Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Home Depot = Twilight Zone

This was almost too creepy for words.

I went to Home Depot looking for those little thingys that go over an outlet. You know, there's a hole in the wall and two places to plug in, and then there's the little cover that makes everything look neat and attractive? I needed one to replace one I accidentally cracked at the old apartment.

Of course, at Home Depot you can't just say "Those little thingys that go over an outlet." I've tried the Plain English request before. It just makes them look at me funny. I decided on "I'm looking for switchplates" and that was the wrong word but close enough. (Switchplates are where the switches go. Duh.)

First I had to say it to the guy about 5 times before he understood me. Then I discovered those little thingys are called "outlet covers." Who knew?

The guy was quite chatty while I was looking over the selection. First he advised me that I should be sure and turn the power off before I started applying my outlet covers. I didn't tell him that my plan had been to Be Very Very Careful, but I made a mental note to amend that plan to include a trip to the box where the circuit breakers live. Either that or I will gently lay the pristine new outlet cover on the carpet near the broken one and let Maintenance do the math.

If only the chattiness had stopped there. The next thing the guy told me was that he'd had to replace an outlet cover himself recently. He said he broke it while swinging a belt at his 16-year-old daughter. Missed her, hit the outlet cover and broke it. Good Lord, I couldn't get out of there fast enough!

I wonder if Home Depot knows that kind of oversharing is going on in Electrical? Now I am feeling bad that I didn't say something, although I'm not sure what impact it would have had. I certainly was thinking "Serves you right" and "In my family, we call that child abuse."

Should I have spoken up?


  1. Good about oversharing, was he joking? I assume not.

    Say something? Would depend on how tight his belt was buckled and how fast you can run, no?

  2. I'm guessing that the look of horror on your face as you made a swift escape might have sent a message. Then again, maybe not if he's that unaware.


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