After 40 years as a computer programmer and game developer—and the passing of his wife of 47 years—Rick has retired and is now living in Ye Olde Folks Home, where he still tinkers with tech and likes to write these amusing and/or thoughtful tales about his storied life.

The Eggshell Incident
First Chapel Service at Ye Olde Folks Home
A Yearly Ritual at Menards
“Mr. Loftus, the Town Hero”
The FCAL Project
Pepe Le Pew Finds New Lodgings
In Memoriam: Dale Lear
Bingo Bedlam at Ye Olde Folks Home
There’s a Shortage of Perfect Movies…
One Day at the DMV
A Visitor from Microsoft
“He Who Should Not Be Named”
Downton… Abbey?
This Home is a Liver-Free Zone
My 9/11 Rememberances
My Yearly Pumpkin Spice Rant
Done In By Baker’s Square
My Eulogy for Alice
“Dear Rikki…”
A Clean, Well-lighted Place for Books
Memories of my First Computer
A Little Excitement at the Staff Meeting
The Tale of Mrs. Butler
Sun, Sand, and a Margarita
“Thou Shalt Not Steal”
Troubleshooting at Ye Olde Folks Home
Stories of my Mother
I’ve Heard Angels Sing
Elevator Mishap at the Eye Clinic
One Day at Fair, Isaac
Saturday Morning Cartoons
A Sprig of Parsley
Fun With Recruitment Ads
Leave Her to Heaven
“Squirrel!”
Bring me Dave Bringle!
Beware! The Oldsters Are Coming!
Life Among the Progressives
A Family Ritual While Watching Masterpiece
The Unforgettable General Oppy
“Don’t Even THINK About Parking Here”
A Dubious Plan Gone Awry
The Singing Christmas Tree!
One Day in the Hospital Lab
The Legend of the Broken Timer
Nelson’s Fruit Stand
This One Time in Glee Club…
Star Trek References for the Win
Family Psalm, Stuck in Lodi
Vacation in Branson
Clyde and Ruth Revisited
COVID Policies During my Wife’s Fatal Illness
I Guess I’m the Shadow IT Department Now
The Tale of Clyde and Ruth
My Garden of Gethsemane Story
We Might Get a Virus!

A Yearly Ritual at Menards

I popped over to Menards hardware store to pick up an item I needed recently. It’s only about a block away; you can see our apartment building in the background of TV ads for the West St Paul store from time to time.

While I was there, I engaged in a ritual I do every year or so.

Once upon a time Alice and I were waiting in line at the customer service desk at the Burnsville Menards when the guy in front of us—apparently a very important customer—started giving the woman behind the counter grief.

“No, you don’t need all that paperwork, I’ll just run those items back to the yard and you can take them there.”

“No, we can’t do that, sir,” she was trying to tell him, but he wasn’t having any of that. He continued berating her in an extremely condescending and arrogant manner.

At one point she bent low to retrieve a form from under the counter, and I could see her lips moving as she muttered words under her breath that one does not find in the Bible.

Well, that’s not entirely true. There is the tale of Baalam’s ass, after all.

Then she left to find a manager, and the man turned to us with an apologetic smile.

“I’m sorry you had to see that, but sometimes these people just need to be put in their place.”

I thought, “Oh, my God, get away from me, you horrible excuse for a human being.”

So I make it a point every year or so to go to the Menards customer service desk and tell them, “Over the years, I’ve seen your people deal with abuse from customers from time to time. I just want to tell you thank you for doing your job.”

I followed up by telling the woman there the above story, which she found enormously amusing, and we were all smiles as we parted.