   #7
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What's with the lack of knowledge from people who offer advice (in stores)


You've just described the reason my wife hates going to hardware stores with me. I eavesdrop, then fidget when I hear the things that come out of employees' mouths.

Bottom line...The box stores, and hardware stores in general for that matter, aren't scraping the cream off the top of the labor pool.

I recently asked a gentleman in a hardware store where they had 1/2" black iron gasline couplings. He reached into a bin and handed me a thread protector that comes on the end of T&C pipe. I said that I needed a coupling with NPT tapered thread and that this was a thread protector which has a running thread without a taper, and although it threads onto a tapered pipe nipple it doesn't mate perfectly and it is not code-legal. He said he had installed thousands of them in his career as a plumber, and he agreed that the thread isn't tapered, but "it'll hold gas". Nuff said.
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Old 02-24-2010, 09:35 PM   #8
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What's with the lack of knowledge from people who offer advice (in stores)


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Originally Posted by Kevin M. View Post
Hey Snav,

At one time, the big box stores would have a staff of experienced trade people directing the customers. Unfortunately, the typical big box store manager is quite ignorant of the actual working process of most construction procedures. The conflict between the tradesman and the corporate manager are real.

Most corporate managers are big into control. Most contractors scoff at that and will not submit to it. Thus lies the problem. It is much easier to control someone who is less informed than you. So the lack of real knowledge in the box stores is really an issue of the management finding those who have no clue, which leads to a subservient mentality.

Corporate posturing and the reality of hands on construction related procedures don't mix very well. In that lies the conflict.

Kevin
Not necessarily. But it's obvious that a corporate executive will always look at the bottom line. They have to answer to shareholders. They have to justify their existence every day of the year. Like that long-forgotten airline that had their corporate slogan; "We earn our wings every day"! But the Big Box stores can do something that will solve this problem. Appoint someone in each department (other than the sales person) with specialized knowledge and experience to offer customers direct, simplified and reliable instructions on how to safely install the products that they are selling. Or direct them to the book department where they will find excellent instructions on how to do projects.!
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Old 02-24-2010, 09:53 PM   #9
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What's with the lack of knowledge from people who offer advice (in stores)


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You've just described the reason my wife hates going to hardware stores with me. I eavesdrop, then fidget when I hear the things that come out of employees' mouths.

Bottom line...The box stores, and hardware stores in general for that matter, aren't scraping the cream off the top of the labor pool.

I recently asked a gentleman in a hardware store where they had 1/2" black iron gasline couplings. He reached into a bin and handed me a thread protector that comes on the end of T&C pipe. I said that I needed a coupling with NPT tapered thread and that this was a thread protector which has a running thread without a taper, and although it threads onto a tapered pipe nipple it doesn't mate perfectly and it is not code-legal. He said he had installed thousands of them in his career as a plumber, and he agreed that the thread isn't tapered, but "it'll hold gas". Nuff said.
But there's another angle to this whole deal. Some factory reps. and "sharp" sales persons who supply the Hardware and general stores will, at times "Dump" outdated, obsolete or even damaged merchandise on unwitting store owners. I found recently at a "Mom-and-Pop" hardware store, Two Pronged receptacles (without a ground) and combo-switches meant for replacement by unwitting customers. On the other hand, I encountered register clerks at a much knocked around huge merchandiser, (who is not necessarily in the Home improvement line) who knew everything there was to know about the stuff they were selling.!
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Old 02-25-2010, 08:21 PM   #10
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What's with the lack of knowledge from people who offer advice (in stores)


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But there's another angle to this whole deal. Some factory reps. and "sharp" sales persons who supply the Hardware and general stores will, at times "Dump" outdated, obsolete or even damaged merchandise on unwitting store owners. I found recently at a "Mom-and-Pop" hardware store, Two Pronged receptacles (without a ground) and combo-switches meant for replacement by unwitting customers.
Very true. I'm sure that unwitting or unknowledgeable store folks do make those kind of mistakes.

(for the record, two prong receptacles are 100% legal to install on ungrounded systems when replacing old or broken ungrounded receptacles)
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Old 02-26-2010, 07:32 AM   #11
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What's with the lack of knowledge from people who offer advice (in stores)


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Very true. I'm sure that unwitting or unknowledgeable store folks do make those kind of mistakes.

(for the record, two prong receptacles are 100% legal to install on ungrounded systems when replacing old or broken ungrounded receptacles)
Indeed they are!

The dominate prong carries the grounding wire.

I've noticed that quite a few tools use a dominate-prong pair, now, rather than the tripple-prong.

So if you have a tri-prong outlet for grounding, you need an adapter.
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Old 02-26-2010, 11:32 AM   #12
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What's with the lack of knowledge from people who offer advice (in stores)


My 2 worth: I own/operate a one-man "Household HandyMan" business. Does this make me a "Pro"? NO! I said that. I do have years of experience (hands-on), and many hours of "book learning" to try to be an Industrial Engineer. Due to family, good job, etc., I never moved away to finish this. One local Associate degrees toward the IE, but that's life. After retiring I went to both Lowe's and HD to seek full or part-time employment, not wanting to just "do nothing". Both Lowe's and HD told me that I was "over qualified" for employment. The Human Resources Officer at Lowe's actually told me that I failed the part of the interview (interrogation) held in the plumbing dept. When asked a hypothetical question about a plumbing problem, for which Lowe's did not carry the part(s), I suggested a local plumbing supply house for the part. Wrong answer! The HRO says I should have sold them something and convince the customer that "This is what you need". I/ME will not do that. The HRO further stated that I had cost the store a lost sale.The HD experience was along the same lines. "kc", I also hear customer's asking for advice at Lowe's and HD, then hear the pitiful suggestion made by the "Associate of The Day" or "Dept. Manager of The Day". I was asked to leave the local Lowe's Store once for stepping in and giving the customer advice. So be it. The only two hardware stores around here are different. They are both Ace franchises, owned by one family. Fussell believes in a work program for local high Scool Seniors, and hires them. He tells them that if they don't know the answer--get help and learn. IF you see me in Lowe's or HD, and want advice--don't ask in front of an associate. David
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Old 02-26-2010, 12:19 PM   #13
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What's with the lack of knowledge from people who offer advice (in stores)


Yeah. I've had similar experiences at Lowes & HD
At one point I wanted a PT job...figured I might get a discount there which might be better then the hourly pay
Now I'm not interested in weekends any more

I saw an assoc giving a homeowner electrical advice that was wrong
Assoc could not see me...customer could ...I just nodded my head no
He thanked the assoc for assistance & the assoc left
He then asked me what to do
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Old 02-26-2010, 07:49 PM   #14
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What's with the lack of knowledge from people who offer advice (in stores)


I got long winded in my post, and I shouldn't have. But-the subject is a pet-peeve of mine. I also have gotten a customer's attention, discreetly, and shaken my head NO. At the local Lowe's I have two long-time friends working full-time. Neither with background in trades. They have seen me in the store, and called me over to help with a customer's problem. I do not solicit business, nor offer my card within these stores, my rule. But these guys have asked me to offer a card to some customer's needing my help. Life goes on, David

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