Friday, October 19, 2007
OSH kibosh, by gosh
Can I just say, I LOATHE Orchard Supply Hardware. Actually, I don't loathe OSH; I just loathe the one on Foothill and White. When we lived in the Yay Area, OSH was our hardware store of choice, at least if the little local joint didn't have what we were looking for. It was a big-box store, but at least it was a regional chain.
I'm generally opposed to shopping at big-box stores. There are only a few things I buy at Von's/Albertson's/Stater Bro's; most of our food comes from farmer's markets and ethnic groceries, plus some TJ's action thrown in. That goes double for hardware stores. For one thing, I had various dealings with both Arthur Blank and Bernie Marcus when we lived in Atlanta, and there is no way in the world I'm shopping at Home Despot.
Lowe's, too, got no love from me, but the final straw at OSH (when a 17-year-old cretin kept screwing up the keys he was duplicating for me and then insisted that he was supposed to charge me for all his fuck-ups -- $17's worth) drove me through their big blue doors.
And OMG, it's a paradise by comparison. I don't know how they manage it, but every employee seems to know both the name and location of every tiny frob and widget in the whole hangar. Whereas an assistant manager at OSH had never heard of crown molding and didn't know where picture-hanging equipment was, K. walked up to a young employee at Lowe's in the barbecue grill section, held up a broken piece of plastic from our sprinkler system, and was told "Aisle 4, on the right, about 10 feet down." Another time, a Lowe's worker assured me that I didn't need a new tool and that our superbar would work just fine (and he was right).
All of which is to say, C&E Lumber on Towne is a pretty cool place, but they've got some stiff competition.