Yesterday I went to Home Depot. Normally, this wouldn't warrant mentioning, since it seems I make at least one trip every weekend to the big orange store. It's gotten to the point where I really do expect the staff to see me come in and shout, "John!!" Just like they used to do on the TV show Cheers for Norm.

Anyway, what made yesterday interesting was a conversation I had with one of the employees. After my experience with the Maytag Neptune and the Home Depot sales staff, I'm feeling more than a little burned. Yesterday, I was looking for some specific stuff -- a good quality respirator, some HEPA filters, more disposable gloves, and so on. Though I found everything I needed, I noticed lots of bare shelf space.

Well, according to my conversation, the Home Depot store maangers' bonuses are based on keeping inventory tight. Effectively, they're rewarded for being out of stock on items. That seems pretty consumer-unfriendly to me. I've also watched as the quality of the tools they carry has gone down and started to really focus on the two "house" brands -- Ryobi and Rigid. Evidently, this is a plan. Rather than carrying the DeWalt table saw, they're going to carry the Ryobi. I've used both. The Ryobis are, to be polite, largely junk. The DeWalts are, largely, very good. Again, according to the employee, this is per plan.

I think I'm going to have to spend less time at Home Depot and seek out some hardware stores that carry higher-quality tools.