Shelf Pins, Grumpy People, Oh My!

You know those 13 year old boys who are drug through the bra and underwear section of stores that look uncomfortable and just want to die of embarrassment? Yeah, that is kind of how I felt walking through the hardware store today.

Granted, I do work at a cabinet shop so I should be used to going into hardware stores. However there is a huge difference between Home Depot and Hanks (our local store). Home Depot has employees wandering around, clear signs on the aisles and does not have the cranky construction worker tailgating me through the rows and rows of … stuff.

I was sent to Hanks today to fetch shelf pins. Easy right? I pull into the parking lot in my dusty, little car amongst huge work trucks. I wander in, in a cute top, jeans and my freshly bleached hair. What greets me at the counter are older ladies, grumpiness and not one bleached blonde person anywhere. Already I feel slightly uncomfortable, while I was smiling at everyone who worked there, not one person smiled back and one guy had the nerve to give me a dirty look!

I begin walking up and down the cramped aisles looking for shelf pins. I saw red and yellow plastic boxes lining the aisles with unidentifiable … stuff… in them. I couldn’t tell the difference between the guys who worked there and the guys who were there fetching what they need. Realizing I had a blog in the making wandering around, I suddenly thought of this as an experience that I shall share with all the other women who feel like aliens going into a “man’s territory.”

A nice old man, who looked like someone’s Grampa gave me directions to where the shelf pins are. I found them, tucked into the corner and began counting out 205 into a plastic bag. I was told to purchase 200, but I know how I am with shelf pins and usually wind up dropping them somewhere I am not able to reach. Its like putting an extra candle on a birthday cake, one to grow on! Well in this case, its five to lose.

I pranced my bleached blonde self up to the counter and wind up dancing with one of guys shopping. I moved right, he moved right. We laughed. Okay, I laughed and he looked serious so I moved left, he moved left. I smiled and said, “Oops,” and he grunted and stood still while I went around him to the cashier. The cashier, a lady older than my own Grama, grunted at me. I realized after a second she was asking me a question. She wanted to know how many shelf pins were in the bag. I told her 205 and she just stared at me. Is that an odd number of shelf pins? Perhaps I should have gotten 206 to make it even. Then again, I was allowing 5 to be lost, so it was an even number. She rang up my purchase and I smiled at her and told her to have a good day. She grunted in response. As I was walking out the door, I smiled at the lady who usually helps me the far and few times I go in there and she just scowled in my direction. No one else was around me, so I know it was directed at me.

I survived the unpleasant hardware store experience. I am not looking forward to the next time I must go in there. Hanks is a whole different world, one I am not willing to infringe on if possible anytime soon.


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