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I say Expo/Home Depot schedule a weekend class to teach how to build a ladder, and climb it to get the hell over themselves.

Issue Date: Wednesday, May. 10, 2006

Have I told you guys how much I absolutely love, nay… adore Home Depot and Expo Home Design? No? I haven’t? That is because I wish them all a fiery death, scabies and an ulcer the size of Tucson. Not necessarily in that order.

The day after Mister and I closed on the house we went to the Expo Home Design Center right across from my office during lunch. We had measured the new house for several things that we needed. 1) A monster fridge. 2) A cook top; as there is a gaping hole cut in the granite/tile counter top in our kitchen. 3) And lighting options. I am all about the lighting… sort of like Mariah but without the bling.

I knew which fridge I wanted because Mister and I looked at all of the fridges in the world previous to signing the closing papers. Seriously… every fridge. You have a fridge? I have looked at it, noted its options and maybe even fondled the thermostat for the freezer. I knew I wanted the Maytag Ice2O because of the awesome French door design and the bottom drawer freezer. It is more efficient, dontcha know? And also eleventy frillion times more splendid than any refrigerator that I have ever had the pleasure of filling with goodies. And by goodies I mean booze.

We also knew what cook top we wanted. Our kitchen is wired for gas and or electric so we had our choice. Mister had his eye on this monster five-burner gas cook top by Jenn-Air or something.

I also found a beautiful George Kovacs lighting fixture to mount over our headboard in the master bedroom. Halogen lights, two, on individual dimmers and flexible arms. Perfect for reading in bed or performing a little simple surgery… whichever. I fell in love with this Hampton Bay 5 light track set with amber globes and the pièce de résistance was this large three light Hampton Bay pendant with an amber globe as well.

So we went over to the appliances area and spoke with Bernard*. We told him that we wanted to order the Maytag Ice2O and a cook top. He was all, “Great! No problem-o! Here, let me print out 86 copies of your order so you can take it to the check out line.” We asked Bernard when the appliances would be delivered and he said, “Four days. The fridge will be delivered in four days, while they are there, they will measure for your cook top.” I made sure he was being serious about the four day thing, “Bernard, I will need to take off of work to be home when the delivery guys show up, are you sure that they will deliver it in four days? Four days from now is April 4th. If I take off a partial day on April 4th will the delivery guys be delivering my fridge?” And he replied, “Of course… see? It is right here on your order.” He went on, “They will call you the day before to schedule a time… ok?” I looked at Bernard skeptically and finally nodded my head. “Ok.”

Mister and I then took our binder of paper over to the lighting area to order the lights we wanted. The Kovacs light was supposed to be a stock item and the Hampton Bay items were special order. The Kovacs light was on back order so it would take them 4 days, four business days to get them in. The special order lights would be delivered directly to my house within 10 business days. No problem. Some light fixture guy wrote up our orders, handed us another 64 copies of each order to take to the check out line and we made sure that our installation orders has been completed and marveled at the measurement costs.

I started putting it together. We ordered five things. Each one has to be delivered and installed… and before that? Measured. So conceivably I would have to take off fifteen half days if some of this stuff could not be consolidated… except for the Hampton Bay lights. Those would be delivered directly to me, at the new house. So? Thirteen days.

We went to the check out line and on our way looked at our watches. Lunch hour was over and we were both due back at our respective offices. We rounded the corner to head to the front and were both relieved when we saw that there was only one person in front of us in line.

So we waited.

And waited.

Fuck! The guy in front of us was only purchasing seven washers and a pair of finials to adorn his curtain rods. How long in holy hell will it take them to check Mister and me out with our 150 pages for our five orders (and the delivery, and the measuring, and the installation)?

Finally the guy leaves with his washers and finials. We stepped up to the counter and heaved the novel sized order documents onto the counter. The cashier had to ring up each order separately because we ordered warranties. (The NERVE.) We asked if we could pay by debit card or credit card. They wouldn’t take it because the amount was too high. Take a check? Sure. Lord. Please let us get out of here before Bush steps down.

We finally got done with the check out process and left there feeling beat down but excited about our purchases. New fridge, cook top, and three lights. Awesome.

I kept thinking four days. Four business days until we have our new fridge. I cleared it with my boss to be off for a partial day on the 4th of April.

The third of April came around and by two o’clock I had not heard from the delivery guys. Hmm. Interesting. I called Expo and gave them my order number. They patched me through to Bernard and he said… and I quote, “Oh, yeah… The Maytag. Well, it says here that it is scheduled for the 5th. You know, these things sometimes slip a day.” Boiling with anger at being told something other than the truth, I called Mister and the first thing out of his mouth? “Cancel the order. They don’t have an exclusive with that product. Cancel it.”

I thought for a moment and the realized that I was over a barrel. I wanted my damn fridge, the cook top and my lights. Expo/Home Depot did have an exclusive with the Hampton Bay products that I picked out. Shit.

Freaking Barrel.

I called the manager, left a message and then waited for about an hour. He didn’t call back so I called again and asked for the manager on duty.
Mark: “This is Mark, may I help you?”
self: “Well Mark, I really hope so. I am in a bit of a pickle. Let me give you my phone number and name so you can look up my order.”
Mark: “Shoot.”
self: “[Blah blah blah, phone number and name]. Find me?”
Mark: “Yes ma’am, what can I do for you?”
self: “As you can see my husband and I came in last week and put quite a few things on order.”
Mark: “Yes ma’am…”
self: “The appliance dude, may I call him a ‘dude’ Mark?”
Mark: “If you wish.”
self: “Great. The appliance dude, Bernard? Well, he assured me and my husband that our fridge would be delivered tomorrow… the 4th of April.”
Mark: “And it says here…. The… oh, the 5th.”
self: “That in of itself is not that big of a deal. The big deal part is that we took Bernard at his word, scheduled some utility people to come out tomorrow as well and my husband and I took the day off of work because of these scheduled items… one which happens to be the fridge which Bernard so cheerfully told me about an hour ago that ‘these things sometimes slip a day’. Do they normally slip a day Mark?”
Mark: “No ma’am, not normally.”
self: “The last part of this deal is that I want that fridge. I really do. It is shiny and large.”
Mark: “Right… shiny…”
self: “But my husband’s temper got the best of him and when I told him that Bernard said that our shipment ‘slipped a day’ the first thing out of his mouth? Was to cancel the order. I do not want to cancel the order Mark.”
Mark: “Oh, … well, good.”
self: “Right, so how can you and I work together to make sure that this fridge gets delivered tomorrow?”
Mark: “Ok, this is what I am going to do…”

And Mark proceeded to lay out the Fridge Delivery Plan of ’06. Long story even longer… well, shorter, kind of. Mister took off work the morning of the 4th to handle the utility guys and I took off work at noon to go wait for the fridge delivery guys. At 12:30 when I pulled into the drive and relieved Mister of his duty he told me, “Well, the fridge is here.” “Is it!?” I rushed into the kitchen to see it. “But it is not installed.” “You’re fucking kidding me.” “No, no… I am most definitely not kidding you. The delivery guys delivered it and put it in the garage and then let me know that they could not install it as they are just delivery guys.” “Lord. I’ll handle this.”

Mark: “This is Mark may I help you?”
self: “Maaark, Mark… how are you? This is Susan [last name] and I just wanted to thank you for having the fridge delivered today.”
Mark: “My pleasure ma’am.”
self: “One little thing…”
Mark: “Yes?”
self: “The shiny fridge?”
Mark: “Right, shiny…”
self: “Is sitting in my garage. The delivery guys said that they would not install it as they are just delivery guys.”
Mark: “Seriously?”
self: “Seriously.”

Mark hustled and bustled and had his Expediter (Linda) get some installation guys come to the house between 3 and 6:30pm.

They showed up and started unpacking the fridge from the cardboard and the things binding it and protecting it. They opened the container and the little one said, “It’s supposed to be blue… right?”

I almost bit this man in the face ya’ll.

He must have seen my face fall from the excited expectation look to the I-am-seriously-going-to-punch-you-in-the-neck-if-you-are-being-serious face because he said quickly, “I’m kidding ma’am… just kidding. It is the stainless one you ordered.”

So the guys (scratched the shit out of) installed my fridge and all was right with the world. Until… (dum dum DUUUUMMM!) the fridge guys went ahead and measured for the cook top.

Plumber's Crack: “Ma’am? The cook top you ordered will not fit. The fifth burner will be under a cabinet which is not up to code and the vent for gas cook tops should go outside. Yours goes… where?”
self: “Up… there?” [points]
Plumber's Crack: “Well, that isn’t up to code and you would have to have someone cut into this counter and we don’t do granite tiles.”
self: “Isn’t that covered in the installation fee?” (Oh, come on… I knew it wasn’t covered… but you can’t blame me for trying.)
Plumber's Crack: “No ma’am. We’ll let Expo know not to order the cook top and you can just pick out another one.”
self: [harrummphh]

I think I may have blown my hair out of my face with a little puff and then sighed as well… because we all know what a trooper I am when it comes to being told “no.”

So one fridge down… one cook top to re-choose. Is so a word.

A few days later they called me to tell me that 1) the Kovacs lamp was back ordered for a week or so, 2) the Hampton Bay track light should be there in a two weeks and 3) the Hampton Bay globe (love it… I love it soooooo) was back ordered for over four weeks.

And ya’ll know how well I do with waiting too.

Mister: “Cancel the damn order!”
self: “Oh stop it.”

The Kovacs light came in and is so so pretty. Mister and I (to be honest… more Mister than I… but I digress) installed it shortly after we moved the bed over to the new house. It came in about two weeks after we ordered it. It is such an awesome light and very directional that I have found out that I can put my make up on in the morning by using it as a make up light while… get this… Mister is still sleeping!

The 5 globe track light from Hampton Bay came in and we scheduled a guy (an Expo guy) to come and install it. The installation had been paid for a frillion years ago and we were excited to have it put up. Guess when we scheduled him. The 22nd of April you say? Why, that is very perceptive of you. It was also the same freaking day that we were moving. Brillllliant!

I managed the moving company while Mister fussed around with Todd… the electrician guy.

Todd did a great job with the track light set, measured the area for the big light to make sure it would all fit (see: Cook Top). He proclaimed that it would be a standard install and asked us to call him when the big globe pendant light came in.

I got home last week to find this enormous box on my front porch. The Light! The Light! The Light is HEEEERRRRREEEE! I sang. And the neighbors hustled their children inside.

I called Todd to come and install the light. And I stood firm on the fact that Mister and I work until 5:30 pm each work day. He previously said that he could come on Saturdays so I pushed for that. He was busy all day Saturday and Sunday, and he was going on vacation on Tuesday. “Monday at 6pm?” I asked him. He said he would be there.

Monday evening Todd showed up at 6:45 pm. He walked in, made a big to-do about being there… moved a light switch to another wall and then proclaimed that he couldn’t install it because he would need a brace because the light was too heavy.

Todd: “I could run out and get you a brace but it’ll cost you $80.00.”
Mister: “How much would it cost if I went to get one?”
Todd: “$15.00.”

We knew he didn’t want to be there and was just putting us off because of his vacation and whatever… but he was already paid for the job. He said it would be a standard installation. He had specs on the light that was going to go in that spot.


I am so tired of Home Depot and Expo. Nothing is ever what they say it will be. Nothing is ever done on time. When Todd left Monday night he said that Expo would call us the next morning to plan the install with the brace. Guess who hasn’t heard from anyone at Expo?

You got it in one.

We ordered our cook top from Lowes a week or so ago. They said it would be in ten days from the order date. Guess what was on time?

*Names changed to protect the stupid and sloth like.


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