A bunch of tools

Tools

Marshall McLuhan was correct in his observation that : “We shape our tools and afterwards our tools shape us.”.

In the 2006 election Aurora elected a bunch of tools and they are shaping the town in a horrible way.

Recently we saw the opening of yet another big-box store in the east end of town, this time a RONA.  

With a Home Depot, Home Hardware and True Value Hardware in town does Aurora really need a RONA?

Mike Evan's question at council regarding the lack of an impact study is a valid one, but one council doesn't want to address.  RONA offers job growth, taxes and of course a ribbon cutting ceremony.

I'm no fan of big box stores, I loathe them and for good reason: the total lack of knowledge and service.  RONA is no exception.

I was curious to see exactly what the store's value proposition was so I went yesterday in search of quotes for hardwood flooring and kitchen cabinetry components.

I spent a good 15 minutes in the Kitchen section while one staff member was training another, they happily ignored me, even though I was clearly looking through the materials and tapping my foot waiting for some help.  Begrudgingly the two stopped their training session and asked if they could be of service so I outlined what I was after.

They both scurried off and brought out a supervisor so I repeated what I was after, he seemed interested until I mentioned I just wanted cabinet doors.

"Oh, we don't sell those."

"What?  These doors here?" I said pointing at them installed in a faux cabinet. 

"These doors that you have several material samples of?"

"No, we don't have a program for that"

WTF !

I don't care about a program, I want to buy some doors.  They obviously carry them and sell them, yet they were somewhat reluctant to sell them to me.

What's wrong with this picture?

I'm the customer.  I want to buy a product, and you're turning away my business?

I guess unless you're buying an entire kitchen RONA can't be bothered with you.

I'm not sure why I didn't leave right then, regardless it was off to the flooring department.

I spent some time in flooring before a junior member approached me asking if I needed some help so I outlined the amount of flooring I
was after and handed him the skews for some materials I wanted a quote for.  I also asked for a quote on installation, to which he was
quick to escort me to a service desk.  Apparently none of the departments are set up to do quotes in their own department, so a trek halfway across the store to wait for another 10 minutes at a service desk before someone approached to help.

I must have repeated my dimensions, material requests 2 or 3 times to the CSR, she flipped through some binders, prepared a quote and handed it to me.  I could have done the same using their website I'm sure.

There was no shortage of staff, often found marching around in pairs, laughing and joking, completely oblivious to the clients waiting for help.  I heard several "I'm going on breaks", "Not my departments" and then there were the ones that walked right by.

I am not alone in my experience.  There are several similar reviews of RONA here: http://www.xomreviews.com/rona.ca

Even trying to leave was an adventure, I almost bumped carts with Sher "St" Kitts who was even more Platinum then ever.  I didn't get a
good look at the contents of her cart but I wouldn't be surprised if there were a couple bags of cement to fix all the cracks that are showing in her foundation.

A quick stop at Home Hardware, which has a fantastic building center, offered a completely different experience.  Within 5 minutes I was able to hand over my cabinet dimensions and leave my contact details with the understanding a quote would be prepared for the cabinet doors I had selected.

The rep from their flooring department was very quick to inform me of their hardwood flooring options, none of which were a match.  Home Hardware carries a lot of laminate flooring solutions which look nice but not what I am after.  Regardless I received service and a smile in a prompt fashion.  For this reason alone I will return.

Aurora Council is clearly divided.  There are those that operate as a big box store: cold, impersonal and sell you what they want.  There
are others which operate like a small town store: they listen, they accommodate and they sell you what you came for.

Steven Grayhm once said : “Excuses are the tools with which persons with no purpose in view build for themselves great monuments of nothing.”

Lets be sure when we rebuild our council, and with it our town, come October that we accept no excuses, and elect no "tools".

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