A Home Depot Employee Disapproved Of My Mat Purchase

There’s a line between helpful suggestions and overbearing browbeating, and John says a Home Depot worker bulldozed that line when she talked trash about his rubber mat purchase.

He writes:

My wife and I work in the food and beverage industry and have been for over 13 years. This weekend, we were out at a festive doing wine pours. While most of the booths were in an open grassy space, ours was on a paved access road. Knowing that this would be murder on our feet, I went to a Home Depot I had passed on the drive in to pick up some rubber mats to add a little cushioning. Specifically, the heavy duty kind you find in most restaurant kitchens since they can stand the wear and tear and clean up easy.

When I walked in, I asked the greeter (who helpfully asked if there was anything I was looking for) where they had the kind of industrial rubber mats you put in a restaurant kitchen, about 1 ½ inch thick with holes for drainage and connectors.

She said that she works in the kitchen department and they didn’t have any such thing. The only kind of “mats” they had were the outdoor welcome mats. She then told me that I should leave the store and go to Target. She seemed very offended that I would even ask for such an item. I tried to further explain what I was looking for and she became indigent, explaining in very stern terms that she worked in the kitchen department and that non-slip rubber mats were “not something you put in a kitchen”.

Not being deterred, I went back to the flooring section and found exactly what I was looking for. After I had gotten a couple other items, I checked out. As I waked out, she saw me and started screaming things like “You’re going to put those in a KITCHEN?” and “Those aren’t going to FIT by the SINK!”.

What annoyed me the most was that she was unwilling to listen to what the customer wanted. She could only conceive of what she would have wanted in the same place (some kind of woven floor runner to go between the island and the sink I guess?). There are large restaurant supply warehouse stores that Home Depot tries to take business from. Not hard to see why they aren’t successful.

Take note, eye-rolling tech and game shop workers. Condescension drives business away.