Thursday, August 10, 2006

Home Depot in Emeryville Sucks

I wanted to let Sous' post sit on top for a bit before I did this, but the Home Depot in Emeryville on Emry Ave. sucks. It may be the worst hardware store on Earth. Now this isn't just, "I went in for some screws and a sander and someone was rude." No, sir. I've worked retail for far too many years and understand that sometimes it's just a bad time. But for a week and a half I went to the Home Depot in Emeryville at least once if not twice a day. Every journey was a symphony of frustration.

First, finding someone to help you is like playing wack-a-mole. Except when you actually wack that mole it doesn't tell you that it's not his or her department and then shine you on about how he'll call someone to help you. Only two out of five times (I had to go there enough for this to be a reduced ratio-and I actually kept track) would they actually make any announcement and absolutely zero times would that help come. Place on top of this the complete and total disengagement of the employees. Though to be fair, there was one doddering old man who seemed to care but was too far off the rails to really be able to help-but by depth of comparison he was a fountain of information.

The shelves are a complete shambles, marked poorly and inaccurately, and they are completely understocked. If you have a project larger than fixing a cabinet door, forget it. For a store of its size it has shockingly little. By the end of my job despite the additional distance I would go to OSH on Ashby in Berkeley first, just to avoid frustration.

Do not go to the Home Depot in Emeryville. It is nearly the worst retail place on Earth. And I used to work at a record store.

Why am I bothering, since only one reader I know about is in the Bay Area? Because thanks to sitemeter I know that we can be a bit of a Google trap, and hopefully I can warn off an innocent Googler looking for a hardware store in Emeryville and save him the hard ship of going to the worst one ever-the horrible Home Depot in Emeryville.


  1. Having had experience with the OSH in Berkeley--we housesat in Berkeley for a month before we got our place in the City--I can certainly second your statement that OSH is far superior to Home Depot.

    But if you needed shelving, why didn't you go to the Ikea right there? Sure, Ikea is Swedish for "crap," but they do very good, cheap shelves.

  2. Anonymous2:41 PM

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  3. Anonymous2:45 PM

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  4. Skipping over Jeff's Brians-it wasn't shelving that I was getting, it was supplies for the second most ridiculous production I've done. It was freakin' huge, like crazy huge. They where throwing money at everyone but the PAs (dammit). We basicly turned an empty hanger on Treasure Island into an arena (again, it was the former home of Battlebots) and so up to four times a day I was sent out with a shopping list of crap I didn't even know existed. Considering the cheddar I was dropping in that store over the course of the week I should have had my own personal shopper...

  5. Hey Jeff, since you reposted in the appropriate entry, I erased your entries here.

  6. Anonymous6:44 PM

    Thanks I asked Rich to do it, but I wasn't sure if that power was available. In other words, "You're like amazing dude."

  7. And actually, when we lived in SF, we used to drive back to that OSH on Ashby, because it was the only hardware store that we knew where it was. :-) I bought my tomato seeds there:

  8. Anonymous10:28 AM

    Home Depot is not a hardware store--where did you get that idea? It is a big box store mass-selling home improvement products to whoever will buy them. The managers get bonuses for just-in-time inventory practices, which is why they're always out of stock on stuff. Plus their tools are junk--Ryobi? Give me a break.

    If you want a hardware store, screw the East Bay--OSH? Piffle. For Berkeley yuppies it may look like one, but as anybody who grew up around Farm and Fleet can tell you, it's not either.

    We went there because we had to, living in Berkeley and drying up our fossil energy use because we saw an oil war coming. But the real mecca for serious tool people is Lakeside Hardware on Taraval in SF. Way out near the ocean.

    Walk in there and ask where they keep the Forstner bits, and the reply will be, "metric or imperial?" Not a blank stare from a wage slave whose English is still grounded in the 300-word vocabulary of basic wage slavery.

    As for garden supplies, the garden center out on Sloat used to be great, but was yuppying up when I left there in 2000. In Berkeley I got all my stuff at that big drug store on MLK in Oakland--can't remember the name, but they have a huge garden center. Reasonably priced too.

    The homogenizing effect of globalization can be felt in these stores. It is rare to find a real hardware store anymore. Partly because people think they're at a hardware store when they're at Home Depot, and think they're gardening because they bought a compost heap from Smith and Hawken then built a koi pond.

    The real true working-class skills are being co-opted and lost both at the merchants' and the consumers' end of the deal. All the better to force people into the Imperial Hive of globalization, where your job is to earn consumption credits in wage slavery, then spend it all on consuming. Extra bonus points for those who breed more slaves for the hive.

    One exception I know to the big-box empire around here is Harwicks in Seattle. It's 60 miles from me, but we save up our hardware needs for the few times of year were get to that 'hood. We didn't drive like Californians when we lived there, and aren't about to start now.

  9. Anonymous10:38 AM

    PS--I challenge anyone who calls IKEA furniture "crap" to lay out their evaluative standards.

    For over 50 years IKEA has built its global empire on things like efficiency, intelligent design, democratization, and assertive social and environmental policies. They save billions of gallons of fossil energy each year with their flat-packs design and distribution methods; they were the first retailer and manufacturing contractor to outlaw formaldehyde in their house stuff (1996 I think), they have long had anti-child-labor and pro-environmental standards for their contracting manufacturers, they have worked to develop honest, working-class manufacturing sectors around the world (giving people an alternative to corruption-based economies). They are owned by a nonprofit corporation based in Holland that reinvests huge hunks of its profits in social welfare projects.

    Plus their shit's the dope. I have IKEA bookcases I bought 25 years ago. They've been taken apart and reassembled...let's times for moves, half of them long distance. And while we haven't any sprogs about the house acting like carpet-apes and ruining things, we don't care that much about "heirloom furniture" etc., so the bookcases get dusted, and that's it. These are in solid shape, people always think they're new. Ditto the desk, dresser (now dining room sideboard), and wardrobes.

    The stuff we've bought more recently at IKEA--we go with the higher end of their lines because it's more durable. But why shouldn't some furnishings be cheap and cheaply made, when bought by people who can't take care of a stick? I used to own a business building very high end furniture by hand, and a good 75 percent of it ended up being trashed by yuppie kids who'd jump all over it with their soccer cleats, or their moms, who'd iron clothes on a Chippendale dining table top. Paper-laminated particleboard is too good for them.

    We use IKEA as a source of parts for projects. You can build just about anything from their kitchen cabinet components, and if you have any skills with upholstery, sewing, woodworking, all the better.

  10. Anonymous12:37 PM

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