Erin and her mom are hard at work this week on our house. They are making the place look great. Painting, fixing up outdoor furniture, and much more in the works. I’m sure she’ll tell you all about it.

I try and pitch in where I can, but all you have to do is read her other blog, and you’ll know she’s the handyman of the family.

To finish one of her many projects around here, she invested a gift card in a new Dremel saw today from Home Depot.

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Upon opening her prized tool, she noticed it was used. Scuffed and sloppily packaged. Hmmm, must have slipped back into the inventory, right? No big deal. So I headed off to Home Depot thinking it a quick errand, but in store for a strange trip…and a 3 hour tour, a three hour tour.

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I headed to a closer Home Depot than the store from which it was originally purchased. The first of many waits I encountered was at the returns. If you’ve ever been to a Home Depot before, you know they move pretty quick…

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Finally reaching the counter, they gave me no problem with my request for an exchange. The tool guy came over and gave it a half-hearted looksy to see if all the contents were there. (They weren’t, I’d soon figure out on my own.) He confirmed it was used, and off I went to find another.

Grabbed another Dremel kit and went out to the car. Not too painful. Before exiting the parking lot, I decided to open the box. Sure enough, it was used. What are the odds?

Headed straight to the tool guy and expressed my displeasure. I grabbed the last one they had in stock and opened it right there in the drill section. Used, too. Three for 3. Is this a product I really want? The tool guy explained the anomoly by exclaiming, “Well, we’ve been ripped off!” I shared the sentiment.

I took the cash equivalent and headed for another Home Depot out of principal. I was on a mission now, not to be denied.

Arrived at the tool section, and looked for the product. Just two Dremel sets left. Unfortunately, they were shelved incorrectly and the wrong set. I learned this after checking out… twice. (My fault for not looking closer, but come one – give me a break!)

Went back to the tool section, and of course, there’s no orange vests to be found. Ah ha – saw “Bill” (names have been changed to protect the innocent) rounding the corner and grabbed him. He tells me tools are not his section, but he can look up my product on the computer. Ahhh, customer service finally!

After firing up his ancient computer system, we waited for the results… and waited. Fingers crossed! Magically, there appear to be five Dremel sets in stock. The tool guy had since returned and pointed to the high warehouse shelves. So Bill went off to grab a ladder. I spotted them on the shelf.

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Bill returned with a platform and exclaimed these soon-to-be-famous words in Home Depot HR: “I can probably reach.” It was about 5-foot high, and Bill is not small. So I figured he’d be all good.

I pointed out the one I wanted, part of a double plastic-wrapped bundle. The product has to be new when it’s wrapped in plastic, right? Unfortunately, this bundle was also at the bottom of a stack of other boxes with heavy tools.

Bill reached as high as he could, just barely touching the bottom corner of the Dremels. He carefully starts nudging the bottom boxes toward him, like a trepid game of Jenga.

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I was helpless as it started raining boxes. Bill did what he could, trying to cushion the fall of his products with shoulders, hands and FEET. Bad idea. That’s what sent him tumbling off the platform, falling just as hard as his now-damaged tools. Among the boxes, he was rolling around the aisle on his back, kind of grunting in shock I’m sure. I looked to see any carnage. “Are you ok, man?” He jumped up and limped down the way still grunting. That’s a good tool guy – get up and rub some dirt on it!

I quickly unwrapped my prized Dremel, thinking I’d rather have one that didn’t plunge 10 feet. But I didn’t have the heart to ask. Hope it’s not broken. And I hope Bill gets some good workers comp!

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