Well speaking as a manager at Home Depot. Alot of the time customers are the problem just as much as the associates who work there. When you deal with literally hundreds of customers a day, things get kind of hectic.
It really pisses some people off when you ask them to wait because you have to find someone with the right answer, because you dont know. Then it really pisses some people off when you dont know the answer at all. What do you do. So sometimes associates do thier best to help as much as they can.
What you need to realize as the customer is not everyone in Home Depot or Lowes is a professional in the department they work. The professionals are out there with thier own businesses, and have people working for them. We are 90% DIYers, some of us read more than others, and we have a better working knowledge of what you are needing help with.
How can you expect a 18 year old female who grew up in the city to know that you dont put premix under backerboard. She has never and probably never will lay tile, much less mix thinset. Just an example.
Next time you go buy a car, ask the salesman how much tourqe the engine makes at peak. 20 bucks says he wont know, but he can damn sure tell you, what the price is. Its all perspective.
You want answers from professionals in a place where the pros dont work, sometimes we just dont have them.
On the other hand, I completely understand where you guys are coming from. I have even had the pleasure of getting some crappy info from my own coworkers who are supposed to be specialists retired from the field. One supposed electrician told me it would be ok to run regular 14/2 wire for my 220v cooktop. Yeah! So I feel your pain.
DerekM, Im glad you resolved your issue. I went through the same thing.