Because, aviously…

I went to Lowe’s this weekend looking for a 5′ folding table. Not just one that had folding legs (henceforth known as a “Regular Table”), but one that also folds in half for storage (henceforth known as a “Folding Table”).

I went to the Website and it said that they had 13 of the 5′ tables in stock…so I hoped in the car and drove to Lowe’s to pick one up.
When I got there, at 7:40PM I showed the webpage on my phone to a worker, who after looking at the Aisle/Bay sent me to the “Back Wall, Bay 44”.

I walked to the back of the store and found Bay 44, loaded with Regular Tables, and none of these Folding Tables.

I started looking for a worker to help me find the item. I found one a few aisles away in the Flooring department (the tables were technically Home Decor), and he came over to look. He took a glance at Bay 44, looked up to the ceiling (as they had three stacks of stuff on top of the tables), and then wandered a few Bays over, to see if it was there. He returned a minute later saying “I don’t see it anywhere, but it isn’t really my department, sorry!”

Heading to the customer service counter, the women (let’s call her “Agent L”) there put a call over the PA for someone from home decor to call her extension. After a three minute wait, and no callback, she called over the customer service manager (“Agent M”), who said he would find someone to help us. He wandered back towards Bay 44, and found another worker (also hanging out in the flooring department) and told him to help us find the table.
The new guy (“Agent N”) took a look at my phone, and what it was I was looking for and walked back to BW/44 to look for a table that didn’t seem to exist. After a few minutes of looking at shelves all around the area for the 13 missing tables, he headed to a computer to look up more info.
Agent N typed in the item # and said that he’s going to go look somewhere else for it and we should wait for him. As he walked away I glanced at the computer and saw that he had looked up the 4′ table…so I walked after him to tell him his error.
He had gone to a side storage room to look, and as he came out I mentioned to him the mistake, and he said “Okay,” as he picked up the phone for a personal call. After hanging up the phone Agent N told us he’s going to look in a third place and headed off. 6+ minutes later he was back…not with a table or any more information…but with his food from the delivery guy who had called him earlier.

Frustrated, more than an hour after we had gotten to the store, we headed back to Agent L at customer service and she told us that there had been a mistake in the system and that Lowe’s would send them more tables, and they’d have them in stock in 2-3 weeks. In the meantime Agent M would “zero out the system” so that it didn’t show any in stock anymore.

Since we had been there so long already I figured I would wander the store and see if I could find these tables anywhere. We hadn’t seen any Folding Tables of any size, so I looked up the 4′ and 6′ tables, and found them both in stock, with a combination of 65+ in stock, and in a different bay than the 5′ ones had been listed in.

I went on a search now for Aisle BW/Bay 59, a number that didn’t seem to exist. I found a really helpful guy in the Lumber Department (Agent H) who said he’d help me look for the missing Bay. We walked from the storage area through most of the store and past all the even # Bays, from 2-50s, and couldn’t find a single odd # Bay above #9. Agent H spent a good 5+ minutes with us looking but to no avail.
The mysterious bay and the now 80+ tables were nowhere to be found.

I went back to customer service and demanded to talk to Agent M again. His first sentence to me was “I’m sorry, but we don’t have the 5′ tables.” When I asked him about the other sizes that we hadn’t yet seen, he almost challenged me saying: “Of course we have those. Do you want one of them? I’ll go get one now.”
Of course, I responded “Okay”, even though I had no interest in those sizes, assuming that he wouldn’t be able to find them, and if he did, we’d find the 5′ right next to them.

He headed to Bay 44, looking through the tables, and not able to find what he was looking for. He started to browse, intent on finding these tables, now 75 minutes into our store experience, and after passing Bay 2 of Aisle BW, he went through the appliances (where there was no back wall) and went on the other side where there was more shelving for palettes to be stacked on. As he neared the end of the wall, he points up to the top shelves and says “Yup, there’s the 4′ and 6′ tables”.

Agent M then looked over at the Side Wall (Aisle SW), which was next to these tables, and asked me for the 5′ item number again. I read it off to him, and he points up towards the top and goes, “There are the ones you wanted.”
By the way, these 5’s were in Bay 44 of Aisle SW…clearly misshelved, but why the 4′ and 6′ had been there too is still a mystery.
He said that he’d have to go find a pallet truck to get it down, and as he walked away I said to him “We should get a discount for it taking this long, and so many people telling us that it was out of stock.”
Agent M’s reply? “Of course, we’ll get it to you for a fraction of the price.”

Seven minutes later we heard the steady beeping of a vehicle as the pallet driver pulled in with two guys clearing the path. As the driver (Agent D) got off his cart, the other two guys walked away leaving him to set up for his work…letting the clown show continue, Agent D hung up one sign to block the Aisle from one side, and went to hang up the other one…discovering it only had rope on it.
Agent D stood there for three minutes looking around for someone to hold it up for him. I offered to help, but he said it needed to be an employee, and as I was about to go look for bungee cords, someone finally came to his rescue to hold it up and spot him.

After this whole ordeal, he finally got the pallet down, the box opened, the full stock of 5′ Folding Tables suddenly reappearing in their inventory, and we headed to the cash register to check out.

Agent M, true to his word, did give us a significant discount on the item…making the 90+ minute nightmare slightly worth it…but for next time Lowe’s, I’d rather pay full price, and be in and out in five minutes.

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