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.

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buttmint's picture



the problem with soldering is not you---it is the under powered, shitty electric soldering pistols that Homey Dee foists upon us!

They do not get hot enough, fast enough.....MAPP gas torches are okay.

The best deal---next time you wish to attempt soldering---cough up the dinero and head to PLUMBING SUPPLY HOUSE and buy a pure acetlyene torch!

Practice like a mofo----then soldering 10-12-14 gauge wire becomes 2nd nature.....Get ahold of a SUNSET BOOK of PLUMBING and just read their chapter on how to solder---it is ALL PREP! Then you will be a pro.


Yeah...I hadda laugh when I read this article. I always get hammered by good-looking blondes wanting me to do their "HONEY-DO JOBS" for them for free. NOT A FUCKING CHANCE! I used to say (YEARS AGO)  "...you are not about to fuck me for free, why should I do you f----job?" Too mutt blowback from looney bitchez.

I do not explain----well, I do---I employ SIGN LANGUAGE now to chase the looney bitchez OFF MY TAIL. American women were most accurately described by tunesmith TOM PETTY: "...she was an American girl---raised on promises."


Md4's picture

Weller soldering station.

Digital control up to about 850 degrees Fahrenheit.

Great rig.

rtalcott's picture

Metcal...more dinero but much better...the Weller is junk compared to the Metcal

not dead yet's picture

Right, solder two pieces of wire with an oxy acetylene torch. That's like trying to swat a fly with a bulldozer and a lot more dangerous especially if you haven't been trained. I have never had any trouble soldering wire with a solder gun. So you have to wait a few seconds, big deal.

Steaming_Pile's picture

Get a junk computer or TV board and practice, or find someone who is good at it and copy their technique like I did.

STP's picture

Hope this helps, from a former electronic technician.   Have a moist small sponge or paper towel, around, because that's how you keep the tip cleaned, wiping it off, occasionally. 

The iron has to get hot, hot hot, and then, you should always 'tin' the tip.  That's easy to do, just melt some solder on it, let it it reheat for a few seconds and keep it clean, by wiping it on the sponge, here and there.  It should be a thin coat on the tip and look a bit like chrome.

The secret to soldering two wires or a connection point, i to keep the work at hand, stabilized and perfectly still.  Wipe the tip, let it get hot again and then heat the area up, where you want to apply solder too.  Then touch the solder, right there at t the junction where the tip and the wire meet.  The solder will melt and pull, right into the wire splice or connection.

Don't touch it, or let the wires move, until they cool!!!  That's the biggest cause of bad solder joints!  The solder joint should look like chrome.  Experiment with this, using two wires in a view, you'll get it, soon enough.  Use heat shrink tubing to cover the bare connection and you're done.


kommissar's picture

i learned all that stuff in mwr cources in the usaf.  that's when my shoulders grew out, & i figured out what my balls were for!  first 3some for the bonus round!

tmosley's picture

A friend of mine lost his wife recently. He revealed to me that he has been living off of canned soup and chili. Has ZERO idea of how to cook. I tried to tell him it was easy, even pointed him to some youtube channels with instructions on how to do it from the very most basic level (ie how to boil water). He still hasn't, and I don't think he ever will. He seems to even be afraid to try to cook a microwave dinner.

He's 76.

Millenials aren't the only people dreadfully short on basic skills.

Donate Moar's picture

Your friend does not want to cook, because without his wife, he does not want to live.

I've seen it plenty of times.  Sometimes retirement shocks people like this and sometimes loss of  a loved one.


tmosley's picture

Nope. He eats out too. Goes to the coffee shop twice a day as well.

That said, he probably isn't long for this world. Asked him who he was banking with yesterday and it took him several minutes to remember.

hound dog vigilante's picture


This country is PACKED with older men who have NOTHING TO DO.  Retirement, early retirement, discouraged, underemployed, unemployed... these guys are everywhere.

Bored older men will eventually find something to keep themselves busy... like elect DT.


Employ older men of suffer the consequences!

buttmint's picture

...any American male from ANY socio-economic background with more than a few brain cells has long ago graduated FROM the ranks of Homey Dee Diploma Landia....

they've given up on American life---now enjoy living quite well in Thailand. Lotsa low-hanging fruit to partake!

Just give USA a skip! Your expenses are 25% in Thailand what USA costs. Get real...get a passsport and head over to SE Asia!

Your pecker will be glad you did just that!

atomic balm's picture

race mixers will be barred from the new Whitopia. . .

FireBrander's picture

Walk through a graveyard sometime and note the dates of death...time and again, one spouse dies and the other joins them in the grave within 5 years...fortunately for me (i hope), the wifes side of the family routinely pushes 100 before they "expire".

kbohip's picture

My mom is the same way.  She's always done all the cooking but after my dad died she says she never feels like cooking anymore.

IronForge's picture

Time to bring her in to live with you.

shovelhead's picture

Cooking a full meal for one person sucks. When Wifey goes dogsitting it's pretty much canned stuff or spaghetti with clam sauce.

Bernie Madolf's picture

Gross dude.

Fire up the BBQ ffs

Nobody For President's picture

Yeah. this kind of hit home. I never lerned to cook very much - my mom didn't like to cook either, maybe that's why. When wife and partner of 44 years died of cancer three year ago, it took a while. I substituted booze for food a lot the first year, then an old family friend reached into my dark and lonley place and pulled me out. I'm building her a small 8 x 12 garden shed, foundation done, firing up the nail gun for the first time in six years tomorrow for the flooring. It is nice to have basic skills and the tools to exercise those skills (and enough left of a body to do the work, though slower than before - I'm 78).

I can cook myself a pretty good breakfast finally, and usually do, dinners are still mostly microwave, except for ready to bake pizza, but I eat well enough these days. And I'm going to start learning pasta real soon - with cheese and veggies you can make some good stuff.

BandGap's picture

Taught my kids to cook, we love to cook. And fix shit. And cut wood.

Tribal training during bonding times.

Bud Dry's picture




Lt. Frank Drebin's picture


toady's picture

Heard from the basement three times a day;


canisdirus's picture

Seriously. If millennials need to hire people to do things for them, how could they possibly afford it?

If this was actually as rampant as claimed, I could probably make more as a handyman than in an office job, but I don't know a single person that has made that switch.

paperstreetsoapco's picture

A better question is which millennial will create an app to bring providers of basic tool use to the consumers of basic tool use.


I used to work in a gun shop.  You wouldn't believe how many officers would bring their sidearms in to be cleaned because they did not even know how to field strip their Tupperware pistols....


If that doesn't scare you, millenials running the government should....

MrPalladium's picture

You gotta be shitting me!! Are any of these cops veterans? I remember having to field strip and clean my rifle in basic training with a sergeant bellowing at us how inadequate we all were. In my regular unit in Berlin, we had an armorer who cleaned all the weapons (except of course the howitzer tubes). The 45 I had to wear to, from and during guard duty at the allied command center was spotless, but I would always, out of habit, make sure the clips were loaded, and field strip it and inspect it to be sure it wasn't missing any parts.

Nothing more embarrassing than a misfire in a gun fight!

NoPension's picture

Yes there is.

Talking about a weapon, field strip, clean.....

....and then refer to the magazine as a "clip ". I'm curious...I was never in the military....do they teach the magazine to be called a " clip "?

clymer's picture

Harbor freight is eating home depot's lunch with tool sales anyway. $279 for a 4000 watt generator? $180 for a drywall lift? I just blueboarded the lake house (that I framed, roofed, sided - thanks trade skills learned in the 80's and 90's before the latino's took over the trades. Not disparaging latinos - most are pretty good. I will probably use mexican plasterers)

Manthong's picture


The quality of the tools China is dumping on the US market has gone way up.

Harbor Freight is one of the front lines for that

My water dispenser is peppered with nifty little “free” LED flashlights.

buttmint's picture

clymer---agreed...Beaners are excellent tradesmen. Helps if you can speak Spanish., I make a crock pot of great posole or chill for my crew of Mexicans.

We only play Mexcian radio,....get to know who Vincente Fernadez is...Challino Sanchez...distinctive styles!

I never have any trouble with Mexican..ever...just pay cash each day and they are impressive workers!

tmosley's picture

Yeah, just don't do anything with their kids. The second generation is always worthless scum.

In fact, keep the first gens away from the locals. They turn them into dog shit if they spend any time around them.

NoPension's picture

Beaners are hard workers. They are NOT excellent tradesmen. They're hard work covers a lot of ills. I " use " them...to do it how I tell and show them...only.

Although...I'm working with a beaner who is pretty good on a skid loader, grading. I think I'll buy him some nail clippers as a present. Somebody needs to teach these fucks the basics of personal hygiene.

shovelhead's picture

I got a Harbor Freight jones. Just bought a 1/2" impact wrench just to rotate tires and replace old clapped out struts. I've been tearing up all the sucker trees on the fence line with a $40 electric chainsaw. The thing works stupid good and is light and quiet. Going to upgrade my little gennie to the 8750 Watt unit for $529. It's big enough to run my whole house (within reason) by feeding the whole panel except the tankless hot water heater. I'll probably squeeze in a small gas tank heater for emergencies.

Got my son a toolbox and the essentials on his birthday so he could do little honeydews like hanging plant hooks and other whatnots. His girlfriend thinks he's a genius because her dad was a call someone guy for everything.

ParticularlyStupidHumanoid's picture
  1. Laser tape measure
  2. compressor & nailgun
  3. problem solved
monk27's picture

Is there an App for that ? For hammering a nail, I mean... /s

Bastiat's picture

I predict there will be many millenials with less than 10 fingers.  Power tools are unforgiving.

Agent P's picture

"Good morning class.  My name is Mr. Johnson, and I've been teaching this shop class for four years" (holds up both hands with fingers extended)  

Manthong's picture


Like the warning sign for technicians on the laser show projector…

“DANGER – LASER RADIATION – Avoid eye exposure with remaining good eye.”

True Blue's picture

Now that is funny, because my shop teacher was a 'Mr. Johnson' -and he was as dumb as a 4x4 post (AA hire obviously, but kept around as a school disciplinarian so there could be no accusations of 'racism' when he broke up fights.)

Time to start demanding plumber's wages to change light bulbs -and make 'em pay cash on the barrel head, because their credit is obviously maxed.

Which brings me to the scariest thing in this article: (somehow) 42% of all houses sold in the past year were to millennials??? NINJA loans or what? This will become just another round of taxpayer muppet-fucking when the TBTF's start going tits-up due to non-payment and delinquency.

sodbuster's picture

Dang Bastiat! I actually LOL!!! Best comment today!! I love the first time house flippers on TV. Best comment from a first time flipper? It looked so easy when I watched it on TV!!!!!!!!!

Nobody For President's picture

There are many homesteaders, mechanics, loggers and carpenter/cabinet makers locally with somewhat less that 10 fingers. I've got 9 7/8 - took a chunk out of my ring finger in a brief but spirited encounter with a Makita power planer 18 years ago - piece of wood slipped off the stop. Screeed up my typing speed something furious to this day.

It ain't just millenials.

Joebloinvestor's picture

The collapse of the education system started when they eliminated shop classes.

canisdirus's picture

What about Home Economics? Do you know how rare it is to meet a 20-something that can cook, clean, make a budget, and stick to it? Trust me, they're exceptionally rare.

atomic balm's picture

The collapse of the education system started when government was allowed in.

FireBrander's picture

"I took shop class in eighth grade...I don’t know if it’s taught in public school anymore."

It is offered, but not mandatory as it was in the 80's when "women" were FORCED (in the name of womens lib?) to take traditional male classes.

In my HS, everyone had to take at least one "shop" class; girls mostly picked auto shop so they could "ask" the boys to give them free oil changes and tunes ups...and fix any other car problems they may be having.

Killtruck's picture

There's like five or six jokes sitting right there. 

youngman's picture

and I remember having to take a Home Ech Class..cooking..sewing...I made a gun case...lol

toady's picture

I made a pizza that had 4 inches of cheese on it... it didn't really turn out, but I passed the class anyways....

El Vaquero's picture

I had to take shop in both 6th and 7th grades.  And I knew how to use most of the tools prior to taking the classes.  The same millennial kids who are pushing the SJW shit are the antithesis of DIY.  I had already changed a clutch out when I was younger than most of them now, and most of them probably cannot drive a standard.  Three on the tree would really blow their fucking minds.