I like building boats. Up here in Alaska, where we fish, we fish from the bank, and we do pretty good, but there are lots of people fishing in Alaska. So, I am building a fiberglass drift boat that we can leave up here to use each year. Drifting down the Kenai we will be away from the crowds and have access to fishing spots that don’t get fished much.
Yesterday I went to the local lumber yard to buy a few things for the boat, and I discovered that they have a hard time finding enough people to work here, so they settle for people that they usually wouldn’t hire. I had an encounter with a young guy who was very nice, but obviously knew nothing about building or anything related. But it was a very funny experience that I actually enjoyed.
I asked the young man behind the counter if I could get three Kiln Dried 2 x4’s ten feet long. He said, “what is that?” I said, “2 x 4?” He said, “no, kiln dried.” “I said, “the board is dried, like your cloths being dried in a dryer, the opposite of ‘green.’” He said, “green? All of our boards are light brown, not green.”
I asked if they had a “random orbital” sander. He said, “what is that?” I said, “It has a round pad that goes round and round.” He said, “I don’t know, ” so I said, “I will just go look at your tools and see if I can find one, thank you.”
I asked, “do you have small plastic towels?” He said, “what is that?” I said, “do you cook?” He said, “Yes, I love to cook, and my girlfriend thinks I am a good cook, ” I said, “so, you know what a spatula is?” “Sure.” “OK, I want something that looks like that but has a straight short handle.” He took me right to them.
I could tell by his responses to me and his body language that he was used to getting yelled at by customers, which was easy to understand why at this point in my shopping experience in this store. So, I thought, this could be incredibly frustrating or it could be an enjoyable experience because of the uniqueness of it, I think I will choose to enjoy it, and be nice to this young guy, and maybe when the next guy who asks for kiln-dried, he will know what he is talking about.