I had a positive experience at the Home Depot in Mundelein, IL. Initially tried to troubleshoot my electrical issue at home (replacing 3 different types of switches in one electrical box) using my limited knowledge and YouTube videos without complete success – time to visit a hardware store.
Full confession, I first attempted to get some clarification at our local Ace Hardware, which is walking distance from my abode. Regardless of the friendliness set when one steps inside this store, the associate assigned to electrical had a more puzzled look on his face as I explained my issue than perhaps I did before I paid them a visit. Ace may be the helpful hardware place but helpfulness doesn’t always translate into competency.
The hardware store headquartered in Atlanta was my next stop. They are typically my preferred complete hardware store as I’ve found over the years – the most customer centric of the big box hardware stores. Perhaps I’m fortunate that the Home Depot wasn’t busy or perhaps visiting late on Sunday was the trick. After asking at customer service, an associate named Mike doing administrative work behind their counter obliged to assist.
Mike really listened to my electrical issue which resonated with me. He gave me a basic electrical overview, which was comparable to what I previously known and heard on YouTube. In other words, white is neutral, black is hot and green is the ground wire.
I brought in a print out of the wiring issue and used my iPhone to show him the before and after wiring – he was considerate enough to say that was a good idea and helpful too. It’s nice when a store associate appreciates your forethought. Because I was dealing in more colors than a beautiful rainbow, images satisfied the missing link.
The helpful hardware man at Home Depot also suggested that I accurately figure out the wiring before I install the new dimmer switches – I guess that’s common sense advice and why I go to HD in the first place. He updated me on the fact that those compact fluorescent bulbs (CFBs) are not designed for dimmer switches and that may have caused part of my issue in the first place. He also gave me some free wire to help rewired the new dimmer switch. In addition, Mike encouraged me to call the store later if I had any more questions. I was a little nervous about proceeding but realized he had my back and meant what he said.
Even though he wasn’t a licensed electrician, he didn’t pretend to be. Indeed, he knew a lot about electricity and electrical engineering but was secure enough with his knowledge to not feel compelled to flaunt his knowledge and expertise.
I finished my notes, gathered my wire and left the store after purchasing light bulbs, switches and a few other items – resulting in a sale of around $65.00. A win-win?
There may be other hardware stores that have cheaper prices or sometimes discount their prices a little more than HD but what about service? When one has positive and constructive experience at Home Depot, I have no issues paying a little more especially if I can get the job done efficiently without going back and forth to the store. Can you say Empathica Service? I’m looking for someone helpful who doesn’t insult, or look down on me or interrupts me before I finish describing my issue. Being a weekend warrior project man, that approach gives me the confidence and assurance that this collaboration is what is needed to help me complete my home project.