Tag Archives: clerk

Zen and the Art of Home Maintenance

Clerk:  Good morning sir! Welcome to Home Depot, is there something I can help you find today?

Me:  Yes, I’m looking for the Zen.

Clerk:  Excuse me?

Me:  The Zen.  Can you tell me where I can find the Zen.

Clerk:  I’m sorry sir, I don’t understand what you are asking, is that like a brand of something?

Me:  No… not a brand… Zen… like in the book…

Clerk:  Uhhhh… the book?

Me:  Yes, the  book… “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance”… have you read it?

Clerk:  No sir, I’m only 20, I’ve never heard of that book.

Me:  Oh… well, I haven’t read it all either…  I tried reading it five or six times when I was your age, but could never finish it. It was very complicated. Anyhow, from what I remember, the main character was always able to fix his motorcycle and keep everything in tip-top shape, while his friend’s motorcycle was always breaking down.

Clerk:  Okay… uhhh… so what does that have to do with what brought you in here today?

Me:  Well… everything is breaking.

Clerk:  What do you mean, everything is breaking?

Me:  At my house, everything is breaking. I have this list of things that have broken and need to be fixed, but I just can’t seem to get to all of it anymore.  I used to think it was fun to fix things, but now it’s just not interesting anymore.  Here… look at this list… there’s like fifty things on this list… dishwasher, bedroom screens, window cranks, electrical sockets, storm door window, lawn mower, security light, barn door handle, downstairs shower…

Clerk:  interrupts  Yeah, yeah, okay, I get it…

Me: I was hoping I could find some Zen and that might help me… you know… get everything fixed back up.

Clerk:  Yeah… okay… uhhhh… let me get my manager, maybe he can help.

A few minutes later

Manager: Hello sir! Welcome to Home Depot, how can I help you today?

Me: Well, everything at my house is breaking and I can’t seem to get it all fixed… so I’m looking for the Zen.

Manager: I’m sorry sir, what is the Zen?

Me:  Zen… like in the book…

Manager:  Uhhhh… the book?

Me:  Yes, the  book… “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance”… have you read it?

Manager: Ohhhh, I see….. yes, I have read it… you know, sir… it doesn’t really have much to do with Zen… or motorcycle maintenance… or even maintenance in general. It is really an essay on the subject of quality and how quality is the source of our perception of things… you know, rightness and wrongness… it’s about thinking dualistically, separating mind from matter… and how when we have feelings of uncertainty… well, that is the very thing that we should engage, in order to learn more about truth and about ourselves.  You sound like someone who enjoys your home romantically, right? What I mean by that is… you enjoy the experience you feel when you’re in the home or out in the yard, the feeling you get when the wind is whistling through the windows or a soft snowfall is falling outside and a warm fire is crackling in your fireplace. On the other hand, some people enjoy their home classically, they understand and are compelled by the structure of it and all its working parts, how the rooms flow together in a seamless workable format. This was addressed in the book…  see the main character was always focused classically on his motorcycle, the mechanics of it and keeping it well maintained, while his friends were only focused on the romantic part of the journey, the wind in their hair, the picturesque scenery. You see, a person with a classical understanding sees the world and it’s underlying structure, while a person with a romantic understanding sees only the outside appearance, the instant gratification. This is all covered in the book… of course, that endless search for quality is what drove the main character in sane… that’s sort of the premise of the story… what leads him on their bike trip in the first place.  So I don’t think it’s Zen you are after… I think you just need to find that balance between a classical definition of your inner existence and psyche and a romantic definition… and in doing so, attempt to bridge the gap between humanity and science and resolve the metaphysical definition of quality… does that make sense?

Me:  Uhhh… no, not really… so you don’t have Zen?

Manager:  No I’m sorry sir, we don’t have Zen… is there anything else I can help you with?

Me:  Can you tell me where I can find the duct tape?


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