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Don"D F Clayton" C.

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  • 4 Reviews
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Experience: Computers & Technology, Home & Garden, Entertainment

Member since June 2019

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4 Reviews by Don

I apologize to my readers because this posting is very unlike my usual flare and levity. There's nothing to joke about here, nor any comments about attitude. My observations tonight are only for safety concerns.

I stopped and shopped at Travel Centers of America (TA) # 090, Ogallala, Nebraska. On I-80 at exit 126, 5 April 2020 at about 9pm. I bought a few food items and went to the Cashier to pay. There were about three people behind the counter. I didn't notice any of them using hand sanitizer. So, I asked if they were using any hand sanitizer. The cashier informed me they were out. However, I was wearing gloves and a mask so, I offered to hold the food items as he scanned them. He agreed to this and let me bag the items as well.

Please, whomever is in charge of this location, either get these employees the proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), or shut the doors. We're only going to stop the spread of this current threat, COVID-19 if we work as a team. Up until tonight, I had nothing but compliments for Travel Stops as far as their anti-viral procedures. They're one of the sanctuaries for safe shopping. Not you guys. So, get on board. Thank you.
Not to detract from the accolades "Interstate Truck Service" deserves, but I have to address the dangerous situation that brought me to them. That is, a fuel leak. In almost 20 years of working in freight re-location, I've only had one fuel leak. This was from a damaged tank that I witnessed in real-time. So, it was expected and dealt with immediately. However, what I never expect, is to wake up to such leaks. When sleeping overnight in these vehicles, the operator can be vulnerable. Such as a fire from spilled fuel. Is this the result of poor design and manufacturing? This is what happened with the 2020 Volvo VNL I'm currently operating. The story I got, is that Volvo decided to place fuel fittings on the side of the fuel tank. However, these fittings were never tightened correctly. The vehicle only has 72k miles on it. However, regardless of the mileage, fuel fittings should never come loose. NEVER! Imagine going out to your car, truck, or waking up in your RV, diesel or gas, and finding a puddle of combustible or highly flammable fuel on the ground. Cause for concern, right? That's what I found and fortunately, I was parked in an isolated area away from any smokers and environmental concerns. Interstate's "Travis" was my person of contact. He immediately got the truck into a bay. I expected all kinds of problems, expenses, and delays. However, instead of a padded bill and other problems, the vehicle was ready in about 18 minutes. The bill was only $36.60. Their repair description is: "Checked for fuel leak at tank, found both suction and return lines were loose, tightened both fittings, cleaned spilled fuel off of tank." In my experience, any other repair shop would've charged at least $200. In fact, numerous shops have 1-2 labor hour minimums. So, I have to say that Travis and his shop performed better than the rest. They saved me and the vehicle from certain disaster. Spilled fuel is never a good thing. As for Volvo? They certainly should be dealt with for endangerment to me and the public. Do I have any readers in the legal field? Any ideas?
The situation: Something broke on my commercial grade vehicle's hydraulic system. I traditionally started with the so called, commercial vehicle mechanics. Of course, this was just for my own amusement. I already knew the answer I would receive. However, I still delight in watching their facial twitches and convulsions as they tried to figure out what part I need or what they're doing for that matter. Next, to get serious, I Web-searched hydraulic shops and parts. I found "Northern Tool and Equipment" in Stockbridge, GA., that was only 28 miles away. I called ahead and talked to "Connie," a sales associate. She told me of their wide selection based on my vague description. I was skeptical and worried that this was going to be at least a 3 store search. On the way, my GPS decided to stick at the last 6 miles as well. I called again and was connected to Connie. Her navigation was spot on as well as her description of the ample parking available per my vehicle size. Arriving, I sought her out and she assisted me in finding the part, "the exact part," and I learned its proper title. That is: a, ¾" Male Pipe x ¾" Female Pipe Swivel, Hydraulic Adapter. I knew this part was going to be difficult to find. That is, if I went somewhere else. I was wrong in my assumptions and gladly so. The parts were $17 including the new roll of Teflon tape. However, I only left after spending $167.08, because I just had to! But let's compare the average of $150hr labor and parts markups from the aforementioned diesel geniuses. So, thank you Connie for saving my boss money as well.

Northern Tool and its staff gets what it takes to survive as a "brick-n-mortar" in an increasingly online world. If you want to get me and others going through those doors, you better bring your best attitude, knowledge, and work ethic to work. Connie did. And again, thank you Connie.
A half full (or empty) parking lot, half the items on the shelves, half the staff available, and only one register open for checkout. This is a summary of my last two visits with two of my favorite Fry's Electronics. One in Anaheim and the second in Houston near I-45. My third fave is the Las Vegas location off I-15. It's been but a few short years since I shopped at Fry's, but what made Fry's the place to go-to place for all my PC, tool, car audio, and other gadgetries are gone. Only for now I hope because Fry's was my Disneyland. I could spend all day and way more money than I planned on. Part of this was due to Fry's magical ability to transform my wants into needs. They did this thru their excellent, knowledgeable, and reasonably available staff and abundantly stocked items. I often didn't realize how absolutely helpful an item or tool was until I saw it. To me, that's inspiration, or brilliant manipulation. At least Fry's theme park-like atmosphere is intact. I like this part of my shopping experience. Each store I've visited, had its own theme. Such as, Houston's indoor oil rig with uniformed mannequins. Anaheim has a space shuttle command deck. And, Las Vegas of course, has a slot machine façade with working giant screens to indicate you're a winner. Inside, there was a grand piano. When not being played, the piano played remotely to keep the ambiance going. Additionally, each store has a café. Fry's layout accommodated either the in-and-out shopper who easily found what they needed (or wanted), or someone who wanted to take their time and take in all the sites. There was never enough time in any one day for me to see, sample, and inquire about everything. However, I always left happy, inspired, and eager to come back. All these positive experiences were some years before I joined the online reviewing community. So, when a staffer performed beyond my expectations, I filled out the specific Fry's form. It was my pleasure to do so.
That was then. Now, I shopped at Anaheim and didn't find what I needed. I picked up a few things however, I left the items at the only open register because the nice lady couldn't get the register to work. I successfully bought the same items at the Houston location but still didn't find the main item I needed. Gone is the inspiration and reason to spend the time and the fuel driving to Fry's. After talking to a few associates, they believe Fry's management is going thru a transitional period. I'm hoping they're right and Fry's transitions back to its former self. I'm not mad writing this. I just want to see Fry's do better. It's one of the "brick and mortar" places I hope does better.

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