Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Home Maintenance is Not What It's Cracked Up to Be

So I ran out and got a new garage door opener 2 days ago. I stood there in the aisle at Home Depot just staring at the shelf of openers. 1/2 HP, 3/4 HP, keypad entry, whisper quiet, hmmmm. Most expensive = safest? Sure, I'll go with that. So, I started to grab a box off the shelf and came to the realization that THESE THINGS ARE HEAVY! Since I didn't want to give myself a hernia (not because of the pain, but because I know my house and everything in it would fall apart while I was out of commission), I grabbed a nearby, abandoned cart. I hoisted the opener into the cart where it landed with a thud. Then I started pushing the cart to the front to check out. About two feet later, I learned why the cart had been abandoned in the middle of the store. The loudest screeching, squealing, squeaks came from the cart. Shoppers and employees alike, gave me dirty looks while clamping their hands over their ears as I passed by. I debated taking the garage door opener out of the cart and just carrying it the rest of the way to spare everyone's hearing, but deciding that I'd probably drop it and have to kind of scoot it to the front with my feet, opted to leave the opener in the cart and make everyone just deal with the ear piercing squeaks instead.

So I got to the front and went to one of those self check out counters. I lifted the box out of the cart, scanned the barcode and plopped it back into my defective shopping cart. The screen glared at me and told me to put my item in a shopping bag.
"Seriously? I have to bag this? It's not going to fit in a bag!"
The self check-out computer yelled at me, "Bag your item or we'll arrest you for shoplifting!"
I looked around helplessly. Was there no one in sight who could turn this stupid machine off? Where is the "skip bagging" option? "Hello? Are there any real people here???"
Finally a person sauntered over to see why I was holding up the line. "You need to bag it," she said.
I looked at her. I looked at the big box my new garage door opener was in. I looked back at her, eyebrows raised. Clueless girl didn't seem to catch my meaning, so I asked her, "Think I can just leave it here in my cart and pay for it? Please."

Eventually I got all checked out and delivered the opener into the less than eager hands of my husband. I figured it would be 5 years minimum before he got around to installing it, but he surprised me and started on it that night.

Yesterday he informed me that it didn't work. You see, a couple years ago our garage door was falling apart. Literally. We didn't have any money to replace it, but knew we needed to do something so Joe built a new one out of a little wood, recycled hardware, and some left-over paint. The tracks, the pulleys, springs, and other thingamajiggers weren't replaced because they were still working fine. Here's the deal though - this new garage door opener has all these safety features and every time the door starts to shake a little (because all the other parts are so old and a little off balance) it automatically stops. According to Mr. Fixit, we'll need to replace the whole darn thing. I'm not sure if we'll get someone to come out and take a look to see if it can be adjusted or we'll just unplug the whole thing and keep it closed. Maybe I'll just duct tape the kids to the wall so they can't go anywhere near the garage door.

On another note - I took the kids to Wisconsin on a field trip today, but I'm too tired to write about it tonight. I'll update with pics tomorrow...


"Intentionally Katie" said...

I loathe the self check out. And it seems some Home Depots and Lowe's shut down all aisles EXCEPT those. Hate 'em. Do know how difficult it is to put a huge 2x4 piece of wood into a little shopping bag!?!?! Those are the exact places why that "skip bagging" button was created.

Feisty Irish Wench said...

I dislike the self checkout too, because I always end up with something in my cart that requires manager approval (cuz I'm a cheapskate that way). However, I do thank you for shopping at Home Depot.

RefreshMom said...

I'm glad you got a new garage door opener; who knew you'd need a whole new garage door to go with it? I'll have to keep that in mind when we go shopping for ours.

I never thought about the self checkout at HD being equipped for canned goods and gallons of milk like the grocery store, but not for garage door openers or chain saws. And since they sell more garage door openers than jars of peanut butter, it looks like the designer was falling down on the job (kind of like whoever designed the kitchens of America between 1959 and 1998). Or maybe the self-checkout sales rep was a knockout.

Anonymous said...

Generally you don't actually have to bag whatever it is you have when you're checking out. You only have to set the item on the sensor where the bags are for a short while so that the machine thinks that you bagged it. Then you can move on your merry way.

I personally love the self checkout. I can often do it much faster than an employee, plus it allows me to put whatever items I want together (this is especially handy when at the grocery store, since I know which items are grouped together in my cupboards.) :)

Suburban Correspondent said...

You've got a teenager now. You can skip the automatic opener.

Rick said...

Have Joe build a shed for all your, umm... "crud" and then turn the garage into that extra room you've been wanting.

No need to thank me for the idea now. Just have me over for a big meal sometime down the road. I like steak.

Anonymous said...

I can't believe you had this post. I literally just went through this last month. Our door would make this horrible clanging noise every time it opened or closed. Turns out our door was so cheap that it was bowing out of shape. We ended up having to get a new door ($1,000!), and then we ended up buying the same door opener as you bought! We really weren't planning to shell out that money this summer, but it is much nicer now. Also, our garage isn't so hot now because the door is insulated. But yes, overall, it sucks to have to do it in the first place.

Anonymous said...

As if lifting the heavy item out of the cart, touching it to the sensors, and lifting it back into the cart is any easier than actually bagging it!!

I'm sorry it doesn't work with your current door. What a hassle.

BandK said...

Yeah the little scales that the bag is on just wants to know that what you scanned weighs what its supposed to, so you're not scanning one item, dropping two in the bag. It's a lame system for Home Depot. but whatever. Especially since you could just take a bag, drop one item in the bag in your cart, one through the scanner, etc. But then there's that Home Depot self-check Nazi that eyes your cart and your receipt as you leave, to make sure you didn't slip in an extra garage door opener, or something.

And so it begins. The new garage door you will get to work with the new garage door opener will make the paint on the house look dingy, so you'll have to paint the house. And then the paint on the house makes the landscaping look tired, so you'll have to spruce that up. And then after doing all the landscaping, and your kids have tracked all that wet dirt (i.e. mud) from the landscaping project all over the carpeting, you'll have to replace the carpeting. And since the new carpeting makes the furniture look shabby, you'll have to get new furniture. And since the new carpeting and furniture makes the kitchen look dated, you'll have to remodel the kitchen. And that's why the $250 garage door opener will cost you $50,000. LOL

You'll have to post pics of the new garage door when it's done. And the rest of the remodeling.

Is that Joe I hear screaming in the background?!? LOL

Anonymous said...

Wow, how old is that garage door opener??? My parents bought a garage door opener around 1980, and it has the feature where it reverses if it hits a moderate amount of resistance. My parents are type to by a middle of the road appliance, not the expensive one with the latest cutting-edge features.

Our house came with a garage door opener that can detect when a beam of light about 14" above the floor gets broken. A few weeks ago, the garage door opener started often reversing when we'd try to close it. (We could force it to close by holding the button down in the garage the whole time.) I tried to trouble shoot it with my home repair guides, and finally gave up and called a repair man. He fixed it in about two minutes, just by getting the alignment of the two sensors right, and I got a $90 bill. Well, at least I know how to fix myself if they ever get out of alignment again! And he did also lubricate the hinges so the door wouldn't groan so much going up and down.

Anonymous said...

Hi Dawn!

Well, I, for one, am totally amazed that you went into Home Depot and picked out a garage door opener by yourself. That takes special courage and skills that I do not have.

My solution would have been to ask, nag, demand, cajole, threaten, manipulate and cry until my husband did it (he's at Home Depot so often anyway we call it the "Home David" store).

I have nothing but admiration for those who can go into one of those home improvement stores, actually enjoy looking around (I see an aisle of nails and narcolepsy hits), find what they need and be able to get it into their vehicles to take home.

Give me a craft store anyday!

Sandy in Tucson

Anonymous said...

Ugh. I feel your pain with the garage door opener. One of my teens somehow broke a cable and neglected to tell us. I don't think I even want to know how they did it..lol. I needed to go to the store and couldn't get the door to open for anything. You can't manually open it. My husband had his car at work but luckily my son was home so I took his car. My car was trapped in the garage for 3 days before my husband got around to fixing the door. It wasn't all bad, though. My sons Camaro is way cooler than my car and I just used it when I needed to go somewhere..lol

Anonymous said...

Ugh. I feel your pain with the garage door opener. One of my teens somehow broke a cable and neglected to tell us. I don't think I even want to know how they did it..lol. I needed to go to the store and couldn't get the door to open for anything. You can't manually open it. My husband had his car at work but luckily my son was home so I took his car. My car was trapped in the garage for 3 days before my husband got around to fixing the door. It wasn't all bad, though. My sons Camaro is way cooler than my car and I just used it when I needed to go somewhere..lol

Kyddryn said...

Why does one always end up with the ONE cart that wobbles, squeaks, groans, and will only turn left just when one has no choice but to use it and endure?

A side note - I don't know if you have one up there, but if there's an Overhead Door Company in your area, they've done well by us - we had to replace our opener a few years ago because it shook the entire house when in use. They came out, diagnosed the trouble, replaced the old dinosaur with a smaller, quieter, less house-shaky one, explained how to use the new features and maintain the thing, and never quit smiling the whole time they were here. They DO cost more that doing it yourself, but I am mechanically inept and would never have ben able to install the dad-blasted thing myself, so it was worth it.

Shade and Sweetwater,

geisme said...

Oh my goodness! Still playing catchup. And LMAO!!! Too bad that phrase doesn't really work! I could use it. Being a former HD employee, I had to laugh at that post. Now I get paid the same way you do. (hugs & kisses!)

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