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Tool Company Visit

November 8, 2015

Shortly after I moved into my new house, I discovered a hole cut into the plaster wall behind the refrigerator.  I could fill it with a piece of plaster board, of course, but I didn’t want to extend the hole all the way over to the next stud.  I decided instead to put a backing board behind the plaster and attach the plaster board to that.  To do that properly, I needed plaster washers.  Where could I get them locally?  A woodworking tool company showed up in a search on the web.

I’d heard about this place, but had never been there.  A fellow at work often talked about it.  Sometimes he even showed us their latest catalogue.  He was a amazing woodworker.  I wasn’t that good.  The catalog certainly appealed to me.  I liked the anecdotes and technical description of each of their products.

I wanted those plaster washers so that I could get on with repairing that hole in the wall.  The very next Saturday morning, I went down to the store.  It was full of middle-aged men with beards, just like me.  I felt right at home there.  The store was a bit chaotic and unfamiliar to me, but I soon realized that you were supposed to fill out an order form and take it to the counter.  They had long tables covered with catalogues, pencils, and pads of order forms.  I sat down on a stool and started reading catalogues.  I found my plaster washers.  They were only a few dollars for six, just about what I needed.  Now that I was there, I wanted to add a few more items to my order form.  I read and reread all of the catalogues, in vain.  There was nothing else I wanted.  Reluctantly, I took my order form to the counter.  All the clerks were men.  Even with one small item on my order form, they were happy to see me.  One of them brought me a package of plaster washers from the back, and ushered me over to the cash register.

The man there noticed that I didn’t have a customer number.  He asked me if I would like one.  “Sure”, I said.  He was very friendly.  He took down all the information from me, got me a customer number, and then asked if I would like a catalogue.  “Sure”, I said.  He brought me not one but three catalogues and some flyers and put them in a big bag along with my little package of plaster washers.  I said to him: “I know what I’ll be doing for the rest of the day”.

Yes, indeed.  When I got home, the first thing I did was to read all the catalogues and flyers.  The hole in the wall could wait.  I kept on reading them for the next week, whenever I had some time.  The hole in the wall could wait.  I finally did repair it, though.  I put fibre tape over the joints.  I covered the whole area with drywall compound and sanded it down.  With a coat of primer, you couldn’t even tell that the hole was there.  Even better, I got all those catalogues and flyers.  Maybe I’ll buy something else after all.


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