I am Tom Nardone. Many of you know that I work at the Home Depot. A few years ago in November the store was preparing for what we call a Goldcup Walk. This is when a bunch of people from the corporate office come in and look at several stores and give an award to the one who is most prepared for the #Christmas season.
I happened to be in earshot of my store manager when I heard her explain that she wanted something big this year that would really bring attention to the store. I saw an opportunity for a fun week rather than the day to day business that I do every day. I love what I do, but one of the cool things about Depot, is that sometimes you can do projects for the store that are fun.
She wanted two things. She wanted a replica of “Christmas Town”, and she wanted “Bumble”. Bumble was the name of the Abominable Snowman from the rudolph story.
I of course jumped all over this. I told her that under no circumstances should she allow anyone to be a part of the snowman build that was not Tom Nardone. I went on and I said “look you have a choice to make. You can either let someone else spend a whole week to build you a giant disappointment, or you can let me build something that the whole community will come to the store just to see” She could see that I wanted to do it and I suppose my passion to build this thing is what carried the day. I got the gig. I am Tom Nardone and I always win.
The irony is not lost on me. I am building a character from the story of Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer. Yes I am aware of my story where I was critical of Rudolph and rewrote the ending. It is without a doubt, the funniest thing, in my opinion, that I have written to date. I am just going to ask that you give me a pass on that. In my story I never listed Bumble as a problem for anything.
It was an awesome experience. I got to pick a helper. Jonathan Parker a good friend of mine helped me through most of the build. I had the vision for this thing in my head from the moment I got the gig.
This is what my store manager did not fully understand. She did not understand that I am Tom Nardone, and she gave me complete and total creative control over this project. It took all forty hours of my week, and in the end as I promised, it was a work of art. I created a spot on replica of this monster. It was and I think still is the coolest thing anyone ever did for Christmas in any home depot ever at any store their ever was. To put it simply, it was perfect in every way.
I will never forget the day when John and I rolled this ferocious Christmas icon to the sales floor. I had to remove its head as we entered the lumber roll up door because it would not fit under it. We reattached the head and as this thing rolled down the main aisle, everything stopped. Everyone was standing in the aisle with their mouths open. They were in awe of this thing I had built. For customers and associates alike, time stood still and I simply smiled as I ate all the attention up with a spoon.
We staged it prominently in front of the paint desk where it stood proudly and every person that walked by it stopped to take note of it. Almost all of them took a photo or had their kids pose in front of it.
And YES!! Of course I have a picture. Behold
I am Tom Nardone, and you are welcome
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