Home Depot Panics Over Millennials; Forced To Host Tutorials On Using Tape Measures, Hammering Nails

Tyler Durden's picture

As wall street analysts celebrate the coming of age of the millennial generation, a group of young people who were supposed to lead another revolutionary wave of consumerism if only they could work long enough to escape their parents' basement, retailers like Home Depot are panicked about selling into what will soon be America's largest demographic...but not for the reasons you might think. 

While avocado resellers like Whole Foods only have to worry about creating a catchy advertising campaign to attract millennials, Home Depot is in full-on panic mode after realizing that an entire generation of Americans have absolutely no clue how to use their products.  As the Wall Street Journal points out, the company has been forced to spend millions to create video tutorials and host in-store classes on how to do everything from using a tape measure to mopping a floor and hammering a nail.

Home Depot's VP of marketing admits she was originally hesitant because she thought some of their videos might be a bit too "condescending" but she quickly learned they were very necessary for our pampered millennials.

In June the company introduced a series of online workshops, including videos on how to use a tape measure and how to hide cords, that were so basic some executives worried they were condescending. “You have to start somewhere,” Mr. Decker says.


Lisa DeStefano, Home Depot vice president of marketing, initially hesitated looking over the list of proposed video lessons, chosen based on high-frequency online search queries. “Were we selling people short? Were these just too obvious?” she says she asked her team. On the tape-measure tutorial, “I said ‘come on, how many things can you say about it?’ ” Ms. DeStefano says.

And just in case you think we're joking and/or exaggerating, here is Home Depot's tape measure tutorial in all its glory:


Meanwhile, Scotts Miracle-Gro has been forced to start training classes to remind frustrated millennials, who can't seem to keep their flowers alive, that plants need sunlight to grow (apparently not a single millennial ever took biology in grade school).  Commenting on the tutorials, a defeated VP of Corporate Affairs, Jim King, admitted "these are simple things we wouldn’t have really thought to do or needed to do 15 to 20 years ago"...sorry, Mr. King this is your life now.

The Scotts Miracle-Gro Co. has started offering gardening lessons for young homeowners that cover basic tips—really, really basic—like making sure sunlight can reach plants.


“These are simple things we wouldn’t have really thought to do or needed to do 15 to 20 years ago,” says Jim King, senior vice president of corporate affairs for Scotts. “But this is a group who may not have grown up putting their hands in the dirt growing their vegetable garden in mom and dad’s backyard.”


“They grew up playing soccer, having dance recitals and playing an Xbox,” says Scott’s Mr. King. “They probably didn’t spend as much time helping mom and dad out in the yard as their predecessors or their predecessors’ predecessors.”


Companies such as Scotts, Home Depot Inc., Procter & Gamble Co. , Williams-Sonoma Inc.’s West Elm and the Sherwin-Williams Co. are hosting classes and online tutorials to teach such basic skills as how to mow the lawn, use a tape measure, mop a floor, hammer a nail and pick a paint color.

Unfortunately, at least for the Home Depots of the world, millennials now represent the largest demographic in America with 4.75 million 26 year olds roaming the streets of New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles without a clue as to how to use a tape measure.

The biggest single age cohort today in the U.S. is 26-year-olds, who number 4.8 million, according to Torsten Slok, chief international economist for Deutsche Bank . People 25, 27 and 24 follow close behind, in that order. Many are on the verge of life-defining moments such as choosing a career, buying a house and having children.


Millennials as a whole are America’s latest demographic bubble, overtaking the baby boom generation and, like them, transforming popular culture, retailing, media and lifestyles. They make up about 42% of all home buyers today, and 71% of all first-time home buyers, according to Zillow Group . Some 86% of millennial home buyers reported making at least one improvement to their home in the past year, more than any other generation, Zillow says.


While we have our doubts that it will save their business, retailers like J.C. Penney and West Elm are trying to adapt to the millennial generation by offering basic in-home services like installing televisions or hanging wall art.

J.C. Penney Co. says the group is willing to hire others for projects. The retailer has pushed into home services, including furnace and air-conditioning repair, water-treatment systems and bathroom renovations, and expanded its window-covering installation.


“They’re much more of a ‘Do-It-for-Me’ type of customer than a ‘Do-It-Yourself’ customer,” says Joe McFarland, executive vice president of J.C. Penney stores. “You don’t need a ladder or a power drill, you don’t even have to wonder if you measured your window right.”


Home-furnishings retailer West Elm offers service packages, which start at $129, to provide plumbing and electrical work, painting, installing a television and hanging wall art and mirrors.


All that said, at least some millennials are trying to be more self-sufficient...as an example, the WSJ notes the case of 26-year-old Breanne Loes who recently borrowed her dad's power tools to craft a wooden headboard...which went really well AFTER she realized the saw blade was on backwards.

Ms. Loes enjoys do-it-yourself projects, and two summers ago built with her now-husband a wooden headboard in her parents’ garage, with help from an online tutorial, her dad, two older brothers and their tools.


The saw wasn’t working at first because the blade was backward. “That was embarrassing,” says Ms. Loes.

Congrats, Breanne, really great job...really.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Mr Pink's picture

How many millenials does it take to screw in a light bulb?

Mtnrunnr's picture

Lol are you kidding me? I have to do everything for my parents. My generation wasn't taught to do anything because our parents were too busy oursourcing every task they could imagine and do nothing themselves. I promise you, my generation will be much more handy than you old fucks because we will have to be.

hedgeless_horseman's picture


Parents should be teaching their kids these things, not corporate America.

I have heard rumors of procrastination, argument, negotiation, foul language, mistakes, and threats.  I have seen actual evidence of failure, determination, improvement, success, productivity, craftsmanship, pride, and increased self-esteem.  The work I have inspected looks great, and the boys are now clearly enjoying the project.  Yesterday, I was thanked for giving them the opportunity to learn how to weld. 




HockeyFool's picture

It was easier to sit them in front of the TV and give them a video game to play all day.

covfefe MICdotard's picture

No need for 'tape measures' anymore because the SJW's have chopped the dicks off of all the males.

NoDecaf's picture

The best choice is to have children now instead of a career or buying a house, at least they will only have to wait 18 years to get someone to help them.

Gaius Frakkin' Baltar's picture

As I've said many times before, they didn't spring from the ground like orks.

They were bred and educated by previous generations. The problem is both culturally and genetically systemic.

A Home Depot tutorial isn't going to fix this.

macholatte's picture


I took shop class in eighth grade. That’s where I learned about different kinds of tools like a lathe, drill press, plane and how to weld and different kinds of wood, fillers, stain, etc.  I loved that class. I don’t know if it’s taught in public school anymore.


YUNOSELL's picture

A better question is how many millenials does it take to afford to pay someone to screw in a light bulb

Seahorse's picture

Better still, how many millennials does it take to vote for your money to pay someone to screw in their light bulb.

Manthong's picture


I suppose a TIG welding course is not in the curriculum, yes?


..or even advanced tube cutting and copper pipe sweating?

macholatte's picture


I still can't solder worth a damn. Never got the hang of it.


Citxmech's picture

The good news is that I will be able to scoop-up some really nice tools on Craigslist...

JimmyJones's picture

This is the result of a plan, dumb our buts down so we are helpless. http://www.deliberatedumbingdown.com/

Look at what schools teach and then ask yourself when is that information applicable to everyday life?  Is shop taught anymore?  Is basic machining taught anymore?  Basic electronics?  Home economics?  But don't worry we will teach you about being a transgender....

Theosebes Goodfellow's picture

~"This is the result of a plan, dumb our buts(sic) down so we are helpless."~

No it is not. This has come about by an abdication of our responsibility to parent and by allowing our children to be "educated", (or the lack there of), by unionized government employees. (Never leave to collectivists things that are important to you.) We have raised a "village full of village idiots" who are incapable of finding 9/32ths on a tape measure. By the same measure, (sorry, I couldn't resist), even fewer of them know that this works out to 0.28125 of an inch nor that it is a little over 7 millimeters.

Screw it, most can't even make change on a dollar.Ever seen the deer in the headlights look of a milleneal having to try to make change whilst working a cash register when you give them some pennies to round out your bill? Total and complete mental lockup.

Ah-bih-dee, ah-bih-dee, that's all folks!


sickavme's picture

This is all thanks to the US.gov and the busted education system...


The last two generations of kids are complete writeoffs... worthless...

Bes's picture


the powers behind the scenes

they fucked the system

the last thing the oligarchs and shadow government wants

is an independent citizenry capable of self-sufficiency

consume! play! sports! entertainment!

and the boomers took it hook line and sinker


don't blame the school teachers,

they have been fighting the removal of the vocations tooth and nail with no support from anyone. 

when was the last time you went to a board meeting?


Justin Case's picture

The Chinese will make everything they need.

Octagon's picture

like when you buy something for $32, you hand them a fifty and a two so you get a twenty change.

They look at you as if you are stupid, then give back the two muttering "you gave me too much........"

jeff montanye's picture

take the time.  make something with her/him that the young one actually wants to have.  s/he will learn.  let them do the work.

be patient and think a step or two ahead.

Gorgeous's picture

What is this?  Sound, practical, advice?  Much easier for Tielyer to write typical bash for an article and knee jerk the geriatrics into generalizing about an entire generation.

OldTrooper's picture

When our dining room chairs were delivered my 8-year old daughter and I assembled the first one together.  She insisted on doing the other 5 all by herself - did a great job too.  I haven't had to re-tighten a single screw.

HedgeJunkie's picture

Ah, 9/32ths, the proverbial "cunthair" off the quarter inch mark...

divingengineer's picture

May be a way for a middle aged “handyman” to score some millennial pussy in exchange for a few chores.

Need a new ceiling fan girls?

mickeyman's picture

My daughter took auto shoplast year.

Nobody For President's picture

My daughter was the first girl in 6 years to take wood shop at our local highschool (1997). 

She already knew how to use crosscut saws, jigsaws, belt sanders and planers, because she grew up with them and liked to make stuff - beautiful stuff btw, she has a good design sense. She can drive nails and use a tape measure just fine as well...

And she is a better gardener than I.

Most kids today can't do shit because their parents can't do shit. At the preteen years, mosty kids WANT to learn to use saws and soldering irons and neat stuff like that, if their parents do that stuff - you don't have to force them to learn, just give 'em a saw, some scrap wood, and show them how to use it safely and let 'em go. Most kids love to make stuff.

My son learned to drive nails watching me build a wood shed. I gave him a hammer and some 10 penny nails and he drove them into dirt. Then learned how to pull them out and drive then again. He was 4. When he was sixteen, he helped me frame mom's studio, and at 18 helped me frame (with an air nail gun) the two-car garage. Of course, most kids don't have a chance to do stuff like that with their parents anymore...

Miffed Microbiologist's picture

I recently had a centrifuge stall with 30 hep specimens in it. The lid wouldn't open and the manual release wouldn't work. I was staring at it wondering what the hell was I to do when a 50 year old over at Histology walked over and wanted to help. I told him my dilemma, said I was stumped and was going to try and get engineering over. He smiled and called his two buddies over who were millennials. In short order they had taken that large centrifuge apart. When they lifted the door off I got my specimens and the guys were going through the parts to figure out why it had failed. My god those guys were like pigs in shit playing with that thing. This included a trip to the older guy's house for tools and Home Depot

Guys just love to take things apart. It's in their blood. Maybe the millennials just haven't had any older guys to show them the joy of it.


Nobody For President's picture

You hit the nail on the head with that one, Miffed. Hell, a lot of kids don't have parent to show them stuff - boys or girls. Or the parent(s) are too busy,  or are working too much out of the home and just wanna watch TV when they get home.

Creative_Destruct's picture

"But don't worry we will teach you about being a transgender...."

That AND we're teaching the religion of IRRESPONSIBILITY.... Whenevever you can't get everything someone else has IMMEDIATELY, or have everything done FOR you, it's ALWAYS somebody else's fault.

Then the government GOD will (supposedly) step in and fix it all with free shit.

Bye-bye personal responsibility and freedom....

Bastiat's picture

It might take some time to clean the blood of them, though.

armageddon addahere's picture

The trick is to get the right amount of heat. If you get the temperature right the solder will run into the joint like magic. And everything must be clean, no corrosion grease or dirt. A little flux helps. Be meticulous about cleaning and fitting the parts tight together, a smear of flux,  get it good and hot and the job is easy.

Gaius Frakkin' Baltar's picture

That's not easy when the city valve won't shut off completely and there's water in the line you can't drain out. I suppose you can actively pump it out but I've found PEX to be so much easier.

Oliver Klozoff's picture

"stuff some white bread into the pipe"

h/t tom (the old man) klozoff

shovelhead's picture


I remember the old man sending me upstairs for a slice of bread while he was sweating pipe. I'm going WTF?

chumbawamba's picture


I'll bet there are still some mother fuckers wondering what all this bread talk is about.


divingengineer's picture

PEX is taking over.
Even govt jobs.
Copper will be for Luddites, institutional construction and wealthy customers eventually.

brown_hornet's picture

Don't forget, the solder moves toward your heat source.

Liquid Courage's picture

Bet I know why. Most common rookie mistake is to melt the solder onto the soldering iron. WRONG! You need to heat BOTH of the work surfaces evenly with the tip of the iron and melt the solder onto the work pieces. If the work is not hot enough to melt the solder, it'll just roll off like water off a duck's back and bead up on the floor. Sound familiar?

tion's picture

I got to teach the kid how to solder wire last week :)  That's the good thing about home-schooling, there are a lot of rando learning opportunities that maybe we've forgotten even need to be learned.  The academics don't take all that long at home compared to the awful public schools, and the non-academic learning shouldn't be looked at as optional or unimportant.    The kid will have to learn how to inspect a vehicle and how to do basic vehicle maintenance and get some emergency situation knowhow and prob how to put an injured deer down before the driver learning permit can be had.  

I think if public schools still had home ec and shop class things would be way better, I've met adults who don't know how to chop a vegetable (?!) or are terrified at the thought of having to change a flat tire.  Community colleges are generally inexpensive and have great classes available, some have a surprising amount of flexibility on entrance age.  If you are disinclined to tool up for something like carpentry or welding, a CC class could be a good way to get exposure.

in4mayshun's picture

Got one word for you: PEX
Screw soldering!

Nobody For President's picture

I love to solder, did my bathroom in copper tubing (mostly 1/2"), and it is a fine thing to get stuff clean, fitted, a touch of flux,then hit the joint with just enough heat, touch the solder in there and boom - beautiful, leak proof joint. Takes a while to get the cleaning right, the heat right, the amount of solder right, but once you get it -  it's nice when it comes out just right!

But we were gone one winter week during a very rare hard freeze, and the bathroom wasn't heated, and the copper pipes froze hard and burst here and there - wound up tearing out all that beautiful exposed copper in the crawl space and replacing with plastic, which may be more practical, and cheaper, and requires less skill, but is ugly. At least I don't have to look at it - the exposed stuff is inside and still copper.

There is something to be said for craft and the quiet satisfaction you get from skill made visible and is a daily part of your life.

And if it breaks, you can fix it.

SDShack's picture

We are totally fucked as a nation. Just like the stupid Geico commercial where the GenX cunt is saying how great Geico was to send help to Millenial Jr. when he got a flat tire. Then they cut to Millenial #2 who says "Is this a lug wrench?" For god's sake, they are advertising how great it is that TWO generations are too stupid/lazy to do, teach or learn any day to day life skills for themselves. Sheeple is too kind of a word. Millenials are a generation of Idiot Savants. Over educated and brilliant at absolutely nothing of value, and completely devoid of any common sense or work ethic necessary to add value.

atomic balm's picture

Been totally fucked as a nation since 19th century, when government was allowed into education.

keep the bastards honest's picture

Excellent, I homeschooled my kids for some years, several times, academic flies by and mine self taught a lot so learned to learn and solve problems. Rest of time which was most of it was real life just as you say.
My career was in teacher training, even with good legislated govt intentions schooling degraded all the way down to what the kids endured. Just horrible.
Home schooling is fantastic but I stopped at the point where specialist teachers and equipment were needed. Means kids survived better when in classroom years were much reduced.

Akzed's picture

Hold the flame where you want it to travel, e.g., sweating a pipe into an elbow? Heat the elbow, not the pipe.

InflammatoryResponse's picture

The key is patience and a clean tip.



chumbawamba's picture

Combined with your handle this sounds like advice for buttsex.


Rusty Shorts's picture
How to Solder Circuits: "Soldering Rockets" ~ 1960 NASA Marshall Space Flight Center


Manthong's picture

Wonderful video. :-D

The first rules of automatic insertion machines and wave soldering is speed and fewer humans, speed and fewer humans and speed and fewer humans.