Social Media and Idiots Such as Me

As I was looking for carpet-to-flat flooring transitions at Lowe’s the other day, something about my surroundings caught me funny. Among all of the big box home improvement stores, Lowe’s strikes me as the most suburban by far. It’s such a clean, respectable looking place. I had been asked twice if I needed help finding anything after only a minute in the store. I could go a week in Menard’s or Home Depot without being asked if I need help.

Here was a place for me! I am an avowed home improvement idiot. I need my instructions clearly labeled. I need my paint pre-mixed. Anything more complicated than an outlet cover replacement requires the assistance of a contractor. My family is full of do-it-yourselfers and amateur craftsmen of decent skill. I, on the other hand, must have been left on the doorstep.

Your friendly neighborhood idiot finds his voices

As I strolled the Lowe’s aisles, I was juxtaposing my mental praise of the safe, professional environment with a brash, all-caps, YouTube commenter voice. I retrieved my phone and tried it out on Twitter.

It pleased me. As I looked for my transition pieces, I found their selection of molding designed to match the flooring options. So be it.

And then, a mellow song sounded from the speakers above. What is this I hear? What’s that band name again? Ah, yes.

— Scott Martin (@scott_c_martin) August 27, 2014

All in good fun, making fun of album-oriented alternative at the same time. I found what I needed and was out the door shortly thereafter… not before, however, passing some mystery gunk-removal solution with the best brand name ever.

Lowe’s strikes back

I returned to my office a few minutes later, satisfied with my trip and pleased with my stupid little jokes on social media. My smugness dissipated, however, when I opened my browser to find that the Lowe’s social media person was unusually attentive.

Dammit. Nothing kills a comedy buzz like genuine helpfulness (which, given my experience at the store, was in lock-step with the whole “Lowe’s is a helpful kind of place” vibe they had going). Having already established myself as an idiot, I tried to return the favor in kind.

— Scott Martin (@scott_c_martin) August 27, 2014

Which was followed by more kindness and helpfulness.

I left it there.

I think we’ve all learned something today… or not

What has this world come to? You can’t even make fun of a big-box home improvement store without being gently zinged by their social media representative on duty.

I thought there might be something more to say about society, the state of satire, and the age of social media… but you know what? I was caught out being an idiot, and was handed my pants without this company ever breaking stride from their mission of helpfulness. Touché, Lowe’s. Touché.

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