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The Chimney Saga, Part One

by Going Slowly

A few months ago, we called our local Stove Depot to purchase a chimney and stove pipe. Having never installed a a wood stove, we had lots of questions about which parts to buy and how best to install them. Unfortunately, nobody at the store seemed to know anything about the products they sold. Instead, we were referred to a man named Craig, who worked at their Rutland branch.

We tried calling Craig, but he wasn't available—he was out doing an installation. Curiously, nobody on staff at that store seemed to know anything about wood stoves either. A few days later, when we finally connected with Craig, things got rolling. He helped us figure out all the parts we'd need, ordered everything, and told us our shipment would arrive at our local store in two weeks.

Three weeks later, we hadn't heard anything. So, we called to find out what was up. Our local store had no idea what order we were referring to, again telling us to talk with Craig at the Rutland branch for details. Once again, he was unavailable when we called, and once again nobody else knew what we were talking about.

Over the course of three additional phone calls, explaining our seemingly simple situation in exhaustive detail each time, we managed to discover that our order had been placed. It was almost ready ship, but they were waiting on a final part to arrive. Once everything was ready, they'd send it to our local store in Bennington.

Fast forward several days. No call, email, or information about our order. We called again. The local store still knew nothing, Craig wasn't available in Rutland, and it took a good half hour to get the person we were talking to up to speed. Again, they had no idea what was going on, but they promised to figure it out as quickly as they could.

Needless to say, this back-and forth was getting pretty old. How on earth could people on staff at a company whose sole offering is wood stoves know so little about selling them? It took a few more phone-call-tangos, but we eventually discoverd that our missing part had finally arrived. It was around this time that the furnace in our camper died, so we were overjoyed by the news.

"Can we pick everything up in Bennington now?", we asked? "Oh!", they said, "You want everything sent to the Bennington location?" "Well yes!" we said, eyes wide with baffled exasperation, patience thin as tattered cloth. "Can you send it today? We've been waiting for nearly two months!" "I wish we'd known that sooner," they said. "Our delivery guy left a few hours ago, and he won't make the trip again until next week."


After some debate, we landed on a solution: They'd do a special "rush" delivery for us, sending the parts to our local store the following day. Miraculously, they were true to their word. At long last, our order was ready for pickup.