Here’s a story that made us sad. Reader Mary’s mom went to Lowe’s to buy a mailbox, and was ignored until she finally got so frustrated that she gave up and just left, in tears. Don’t cry, Mary’s mom. We will not ignore you.
Apparently the door on her mailbox had rusted off and needed replacing. She tried removing the mailbox from the wooden post it sits on, but alas, the screws attaching it were too rusted for a screwdriver to bite on. Aesthetically it seemed time for a whole new post and mailbox. My mother drove up to her local Lowe’s in Avondale, PA. She went right up to the customer service area and said she needed help selecting and buying a new mailbox and post, and wanted advice on how to put it up properly. She was directed to a specific aisle and told that someone would meet her over there. She waited for 15-20 minutes for someone to meet her there.
All the while she waited, my mom said that “employees wandering around, doing nothing, just sort of spacing out and wandering by me. There were several other women by themselves picking out light fixtures and things, and no one was helping them. I stepped away from the aisle to see if anyone was coming to help me and no one was. The only people I saw being helped were couples, and couples who were buying a whole new set of kitchen cabinets and appliances. I even noticed that the employee was only talking to the man in one couple.” My mom felt so embarrassed and obviously ignored that she just walked out, went out to the car and started crying. She told me “I know I should have gone up to the counter and told them they had just lost themselves at least $150 in sales and that I was going to tell my friends about it. But I just felt like I’d been kicked in the stomach. I guess I’ll go to the Home Depot and try and do this tomorrow.”
I think that in hardware and home improvement stores women often get shafted as customers because they are women. I don’t expect Lowe’s to know that my mother is a widow who now takes care of repairs that my Dad used to around the house and that she needed some help. But I do expect that a middle aged woman who specifically indicated she was planning to buy a fairly big ticket item, and wanted advice is not ignored because she isn’t with a man. “Let’s build something together” indeed.
This is awful. We hope your mom had a better time at Home Depot. Good luck to Lowe’s if they think they can ignore potential customers in this economy.
Let’s all send Mary’s mom our best wishes. We think it’s awesome that she is a mailbox fixing SuperMom.