Sunday, February 27, 2011

Advice

I have the oddest experiences at Menards.

This morning I drove over the the local Menards to look at dollies.  I am in the process of trying to figure out how to get my vintage Tappan stove out of my living room and into my kitchen.   I was thinking two dollies might make the process easy...and give me a chance to clean underneath the stove.

I walked in the store and went straight to one of the sales people. I asked him to direct me to the dollies and he walked me to an aisle in the back of the store.  They had two sizes.  A small one for $12.99 (but they only had one left) and a larger version for $22.99.  I was standing there, minding my own business, considering which size would work best and wishing they had more of the small sized dollies.

Out of the corner of my eye, I spotted a guy down the aisle watching me.  Sure enough, he slowly pushed his cart behind me only to stop, turn around and tell me he thought the small dolly was too small for me.  I looked at him curious how he was able to decide that considering that he didn't have a clue what I was working on.  I said something vague like "maybe" and turned back to continue my deliberation.

He then asked me if I knew what I was looking at. He said "cuz, those are for transmissions and stuff..."  I assured him I did know what I was looking at and I had "stuff" to use them with. I smiled.

This happens to me almost every time I go to Menards. I have had very odd encounters in the glue, nail, concrete and roofing areas. I once had a guy poke me in the shoulder and ask me if I worked in roofing.  I told him, no, but I was working on my own roof.  He disappeared and next thing I knew, both he and his friend were peeking around the corner at the end of aisle at me while I looked at roofing patch. I felt like some sort of celebrity.

It makes me laugh. There are a lot of women that work on their houses. I can't be that unusual.

Honestly, I am going to start approaching random, unsuspecting men in the grocery store and tell them they need unsalted butter and ask them if they know how to make a pie crust from scratch.....

15 comments:

K said...

That is sooo funny - and sooo typical! I recently had a conversation with a guy working in my local hardware store, and could NOT convince him what I had (and had bought from them!) was indeed a corner shower, and not a tub surround.

Then there was the one who told me one did not use mortar to lay tile...

Monique J said...

May I suggest Harbor Freight if there is one in your area? They carry dollies and they are reasonably priced.

Karen Anne said...

Then there was the time I phoned some place (what type is lost in the mists of time) and made an appointment for an estimate for work on my house.

A minute later the guy calls back and said his boss had said my husband needed to be there because they needed to deal with someone who could actually make the decision, or words to that effect. No business from me, needless to say.

Barbara said...

I normally get that response from people like neighbors and coworkers. When I go to the hardware or lumber store, however, I am usually treated like a knowledgeable person. Possibly, anyone in northern NJ who actually works on their own projects is automatically considered crazy, regardless of gender!
Although I have to admit that sometimes I do kind of play up the woman thing; the majority of men seem more willing to give good service to a woman than a man. . .

StuccoHouse said...

The funny thing to me is that when I'm at the store, I'm not asking questions, I'm not asking for advice, I'm not even looking at anyone. I'm just standing there looking at the merchandise.

And even then, these are not sales people who are paid to ask questions....these are random people off the street who decide I don't have a clue what I'm looking at & decide to tell me. :)

Anonymous said...

You must be cute. Nobody reacts that way to me in Menards (or anywhere else.)

Watch out for those cheap dollies unless you mean the flat wood ones. The cheap upright metal ones will bend all up under some heavy loads,I've found.

If your Tappan has feet on it, have you thought of getting some of those silicone (I think) sliders to put under the feet and just sliding it?

StuccoHouse said...

Anonymous - Oh, I wish it were that :) Alas, it appears their only motive is to let me know I probably don't know what I'm doing....then leave.

The dollies I was looking at were the wood ones with carpeted edges. They seemed pretty sturdy.

My stove doesn't have feet, but I did look at those plastic disks. I just can't convince myself that 1) they will work with my oh-so-heavy stove and 2) they won't scratch my wood floors along the way.

Mike said...

I'm totally impressed that you could walk into the Menards and find something on your own!

The giant Menards they opened here right after the major Foxcroft reno was winding down is triple the size of the old place and seems to carry maybe 50% fewer items.... I can NEVER find anything I need. However their selection of candy is outstanding, cheap and near the register...

Another option for dollies would be to rent? That's what I did way back when I moved my radiators. The car jack was also critical, as it may be for you in lifting the stove by yourself? Reminder here:

http://foxcroft.blogspot.com/2005/05/old-guy-vs-radiator.html

Unless you want to ride them around on the street would there be that many other uses for the dollies?

-Mike

Joe M. said...

I find when I'm at a flea market people will pick-up anything I have been looking at so I try to hang back & look from a distance. I seem to "scent" things. With the stove, we used an upright dolley to wheel it into the kitchen then used old bath rugs to slide it across the floor to position it. It worked!

Michelle @ A COTTAGE REVIVAL said...

I know exactly how you feel! One time I had a man in a large hardware store try to tell me that the Ash hardwood I was looking at was Oak, there was no such thing as painters caulk and I could not patch lath and plaster myself! I should have my husband come in and buy the wood!! I'm sorry but my husband is out rock climbing today and I am buying the items that I need to do my job!

Anonymous said...

She's humble, too!

I've used sliders for some pretty heavy furniture. They worked surprisingly well.

The movers dolly is just a good thing to have, even if it spends most of its life tucked away in the garage. I made my own from big old salvaged 2x4s and wheels from Axman's. I DON'T recommend that. Heavy duty swivel wheels are usually more expensive than a dolly. Mine don't swivel and it's so inconvenient.

When I moved here from DC I was surprised how discouraging & even dismissive the workers in all the home stores were. In DC they'd always tell me I could do it, even if they had to tell me how. And the Lowe's in West St. Paul is surprisingly quick & easy to get to from Longfellow. I try to shop as local as I can but Menards really strains that intention.

StuccoHouse said...

Mike - The irony in this situation is that I usually can't get anyone who actually works at Menards to talk to me, so I've come to know the layout of the store pretty well over the years. Maybe I should get a job there :)

My stove is probably a good 300 lbs. That said, I have the sides & top off of it right now, so I *think* I *may* be able to manage it.

I can maybe envision some uses for dollies - even if it is just moving heavy stuff from one side of my house to another. My goal in visiting Menards was to get an idea of selection and price. If they were under $50 and I ended up not needing them again, I think I could sell them on CL and not loose too much in the process.

Riding them down the street might be fun too :)

Joe M - People are funny, aren't they? I currently have sheets of mdf under the stove....I had considered sliding the stove to one board...laying the next board down and slide it over. But, that might take a while. What we do for these vintage Tappans, huh?!

Michelle - Everyone has an opinion. That's what I've learned restoring this house. :)

Anonymous - Not humble, just truthful :) Ha, no danger in me trying to make my own - I'm not that ambitious! I'm usually not a big box shopper...it's also rare for me to actually ask advice in a store. I find their focus is rarely restoration. Most of my advice & research comes from other trusted house bloggers (Mike above being one). I do keep meaning to figure out how to get to a Lowes though....

Page Farm Chick said...

Okay, confession. I've been reading your Tappan Talk blog for the last several months (cause I have a mid-century (?) model that I'm trying to restore) and have only touched on your home restoration blog (although we are also restoring an old farmhouse and found your windows restoration process very interesting and inspiring); but, for some reason I just thought you were of the male species. Don't know why. Surely I'm not stereotyping! But why did I do that? I am very much a female DIYer and just simply never got it! Sorry. It will make reading your blogs even more interesting. You go girl!

StuccoHouse said...

Page Farm Chick - Your house is very cute! I love your kitchen cabinets (remind me of my grandmother's farm kitchen cabinets)...and those nice big, low windows in your den..and those whopping high ceilings.

You must have missed my posts about painting the bathroom pink....or my gardenia bedroom stencils - I'm guessing no man would take on those tasks :)

Page Farm Chick said...

I have missed a lot of your house blog, but have taken a greater interest and plan to follow more closely now that I know we share the same gender. Ha. It inspires me when we females step outside our "boundaries" and tackle what, in the past, only a man would do. I must admit my husband is the labor behind most all of my dreams of restoring the old farmhouse. I tend to be the visionary, bossy type.

There are many memories stored in that old farmhouse, all of which we hope to retain, and many more to make.

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