I have a serious draft problem in my house. In the winter, if you stand near the patio door, it feels like it must be open a couple inches. That bad. Well, last winter, not wanting to stand with the door flung open in the cold to do weatherstripping, i just stuffed newspaper in the crack between the two French doors, where the windows meet their frames, in the front door, and when it was really cold, the door to the garage.
This tactic was highly unattractive and only mildly effective. So last night, I went to the great Home Depot for some help. Because I never like walking into a situation blindly without knowing anything, I first turned to my trusty internet for some basic info. This way, I could actually hold on a conversation when I asked questions because I knew a few things. Well, I found a fatherly gentleman named Larry in the Windows and Doors section and began asking questions. We probably talked for a good 15 minutes. (Note to self: Home Depot is quite empty around 5pm on a Tuesday.) He said a couple of times what it sounded I like I really needed was a contractor to come out and tell me what needed to be done. Not just for weatherstripping, but to recirculate the air in my house so the upstairs wasn't always 15 degrees warmer than the downstairs. I think something in my tone of voice suggested I was a nice person. A young, single girl who had just bought her first home, and really needed some help. He tells me that there are contractors out there that have daughters just like me, and they won't take advantage of me. That that's the kind of person I need. All of the sudden he looks at me and says, "Hold on. I used to work at the pro desk, and there is a guy named Gordon. He used to work here, but they moved him over to Home Depot Expo to run the plumbing department over there, and he has a Handyman service company on the side. His card might still be up there. Do you have some more shopping to do? I'll go get it."
I assured him I wouldn't go far, and about 5 minutes later he came back bearing a beaten up business card and a smile. "Here it is." He hands me what is no doubt the card that has been on file for ages. "I called him too. He wasn't in, so he must still be at work at Expo. But I left a message saying a nice young lady came in looking for help. He will be expecting your call." I thank him and he goes on to tell me, "he's a really nice guy. Looks like Santa Claus with the big belly, but he's bald." I smile and thank him again. He really had gone above and beyond. It's one thing to write down the guy's number for me, but it's another to give what appears to be the last card, and actually call him for me.
This sort of situation always makes me smile. A similar situation is how I found our IT guy for work. I had gone into Best Buy with a problem, chatted up a sales guy in the computer department, and he suggested his friend who had just started a computer repair company as a cheaper way to fix the problem than having Best Buy do it. His friend has been our IT guy for almost three years now, and has never overcharged us, or done anything less than a great job. It's funny how situations like that work. It just makes you remember how important honestly and kindness are. They get you so much farther than anger.