I woke up this morning, feeling refreshed and ready for my Saturday! I recently went Goodwill shopping with my sister and found this BRAND NEW Kohler single basin sink, which was only $29.49, (but wait…. I have a 20% off my purchase coupon) so I got a new, deep stainless steel Kohler sink for about 24 bucks! And after measuring I think it actually fits!
A little backstory; I recently bought my first house, and as a 100% single Mother of 2 I was SO proud but also SO scared. This house is cute but some things need to be updated. As I just put ALL of my saving into this house I am on a tight budget for upgrades and reno’s. Needless to say, this sink purchase was perfect! Off I go to YouTube to watch 24 videos on not only how to replace a sink, but convert it from a double basin to a single basin. I find myself pretty handy and always try to learn as much as I can so if anything goes wrong, I can fix it without calling someone for help.
Also, at this point I repurpose furniture on a regular and have figured out how to repaint not only my ugly tile entry way but my hideous linoleum first floor bathroom. So I am gung hoe and ready to tackle this project and have a beautiful new sink. Mind you, the sink I am replacing is like only 3 inches deep and has a bathroom like faucet. (Insert gag sounds here)
As I write my list of things I know I need, and take pictures of my current setup under my sink (for reference) off I go to Home Depot. This is where my Saturday takes a not so ready turn. I head to the “Plumbing” isle and find the associate assigned to plumbing. I figured this was best as they have someone with experience there to help. There I met “____”, me being my witty charming self of course I asked, “Are YOU the plumbing expert”, which he replies, “That is what some people call me”. I showed him my current set up picture and my plans for conversion. He was pushing a cart full of go backs and random open packages along with some empty shelving boxes.
After explaining what my plans were, he grabbed a box from the cart and pulled a pen out of his Orange apron and began to draw. I was slightly confused but paid attention as this was the expert. He drew a stick figure like setup of line drawn pipes, and said this is what you need to do. I studied this drawing for a few seconds, glancing at him a few times during, and said, “Okay thanks, where can I find all of this?”. He mumbled, “Back of isle 33, they have kits”. I was ecstatic thinking there was like kits ready to go, bam.. you done!
There I was, back of isle 33… staring blankly at this GIANT wall of “kits” and parts, and fittings and everything else you can think of. I got pretty overwhelmed, thinking- did I miss something, he said it was a kit to just grab and be done. So I pulled the picture of my current setup, trying to match it to my new set up and it was kind of intimidating, not gonna lie. The boxes that held the parts had a diagram of what it was on the front, however everything I saw was for a double basin. Pipes that went to two separate holes, one for the disposal side and one for a drain side. NOT was I was looking for. So I proceeded to find the expert again to help guide me in what I am looking for a little more.
Standing in the middle of this elongated section slowly looking right to left, back to right until I saw him. I flagged him down and asked if he could just quickly point out the pipe fittings I needed, as I could not find the in these “kits” he was talking about. “Sure” he responded, which felt aggravated in some sort of way but I proceeded. We walked about 3 steps when this gentleman came up to him asking him a question. He went off to another isle with him for a few minutes, which I thought was slightly rude but thought maybe that is how they work. So I waited, in the middle of the isle interpass. He came out a few minutes later, we walked a few more steps when this other man stopped to ask him a question, he then stopped mid isle and proceeded to answer this man’s question for which felt like 7 minutes at least. As I am looking around to my surroundings, thinking to myself “Am I crazy or does this man just not want to help me”.
Waiting, again.. until they finish. At this point, I am in the isle where he said I could find everything, again. I wait patiently, looking at each box of fittings with detail thinking, “Maybe I can just figure this out myself”. He walks back to where I am, which is me looking at the boxes with my phone in my hand comparing setups back and forth, and then proceeding to walk toward him pointing to where he directed me. There is this gentleman standing in front of me staring at sink drains. He turns and asks this associate, the one that took me at least 20 minutes to even get to this isle, for help. I kid you not, he stops mid sentence with me to turn completely around and answer this mans question with such detail as to which wrench to use and what caulking would finish best. I was literally jaw dropped open, in shock just standing there. Like an idiot.
I just can’t help to feel as if I was a man, he would have answered with such detail within the first 5 minutes I would have had what I needed and been back home, putting it together. But I am not a man, I am a woman, doing this by myself and learning along the way. He obviously did not want to deal with that. With me, with a woman. He finally finishes with this gentleman and starts grabbing stuff off the shelf. Still no other words spoken, just him opening a few packages of these “kits”. He starts to build what looks like Marios tunnel down to who knows where. As I am paying attention to what he grabs it is obviously for a double basin sink. So TWO ends, and not only that but they have an accordion like structure. So when you pull it, it expands. (NOT the ideal plumbing equipment for anybody). So I stop him and say, I need a single basin setup. He stops and look at this loosely constructed setup in his hands and says , “well you can just get rid of this end then”, pointing to a far off end with about five other parts between.
Knowing just a tiny itty bitty bit about this, I ask, “Wouldn’t that leave that part of the piping open? So do I need to cap that part off?” He responds with, “Oh, yeah.. probably”. I am looking around me at this point thinking is this guy serious. So I respond with, “cap it off with what?” He looks at this GIANT wall, and looks back at me and proceeds to say, “Maybe you should just try a specialty plumbing store for this”.
I lost it. I lost it as he walked quickly away, away from me.
Because C’mon.. we can’t do anything, right? WRONG!
I took a few minutes to compose myself, and then realized who the fuck I was. And went back in there! I found an associate sitting at a kiosk where they design flooring. Yes, flooring!!! I showed him the SAME exact picture, and said the same EXACT thing. Do you know what he said? “Oh yeah, let me show you. You have 2 options, using part of what you have (including the P trap) and trying to finagle the fitting for the single or .. ripping everything out and for a few bucks more just putting new piping in throughout.” I was 1. SHOCKED! then figured this is your chance to ask real questions, so I continued to ask about getting rid of the air gap, and also caulking recommendations, clear silicone verse white silicone etc.
His answers felt not only genuine, but what he would answer with regardless of sex. And then I knew it. I knew it right there and then, that I had experienced sexism, at it’s finest. I held in my tears and frustration. It wasn’t easy, trust me. But what was currently going thru my mind was, not only do I have to finish this project but I have to smash it! I came home and no matter what raunchy water dripped on my head or nasty thing came out of that drain (or what spider is currently living under my sink, which I named him Fred) I HAD to complete this. Not only for myself, but every bad ass woman out there who wants to conquer shit for themselves!!
So PLEASE, all of you strong Women out there, I ask that you not be deterred by this type of behavior. Follow your dreams and passions no matter what gets in your way. It may be hard at times, and like me you might need to find a few associates to get an honest answer. But that will not make us quit! It can only make us pursue harder.
And please, ALL of you men out there that are unwilling to offer honest advice because of our sex.. watch out! We’re gonna come after your jobs next, so that no matter what person asks for advice it WILL be given the same!