Friday, July 09, 2010

Stalking Office Depot
I wrote about my obsession with chain drug stores and how perfect they are for someone like me. The overwhelm of visual stimulation and unrelenting attention on physical perfection appeals to the human ADD narcissist in all of us. To a lessor degree I find the same stimulation in trips to the hardware store and office supply places like Office Depot.

The hardware store because it is full of macho implements and parts that make even a metro-sexual want to buy some work boots and some Dickie's bib overalls. Nothing is more satisfying than actually changing a plug or replacing a light fixture without self electrocution.

Same thing for office supply stores. They are full service creative stimulation exhibits that offers everything from computer needs to simple pencils and paper. And not just paper, but hundreds of kinds of different paper, colored, glossy, photo, parchment, folded, unfolded, heavy stock, extra white, onion skin, three hole, two hole, no hole, hole punchers if you can't decide and envelopes to match. (Think that sound Tim Allen used to make on Tool Time).

So today I went to my local Office Depot, I took plenty of water and a compass for what was surely to be an adventure. You see my Office Depot expanded, and took over the Mrs. Grace Lemon Cake store, virtually increasing its floor space to half again the size. They shuffled everything around and changed the entrance. It was like going to a brand new store, discovering a whole new world. (There goes that Tim Allen sound again).

Well, just as I walked in the door a young kid with a walkie talkie and Office Depot uniform greeted me. "Welcome to the store. What can I help you find today?"

Without even thinking I said, "Envelopes to send a DVD."

"Aisle four by the wall." He said, and without breaking stride I was there in seconds. I got the envelope and was in line to check out before I realized what had happened. He threw me off. I didn't want to know where the DVD envelopes were, I wanted to wander around and find them myself like any true explorer. I wanted to get the lay of the land, the new foot print, see the up dated displays and accidentally find those envelopes after I had forgotten what I came in for.

It was a trip interrupted this time. I would have gotten out of line and explored once I realized my plans had changed, except I knew it meant I could get the thrill of the first time, next time, extending my excitement to two trips instead of one.

Next time I won't listen to Mr. Helpful Greeter. He can't help me next time.
As you were,


Injun Trouble said...

"Just browsing" is what you say next time. :) Browsers usually spend more money, so the staff is tempted to leave you alone after that comment.

Philip Grecian said...

I would add book stores to the list. I can spend a couple of hours in a book store.

Hardware stores! I think it's in our guy genes to love to prowl through hardware stores. I don't own big tools. No bandsaws or radial arm saws or the like. I've got a skill saw and an electric drill and a few other plug-in knick-knacks and a few hand tools...but there's something magical about a hardware store.

Officemax is barely a mile away from here and I'm always fascinated and enchanted by the things hanging on racks and stacked on shelves.

Yes, I take a compass, a canteen and a map to hardware stores and office supply stores.
But I also dress in camouflage...because part of the adventure is not letting the folks in the bright vests know where you are.