When I noticed this sign on the big saw, I took a picture, intending to write about how important it was to have key customer service features up and running. Then, a few minutes later, a guy in an orange smock walked over, took the sign down and asked what he could cut for us.
It turns out (at this Home Depot, anyway), that whenever they don't feel like using the saw, they pretend it's broken. (Yes, technically, they didn't say 'broken,' they said 'not working,' which is sort of true. Except it was the saw operator who wasn't working.)
Sort of like the gas station that won't let you watch them in the garage because of "insurance regulations". It might be a great shortcut, but it can't possibly help in the long run.
PS notice the tag line on the sign. "No one beats our prices, guaranteed..." When was the last time you heard someone complain about the prices at Home Depot? Would you pay 50 cents extra to save half an hour at the checkout? Or a dollar extra to have a trained person help you find something? You can be too thin and you can be too cheap.