Coffee heat rising

Dogs and Depots…

…two entirely unrelated topics. Why not?


Hallelujah, brothers and sisters! Ruby the Corgi and I did not run into one single dog during today’s morning perambulation. Normally the place is overrun with dog-walkers, especially in the park-like million-dollar groves of Richistan and Upper Richistan. Yesterday we encountered 11 dogs in about a mile and a half.

Not that I begrudge other people the privilege of walking their dogs around the ‘Hood. It’s wonderful that neighbors here feel safe enough to gallivant the streets with their poochies at the first glow of dawn or the last ray of sunset. The problem is that Ruby is ill-trained. She came to live in my precincts right at the start of the Year of the Surgeries. And believe me, at no time during that period was I in any shape to train a vigorous, energetic young shepherd dog — not even a dwarf shepherd dog. Result: even though Ruby will now walk on a leash peacefully enough and sometimes will even heel (it’s a miracle!), she will lunge at passing dogs, especially if they show even a glimmer of interest in her.

Many of these animals do show more than a glimmer of interest, and it is not friendly interest. Some are fine and would probably play with her — we do have one big old funny-looking doggy pal, a rescue named Sammy. But Ruby has been attacked three times, twice by dogs off the lead, and lunged at murderously by more leashed dogs than I can count. It means every time we encounter another dog-walker, I have to wrestle Ruby under control, cross over to the other side of the street (these people invariably hog the shady side of the street! 😀 ), and physically drag Ruby past.

Often, a person’s dog will not be well under control. Some are off the lead, illegally. Many accompany women pushing strollers, who are often preoccupied. Sometimes an Orthopedist’s Friend goes bicycling past with a big dog on a leash — the other day one such dog yanked its human off the bike when it charged at us from across the road. (Seriously: an orthopedist once told me he just loves people who run their dogs beside their bicycles — they’re a gold mine for him!) And then there are the folks who think their dogs and my dog “just want to play.” God help us.

All of which is, in short, a damned nuisance.

Where was everybody? That escapes me. The weather, though still a little overcast after the past two days’ rainstorms, is gorgeous. A spectacular rainbow was glowing just to the west of us, an amazing thing to see. It’s cool (at last!) and not about to rain and…?????  Not a holiday, far as I know.

Thought we must have gotten a late start — I suspect many of these folks are walking their dogs before they go to work, although some of the women are clearly Junior-Leaguers or other women affluent enough to be stay-at-home moms. But no: we got back to the house right at 7, which means we left around 6 or 6:15 a.m., right at the height of the doggy rush-hour. So what kept all these folks and their dogs indoors, I cannot imagine.

Depots and Daisies…

Speaking of dogs — in a metaphorical sense — I am soooo done with Home Depot!
Why do I go to HD at all? Well. Because it’s closer than the Lowe’s. Except it’s not significantly closer: if I were to get off my duff and drive up the freeway to the Lowe’s, it would be about the same distance as the surface-street junket to the nearest annoying Home Depot.

So day-before-yesterday I go by Whitfill’s, the small-business-owned nursery next-door to the Safeway, a long trip from either home improvement emporium. This is the preferred shopping destination for plants, because Whitfill’s is NOT owned by a Trumpeting megacorporation, but by a local family. Several generations of local family.

The shelves were pretty bare in those precincts…didn’t see any of the several specific plants I coveted. Figured it’s between seasons and so probably their stock was low because it was all sold out. But, thought I, HD would have the pretty much plain-vanilla plants I had in mind. Also needed: a couple of pool chemicals the SPS&R dude recommended this yesterday morning, by way of beating back the resurgent mustard algae. He dumped in a couple ounces of SkillIt, said who told you to put in 16 ounces? (The instructions on the side of the bottle, boss!), and recommended having some PhosFree and some Silvertrine on hand. And his parting shot?  “Don’t buy this stuff from Leslie’s. They’re pirates!”

No. They did not have either of the pool products recommended. We already knew they don’t carry Skillit. So no, these were not on hand as of yesterday afternoon, but probably will be today, because Amazon says they’ve shipped and are on the way.

Nevertheless, I load up on posies and various other home-improvement tchotchskies, and then head for the checkout.

In the garden department.

I always check out in the garden dept, because HD has replaced most of its cashiers with effing DIY self-checkout computers. To get a human, you have to hike to the far end of the store, halfway to freaking Wickenburg, and then hike back halfway to the Superstition Mountains to find your car. But for some reason unknown to 21st-century personkind, they’ve kept a human in the garden department.

One. Human. So, the garden department is my exit.

They used to have two or three cashiers in there. Now they have one, locked up inside an air-conditioned cubicle, and…yes…a goddamned computer checkout station.

SIX PEOPLE were standing in the human cashier’s line.

Over at the robot cashier? None. Zero point zero-zero.

So I join the long line and wait. And wait. And wait. And finally think ooooo fukkkit! 

Roll the full cart over to the side, abandon it, and stroll out of the store.

Cruise down to Whitfill’s — the family-owned nursery — figuring WTF, I’ll just make do with the dregs of whatever they have left on hand.

But WHOA!! Nooooo…since yesterday afternoon, they’ve received a truckload of new inventory. Hot diggety DAYUM, do they have the new inventory!  The gods reward those who persist in support of employees with minimum-wage jobs.

So I grabbed a lovely big blue salvia to put in the large empty pot on the west side. And a raft of strange little blue posies. And a raft of strange little orange posies.

Back to the Funny Farm.

Oh, joy: this pile of plants was enough to spiff up both the back west garden and the front courtyard. Courtyard still needs a little clean-up, but that could wait until morning, when it’s cool again.

What do you suppose possesses the management of Home Depot? Do they have no cameras in the garden department? Is there no manager who can see the endless line at the human’s cash register and the vacant station staffed by a f*cking computer? What COULD they be thinking? I bought about $70 worth of stuff. At Arizona’s minimum wage, that would have employed a cashier for just over six hours. Yes. One customer’s purchase would have covered almost an entire shift for a living employee!

I cannot justify continuing to shop in stores run by people who can only be morons. That is the sole explanation for this stupidity. Well. That, and brain-banging greed.

4 thoughts on “Dogs and Depots…”

  1. Brain-banging greed is right! Managers get big bonuses for controlling costs by trimming staff. I know our GM does. If our restaurant could be fully mechanized, the owner would probably be thrilled!

    • Yup. The customer is always wrong. 😀 The amazing thing is, consumers could bring a stop to this kind of abuse simply by not patronizing businesses whose management inflicts it.

      Where HD is concerned, that’s exactly what I’m gonna do: after this, it’s over to Lowe’s. Or down to the Ace Hardware.

  2. $70 dollars of stuff is not $70 in the pocket of Home depot. HD’s profit margin is around 8%. So they lost $5.60 from your sale, or the equivalent of about 20 minutes of a cashier’s time. I’m estimating that employment taxes and benefits at H.d are about 30% of hourly rate – at my company its more like 40%, but we actually get benefits. So they would have to be losing 3 sales an hour to pay for an extra cashier.

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