Kitchen Refresh Part 4: Unexpected Kindness

I am still making headway on the kitchen. As of last night, I had FINALLY finished sanding the remaining 5 cabinet doors. That means I only have the cabinet frames on one section to sand down and then we’ll be in the home stretch!

Considering that it took 35 minutes to sand this ONE SINGLE door front and back, I will be happy to be done with the down and dirty sanding phase of this project. Oh, and I wasn’t messing around. I used 40 grit sandpaper to get through a billion and one layers of paint on this door and it still took that long. Then I had to go back with finer sandpaper to smooth it out a bit. Fun times. Not.

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While I did not make as much progress as I wanted to last week, I can legitimately place the blame on Mother Nature this time. Last Monday we had a tornado watch and a big storm roll through. It was WILD!

One minute everything was fine and the next minute I get a tornado warning on my cell phone. Within 30 seconds the clouds opened up and we experienced hail like I’d never seen. It was so wild that hail was flying out of one of our fireplaces into the dining room. I’m not sure what’s up with that. It was intense.

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The hail was followed by rain so heavy you could hardly see through it. You know what’s next, right?

That 10 minutes of sheer mayhem led to some water getting into our basement. Apparently our drainage cannot handle an epic downpour. Lesson learned. I’m also thankful because a tornado could have come through our little part of the world and it didn’t. In comparison, a little water in the basement isn’t too much to get worked up about. Nothing precious was damaged.

The school held students late that day, as they won’t release them while a tornado watch or warning is in effect. So, my daughter got to practice “duck and cover” in the hallway! I’m thankful for all of those teachers and staff who stayed late that day and looked out for the kids.

So, I spent Monday afternoon and part of Tuesday pumping water out of the basement, mopping, etc. My husband picked a really good time to go on a business trip.

Now, let’s get around to why I titled this post “Unexpected Kindness.”

Before the mega storm hit, I had gone to Home Depot to pick up more sandpaper. I’ve never had a truly bad experience at Home Depot, but I generally get a better customer service vibe from Lowe’s. That’s mainly due in part to the fact that I usually can find a Lowe’s employee faster than I can a Home Depot employee. I do like the paint at Home Depot better, but overall I’m neutral on the two stores.

I traipsed into Home Depot with my 4-year-old son riding in the race car cart at 8:30 on Monday morning and it must have been the morning staff meeting time. There were a gazillion Home Depot employees crowded by the entrance. I didn’t even know they staffed that many people at one time. I had to do that weird, awkward stroll through that crowd where everyone is asking if you need help. I knew generally where I was going, but when one guy asked me if I needed help finding something, I decided I’d do him a favor and get him out of the morning meeting. I’m a giver.

He took me over the sandpaper section and in the midst of that, I asked him about the sticky-back sandpaper and what type of sander you are supposed to use it on. Not mine with the pad, by the way. I explained my problem with sandpaper slippage and we talked it through. The Home Depot employee was pretty adamant that this particular problem should not occur regardless of how new or old my sanding pad was. He told me to bring back the sander and they’d exchange it for a new one – they still sell that particular model of sander.

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I’m going to paraphrase the next part of the story to convey what I said out loud and what I was screaming in my head. “I’m sorry, did I hear you correctly? I can bring back my old, beat-up sander, that I didn’t even buy at this particular Home Depot store and you will give me a new one? I don’t have a receipt and I didn’t even buy it in this state. Plus, I’ve used the heck out of it. Am I being punked? Are you like the Home Depot Fairy? Oh. my. goodness. You ARE the Home Depot Fairy. Wait a second…where are your wings?”

The guy just continued to politely tell me that I could bring back the old sander and to tell the cashier that I talked to Ryan and it will be fine. So, I left this so-called-Ryan-with-his-orange-apron and went to pay for my sandpaper. I asked the cashier if he knew who Ryan was? “Oh, you mean the Store Manager?”

Ah, yes. The Store Manager. It’s all coming clear to me now.

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What are the chances that the poor schmuck I rescued from the morning meeting was none other than the STORE MANAGER! Holla! It was my lucky day! I should have bought a lottery ticket. Stuff like this just doesn’t happen to me and never would have happened if I had rescued any other employee from that store meeting. You know, it was probably HIS meeting!

The next day I marched back into the store with my very dusty, clearly used sander and explained how Ryan and I are best buds. I got the “uh huh, sure crazy lady, whatever you say” look. Kidding. I did get the, “I need to make a phone call” look though. It was all clarified in short order and Ryan, or my new best friend as I like to call him, breezed by to say hello.

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I wish I could remember the name of the cashier who retrieved the new sander for me. She was a godsend. When she brought the new sander up to the counter she said the box looked a little worn and she decided to check the contents of the box. Good thing she did! Someone had used a sander and returned it! They didn’t even take off the sandpaper to try to hide that they’d used it. If she hadn’t have opened the box, I would have exchanged a used sander for another used sander. Bless her heart. She had that situation corrected ASAP.

That was a super long story to say that Home Depot Store #111 earned a very happy, very loyal customer from that whole experience. I was blown away. I’m sure they’ll send the product back and get some sort of credit for it, but I appreciated the way Home Depot in Marietta, Georgia, stood up for the customer no questions asked.

P.S. Home Depot and Ridgid have NO CLUE who I am. I’m just sharing my story because it totally made my day. The end. Over and out.

 

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