I push open a wooden and glass door and enter a mom and pop Ace Hardware on a weekday morning. There are no giant monitors blaring advertisements. There is no garish lighting. There are no computers to look up stock. I need safe drain cleaner. Two hardware pros wearing vests and headsets are helping customers. I am greeted by another pro, an older man, and he asks how he can help me. I tell him. He leads the way down a a tiny aisle. We stop. We discuss various products. It is quite possible he knows something about every single item in this store. I ask him for a recommendation and he gives one. I purchase the product and leave the store. It all took less than five minutes. I had no trouble locating my car in the parking lot because there is no parking lot. I walked there.
Oh joy with my time in Ace! I talked to a knowledgeable employee within seconds of my entry. I suspect he was paid a living wage. I wonder how people come to possess so much knowledge of hardware. I have virtually no knowledge outside of the best tools to tear shit down or hack blackberries. I would love to be a hardware man like the Ace pros and put people at ease while buying hardware. But it’s too late for that. You can’t really acquire this knowledge unless you do hardware type tasks.
Damn, I hope something in the house needs a hardware fix soon. I love being around professional hardware people of an independently owned hardware store.