I posted most of this in a response to a friend’s post on FB, and then expanded it into the rant you see here.

But before I go any further, DO NOT turn this into a political comment war. I don’t care what your opinion of the shut down is. I don’t care if you think there’s a point to wearing a mask or not. I care about the people like me who’re trying to keep things running on the real life level that the USA is running on right now.

Let me tell you how busy Home Depot is.

We’re open 4 LESS hours each day. (though it’ll be 2 less hours effective Monday)

We’re working with upwards 30% LESS people (due to vulnerable folks not working).

I spent two weeks covering THREE departments by myself for a large portion of each day, and there was one day where a co-worker was covering FOUR BY HERSELF.

We’re limiting how many people can be in the store at a time (my store has a 75 customer limit, larger stores may be up to 150).

The company hasn’t had a single serious sale or promo since this started (by choice).

And despite that my store has MADE SALES PLAN for most of April. The sales plan that was written MONTHS ago before anyone had any idea that this virus was going to cause a shut down like this.

And to top it off, we’re not doing it by selling mulch and garden supplies as we normally would (we’re selling some of those, but not in normal numbers).

Well over half of the current sales are stuff bought online and picked up in stores or delivered from stores. Which, btw, requires a MUCH higher employee participation than if the customer came in and purchased it.

We’ve sold SO MUCH paint that Behr had to send us our own trailer for our order last week. A normal weekly paint shipment is between 4-6 pallets for my store. This week’s truck had 12.

A normal spring busy Saturday has me walking ~5 miles at work. The past three weeks I’ve been averaging over 8 miles, and I hit 10 one day. On a WEEK DAY.

The shut down isn’t going to last the summer. It won’t require a political movement, people are just going to stop listening. They’re already standing in line in the rain to get into Home Depot. To buy a gallon of paint. So stop harping about how horrid all these people are and start figuring out a way to make it work while keeping the vulnerable folks safe. Cause this isn’t stopping any time soon.

Also please keep in mind that ALL “essential” employees, regardless of what store they’re working at, are over-worked and burning out right now.

We’re running our asses off trying to get people the things they want.

And we’re dealing with everything from grandma in a full face mask and gloves (which she’s wearing while rifling through her purse) while mumbling so badly we can’t understand her, to the guy who thinks this is all pointless and is refusing to not only wear a mask but to even back up a few feet to make the lady at the paint counter feel not quite so claustrophobic (protip, she’s already there, between the face mask we’re required to wear, and the plexi shields they put up, so having an asshole insisting on trying to loom over her isn’t helping).

I’ve watched long time employees who normally have all the patience in the world verbally snap at customers.

So before you get snotty because an employee asks you to back up a few feet, before you get offended because an employee isn’t as polite as normal, please remember that we’re all beyond exhausted, we’re all past brain fried, and we’re not any happier with the situation than you are. Take a great big deep breath and sit on your goddammed ego till you’re out of the store.

I don’t care if you’re pissed because you refuse to wear a mask and don’t see the point to the extra spacing between people. I don’t care if you’re pissed because other people aren’t wearing masks. I don’t care if you’re pissed because people are buying something you consider non-essential. I don’t care if you’re pissed because you think it should be business as normal.

Don’t take it out on the people running their asses off trying to make sure you can buy what you want or need. We all have our own opinions on what should or shouldn’t be done. They may or may not match yours, but today we’re stuck with what we have. If you have that big of a problem with it then take it up with corporate.

2 thoughts on “Rant”

  1. I was at the “local” (30 miles away) HD a couple of weeks ago getting ready for my stairway project. I had a mask on but plenty of people didn’t. I stayed back, some people didn’t.

    Anyway, the indoor paint aisle was closed. Not that they didn’t have paint, not that there was stocking going on, they just had it roped off from both sides. The stain aisle was open as was the aisle with outdoor paint and caulks. I thought it weird. Now I’m thinking, from your comments, that maybe they did that to keep from having 25 people in one aisle.

    And, as a non-patient person, I have found my inner patience and tolerance thru this. Maybe it is a result of not having to be around people all day since I am working remotely – so I am not stressed by daily contact as I would normally be.

    • my store hasn’t roped off the paint aisles, but I know the paint associates kinda wish they had. The crowding and stress is insane.

      For the record, I walked 21,000+ steps both Wednesday and Friday. Thats twice my normal “spring busy saturday” step count.

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