Sunday, December 11, 2005

"Some Assembly Required"

I recently ordered a nice, new computer desk online. I love to order things online. You just punch a few buttons and they send it to you which is a wonderful thing for urban dwellers that don't own cars. Anyway, this desk is great! It has two sliding file drawers, a keyboard tray, an overhead hutch with lots of cabinets, a CD rack and even a hidden cabinet for the PC tower.

Well, not yet anyway. You see the desk arrived and like the ad said, some assembly was required. However, the ad was misleading; it should have said, "extensive, frustrating, tear-your-hair-out assembly required. "

Keep in mind that I'm actually pretty adept at "some assembly required". When I was eight years old, I had a super-duper sized set of Tinkertoys and built a tower that, when the crank was turned, the restaurant at the top would revolve and an elevator would go up and down. Didn't even need instructions either. When I was thirteen, my friend, Tim, and I built a rideable roller coaster using a big slide, a dog house, and skateboards. However, poor Tim ended up in the emergency room twice during construction and testing. (Twenty five years later at a high school reunion, he reminded me of the incident by showing me the scar on his thumb that had nearly been sawed off). When I was seventeen, I installed an eight-track tape player in my 1976 Honda Civic even though eight-track tape players were actually larger than 1976 Honda Civics.

So, I'm no wimp when encountering assembly.

But this nightmare of a desk arrived in, like, a grillion pieces. Some wooden panels were labeled, some were not. And then you needed some tools (not included) which consisted of a hammer to bash things with, Phillips screwdriver, a screwdriver with septagonal blades, a compass, a sextant, a tool-and-die maker, a transmographer, a calculator with trigonomic functions, a personal ability to perform quadratic equations, and lots of Valium.

(click on pic for larger view)

The first step was to tap in 19 little dowels into the holes on the sides of some panels. I didn't recall seeing any dowels anywhere, so I checked and re-checked. No dowels. At all. None. So I hopped onto the manufacturer's website to order replacement dowels to receive a notice that "that part number does not exist." Dang! And I was only on Step One of 32. So I called the toll-free number to receive a recorded message that the customer service line was only open between 12:07 and 12:14 pm on Tuesdays, except for all holidays including Arbor Day. (Arbor Day?). Fine. Well, I fearlessly ventured on to Step 2. During Step 2-f , I found the dowels in a plastic bag with all the other parts. Turns out that the dowels were made of black plastic just like the other bazillion parts. Okay, I can understand making them out of plastic, but why couldn't they have at least made them dowel-colored?

I should have this thing put together by the time I retire or end up in a psychiatric ward. Whichever comes first.


At 8:58 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dooder, I finally read this blog posting, and laughed my butt off!! :) I loved all the tools that you needed to put together the desk!! *LOL*

I think that the true test of John's love for me will be when he tries to put together my desk!! He's gonna have fun!! *hee hee*


Poodle :)

At 8:59 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

P.S. John wants to know if he can borrow your transmographer.


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