Monday, January 18, 2010

The trauma of Bunnings.

I went to Bunnings on Friday. Yeah, I know it's MONDAY, but the whole experience was so traumatic I needed time to reintegrate my schismed personality.

So. Friday. Bunnings.  I needed some system of wardrobe organisation. The chair beside our bed has long since disappeared, the laundry basket of shoes is simply not cutting it, and there's something demoralising about moving shoes from under the bed, vacuuming, then putting them all back in (if not conspicuous) poorly concealed disarray.

Bunnings will save me.

(Quick digression: outfit of the day: black singlet, black skirt, red belt, red shoes with five-inch cork heels. They're very comfortable.)

In I go.

"Welcome to Bunnings! Would you like a trolley?"
"Do you need someone to - " (ineffectual gesture indicating I am incapable of pushing my own trolley and need someone to do it for me. Clearly I'm screaming "Excuse me, helpless female, can't BREATHE on my own, miracle I'm walking!")
"I'm all good, thanks."

Trolley and I make our way toward the outdoor furniture and lawn care. OOH, lawn matting. For someone who regards weeding as an extravagance, this looks like a great idea.

Speak to me of this deterring-weeds-business! There's some stuff purporting to be on special, but natural suspicion leads me to investigate futher and carry out a quick cost/metre/benefit analysis in the adjacent aisle...Where again, I must need help. THIS guy pulls out a calculator to help me work out what my mental arithmetic has already discovered.

The special isn't actually the best buy.
Thanks, random guy, because I'm a girl.
Counting is a bit beyond me.
I must have faked my way through Specialist. All those math trophies I stubled across unpacking boxes from my parents' place? Freak accidents. Must have been.

Next: wire drawers in frames (which I think of as storage). Uh, no. Apparently they're homewares. I can deal with that (even though the MANUFACTURERS think that they're "4 Drawer Storage Unit"... those crazy people. Why would you listen to them. All that do is MAKE the damn things!

Being a genius and all, I have the measurements of the space I can fill on my iphone, so I do a little checking against the options and work out the best permutation of space-filler. Fine. The guy wandering past who tries to help me? I cut him dead. Watch me add like an ... adding machine. Yeah.

Putting the three boxes on the trolley is a little cumbersome, but Bunnings (well, I guess it should be expected) maintain their trolleys well. Good bearings, supple wheel mounts, it's all happy. Right. Let's go outdoors and get some mulch.

HOLY CRAP. Judging by the responses of the storepeople watching me I am a delicate flower and cannot push a loaded trolley. I'd say "Give me strength!" but seems a little ironic, given the circumstances: I don't NEED strength, I need random storespeople to get out of my fricking way and let me get my own goddamn mulch.

No, I don't need a separate trolley for the mulch.

No, I don't need you to push my current trolley becasue it looks a little precariously balanced.

I have undertaken a complex feasibility study and computed the most efficient way for me to purchase this stuff and it does not involve you. Or you. Or any of the other elves in their cheery red teeshirts, holly-green aprons and authentic "we handle heavy sh*t" Blundstone boots.

What DO I need? Some stain for our outdoor furniture. I explain that it's in full sunlight, four chairs and a table, I really only want to do this once and then forget about it for five years.
Paint guy listens, leads me to appropriate aisle, hands me appropriate quantity of outdoor furniture oil and tells me why it's better than a stain. He checks that I have all the other things I need fo rthe job (like the all-important paintbrush) and then looks at my trolley.

Contents: three storage units
two underbed drawers
four 50L bags of mulch
one roll of weed prevention matting
one can outdoor furniture oil.

"Hey, do you want a hand to the registers with that?"
The registers that are all of thirty feet away? When I've just successfully traversed the WHOLE STORE?

"I'll be fine. Thanks."

The only person to NOT offer me help is the girl who checks out my purchases. She just tells me how many hundreds of dollars to hand over. I like her.

The coup de grace:
I leave with my overloaded trolley and wave off the barrage of assistance from the store greeter. I return ten minutes later with an empty trolley and he darts forward, with a quick "Let me get that!"

Omigod. It's EMPTY. Perhaps, just perhaps, you should drive me home. I'm so absolutely incapable of independent thought.


Lovesick Fool said...

lol they are either sexist idiots or completely bored with themselves and need something to do.

lindamciver said...

Wah, wah, wah. People tried to help you. How horrible! Now to demonstrate that I'm either a slow learner or very persistent, I'll offer you some helpful advice: Get a T-shirt that reads "I can do maths. I can push a trolley. Can you read?" and wear that next time. Or just wear the uniform that already says that. ie jeans, boots, and a dirty t-shirt. Of course, that only says one of the three things, but it's probably enough.

Linda asks that I confess that I'm not her and she didn't type this. :)

lindamciver said...

And to post for myself, I have to say that I am bitterly distressed that no-one has *ever* offered me help pushing my trolley at bunnings. :(

omchelsea said...

LF: yep.

lindamciver impersonator: I don't mind help, it's the tone of help I mind; the type that implies that since I have breasts, I'm incompetent.
Although I like your t-shirt idea.
Actually, my outfit said "Too busy to go home and change and have more things in my life than just gardening." (Well, that's what I thought.)

The real lindamciver: distressed? Really? Nah, not worth it. M. may have made a very funny face when I said that more than one guy had offered to "push my trolley". He thought it was some strange new euphemism.

Mae December said...

I LOLed.

Though I guess you had to BE THERE to know what tones they took or didn't take.

Although in the long run, it doesn't matter because it all goes back to being an entertaining blog entry.

sabulous said...

I wish people would help push my trolley! I am in fact completely incapable of doing it myself, without wrecking the shop that is...

red-handed said...

Wow. It seems you and I have recently had the exact opposite kind of problem. (Or maybe the same problem, only with switched gender identities.) Anyway, you can judge for yourself:

Rider said...

Excuse me, but did you say you were dressed in a black dress with a red belt and five-inch heels? Was your cart fully loaded with two-hundred pounds of mulch, among other things?

I wish I had been there to offer to help.


Thanks for the well-written, tongue-in-cheek posting, Omchelsea. Your "Chivalry is not dead" Tweet gave you away.

lindamciver said...

No, not really distressed. :) I think (some) guys feel a little foolish trying to help someone who is taller than they are. :-)

Madame DeFarge said...

Bunnings? Sounds a true delight for all the family. Maybe they were in danger of missing a help target and you were going to boost their performance for the week.

otin said...

HAHA! I have never heard of Bunnings and it took me a minute to realize what a trolley was.

I love how you got all the help at the last minute! LOL