Dear Menards Guest

I work at Menards.

Dear Menards Guest,

No, I cannot do an exchange at my register just because you have the item you wish the exchange with you. Please go to the giant customer service type area labeled “CUSTOMER SERVICE”.

I don’t know why your credit card was declined, but it may have something to do with your iPhone, designer bag, and the 8 pounds of candy you are trying to purchase.

I’m sorry you thought that $150 patio umbrella was on clearance for $10. Anyone could have mistook that $10 price tag that was 20 feet away from the product.

No, my register is not open. I just like standing at the end of the lane with the light on. I don’t even work here, I just really like wearing this apron.

I’m sorry I don’t know you by name, sir. It might have something to do with how you’re dressed like every other contractor here. I’ll still need to see some I.D.

Go ahead and put those 60 pound bags of concrete on the conveyor belt. Even though you had to use a cart to bring them to the register, it’s no problem for a little girl like me to lift each one.

While you’re at it, finish your phone conversation before you sign off on the 96 cent pack of gum that you put on your credit card. The other guests can wait.  That mom with two toddlers screaming for candy or the potty doesn’t have anywhere she needs to be.

You know what would make my day? Just cram all of your purchases on the belt with no separation between your items and the next guest’s. I will magically know which items are your’s and which are not. They give us special training for that.

Oh, and let your kids run willy nilly up and down the lane. I don’t mind their constant requests to push buttons and play with my stapler. Their shrieking is such a refreshing sound. And keep adding candy to your cart, they need all the sugar they can get to ensure they go into a pre-diabetic coma later.

I don’t care about the sordid details of how you came to discover that these door hinges do not fit. I just need to know if they’re damaged or not. I’m sure it’s a thrilling tale, but I really must get back to staring hopelessly into the dense abyss that is my future.

Thanks and have a great day!

Your friendly Menards cashier


The Temple of Mac

My dad has an iPad. An original iPad. So it’s basically a stone tablet, not unlike the ones on which Moses carved the Ten Commandments. The only difference between my dad’s iPad and Moses’ Ten Commandments iPad is that when my dad smote his upon the earth, it was an accident, not a rage.

And since we are in the midst of Wedding Prep 2012 (Congrats to Paul and Morgan!), it was tasked to me to see to its mending.

I had to make the pilgrimage to the Apple Store. Or as I now call it, The Temple of Mac.

There is only one Apple Store in the Omaha Metro area and naturally it resides on the snooty patootie side of town. Last Monday afternoon I hopped into my 1990 Honda Accord and made the trek out there. Village Pointe is a fairly high end outdoor shopping mall overpopulated by Red Hat Society ladies, unnaturally tanned teenagers, and moms with strollers as big as smart cars. Needless to say, I was a bit out of place.

Having only ever been to the Apple Store to browse, I entered the temple gates clutching my damaged iPad in my arms, looking disheveled and aimless. A charming young lady with a face peppered in adorable freckles called out to me. I hurried to her like a lost puppy.

The following may or may not be dramatized, embellished, or slightly distorted.

Freckled Mac Store Employee: “Hi! Welcome to the Temple of Mac! How have you come to worship today?”

Me: (holding up the iPad)”……This is broken.”

Freckled Mac Store Employee: “How unusual! Our products are so fabulous that they never break for inexplicable reasons! You’re in luck though, we have excellent customer service that should fix that in a jiffy! Do you have an appointment?”

Me: “………No…..I just wanted to see if someone could look at it really quickly and see if it’s even fixable.”

Freckled Mac Store Employee: “Well you betcha! Unfortunately our Genius drones are all booked up, so YOU’LL NEED AN APPOINTMENT.” (Those last four words were spoken in the same voice that giant eye on Mount Doom uses when he’s trying to scare Frodo in his dreams.)

Me: “…….there’s no one who can check this out really quick?”

Now the Freckled Mac Store Employee is giving me an appraising once-over. She not-so-discreetly sniffs the air. Immediately, I am filled with feelings of insecurity and shame. What witchcraft is this?

Freckled Mac Store Employee: “We’ll just set you up with an appointment and then you can busy yourself on one of our beautiful, fully-functioning Macs. The newest upgrades read your mind and clean your teeth while you surf the web.”

Me: “Oh, I’m a PC user.”

Freckled Mac Store Employee begins slowly stepping away from me as if I have the black plague.

Freckled Mac Store Employee: (now somewhat uneasy) “We have a special lounge for PC losers…users, excuse me. Armando will escort you there.” And then she disappeared in a puff of smoke.

At the same time, “Armando” appear at my side. Armando was about the size of a baby elephant, if that baby elephant had served time in the State Pen and could clean a machine gun hanging upside down and blindfolded. He grunted in the direction of the “PC loser lounge”.

Which is where I spent the remainder of my time at the Apple Store. The PC loser “lounge” was a dingy corner of the stock room, with a chain link fence topped with barbed wire. Something was constantly dripping, but neither I nor the other PC losers could find the source. The Mac Employees kindly laid out a dish of water and some kibble for us, along with some newspapers from 1976 in case we needed to relieve ourselves. After a few hours of confinement, in which I had traded some chocolate that I found in my purse for a harmonica and subsequently learned to play the blues, a Mac Employee, amidst boos and hisses from the rest of us, extracted the iPad using an extendable arm. He returned shortly, declaring the battery to have died, and offered to replace the iPad for $100 and a promise that I would never return to the store again. I was then escorted out of the store by Armando, but I had to wear a burlap bag over my head and endure the jests and taunts of the happy, clean, Mac using customers.

I’ll be in therapy for about 6 years. Just in time for the iPad 87 to come out.