This article was last modified on May 22, 2006.

Home Depot

May 22, 2006

Home Depot
2201 S Kensington Ave
Appleton, WI 54915


On Saturday, May 13, my friend Hannah Borg and I were shopping for some flowers for her mother. We were specifically looking for flowers called “bleeding hearts” and “hens and chicks”. Not being familiar with flowers ourselves or the layout of Home Depot, we asked a cashier for assistance. She was not sure where to find anything either, but she called in a man named Pat.

Pat is a man about 6 foot 3, lanky, wispy silver hair. And he has an incredible passion for flowers. He was able to tell us where everything was, which soils worked best, what side of the house things ought to be planted on, which flowers contrast well with different styles of houses, etc. etc. etc. We ended up picking up more plants than we intended to get, and while I was not there to get flowers at all (I was just moral support) I left that day knowing when I was ready to start my garden that I knew exactly where to go. Normally, I’m very much in favor of locally owned businesses (such as Reynebeau’s in Kimberly), but I sincerely doubt they have the knowledge and passion of Pat. [Editor’s Note: Reynebeau’s is in Little Chute. The florist in Kimberly I had in mind was Robinson. I apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.]

I know what it’s like to have a passion for something. I’m passionate for many things. Ask me about “Lost” (8:00pm Central Time, Wednesdays on ABC) and I could tell you some things you never knew possible. Or ask me to tell you about 24 of my favorite Ben Affleck movies. I can do it, seriously. Or any number of other things — but not flowers.

My point is this: I’ve grown accustomed to shopping in stores where the employees only haphazardly do their jobs and half-heartedly help, if you don’t mind my alliteration. Case in point: Barnes and Noble employs a large number of people with no interest in books, authors or what have you. And that really makes shopping there frustrating (and is why I recommend Conkey’s for all your reading needs). So when Pat came along and didn’t just point us to some “bleeding hearts” but rather gave us a variety of options, I was spiritually engorged with excitement and vigor.

It reminded me of that really annoying radio commercial about the jewelry store Jared, the Galleria of… yadda yadda (whatever a “galleria” is). Maybe it’s not annoying if you don’t hear it on the radio at work fifty times a day. Anyway, in it the “customer” says how thrilled he is the watch salesman is able to tell him about the watches and the histories of the various watchmakers. This (probably fictional) watch salesman is exactly how I picture Pat. If there’s such a thing as a legendary gardener, Pat probably could tell me clever anecdotes about their gardening misadventures.

Have I made my point clear yet in my roundabout fashion of rambling and such? If not, let’s cut to the chase and stop beating about the bush: Pat is a godsend to the Home Depot. I would bet dollars to doughnuts your plant sales go up exponentially by his being there. I would seriously bet on it that if you compared plant sales to days when Pat is working to days when he’s not, a difference would be found. And I want him commended for this passio nand care for both plants and customers.

I don’t know how Home Depot works. Maybe you give out raises, maybe bonuses, maybe little certificates or something. But if you do any of these things, make sure you do this for Pat. He is the hidden treasure in the jungle of commerce.


Gavin C. Schmitt
209 E. 17th St.
Kaukauna, WI 54130

Also try another article under Letters to ...
or another one of the writings of Gavin.

One Response to “Home Depot”

  1. Paul Says:

    soooooooooooooo awesome. Good work Gavin, the little guys need appreciation too!

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