Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Some assembly (and humiliation) required

There comes a time in almost every person’s life when they sadly realize that they are not smarter than the assembly instructions on their newly purchased piece of furniture.

That time, my friends, came for me yesterday.

Husband and I purchased a much-needed desk last week, and yesterday it arrived. Up until then, our poor substitute of a coffee table had been the home for our laptop and my mound of books.

The desk came in a large box, with pieces requiring assembly.

[Note: The box says “quick and easy assembling” as the #1 reason to buy the product; the #4 reason is “clear instructions.” These words will be important later in the story.]

Husband dragged the box to the office, and he left for work. Though I can’t remember our exact conversation before he left, I think it went something like this.

Delusional Desk Assembler (me): Hey, maybe I can put this together while you’re at work.
Too-Hopeful Husband: Sure. I bet you could put it together with no problems.
Delusional Desk Assembler: Ok, I’ll go for it.

I started without any trouble. I breezed through the first few steps, which gave me a false surge in desk-assembling confidence.

In fact, I talked to my parents in the early stages of assembly, and I scoffed when they suggested that maybe Husband could help me later. Why would I need his help? If I can handle marathon training and Master’s classes, I can certainly handle the assembly of a cheap, simple desk.

But, then it started getting ugly. The pieces weren’t labeled correctly, and the poor excuse for a drawing did not help. The instructions taunted me, “It’s easy! Just use screw #111.” Except that none of the screws nor their packages are labeled, so all their numbers (“S2!” or “111!”) are completely meaningless.

The rest of the afternoon was a blur, mostly involving: sweating, cursing and yelling at the desk, picking up the instructions and then promptly throwing them on the floor in a fit of frustration.

After three painful hours, the electric drill finally stopped, and I couldn’t find the charger for it. (I won’t even go into how any project that requires the use of an electric drill might not be the project for me.) I decided to end my masquerade as a furniture assembler right then and there.

So, I’ll just say it: I am not smarter than the assembly instructions. It’s humiliating, but it’s true.

The “quick and easy assembling” proved neither quick nor easy for me. Just as the “clear instructions” were anything but clear to me. (I imagine the instruction-writers sitting around their already-assembled desks roaring with loud and evil laughter when they wrote those parts.)

The good news is that I put the overworked electric drill and the partially-assembled desk in Husband's capable hands. And I can safely cross “Rosie the Riveter” off my list of potential jobs.


Annie said...

Sister I can hear you LOUD AND CLEAR. One of the best things about having a son was saying, "Honey, why don't you go help you Dad."


Thanks for stopping by my blog. You are funny! I'll be back :)

Ann M. said...

I am sooo dreading the day that we have to put together the crib. I have a feeling it will go a lot like your desk assembly did, except I'll have to call my dad and have him drive the 4 hours here to finish what we've started....

New Girl on Post said...

Hey..don't feel bad. A small grill from Lowes and its instructions totally kicked my butt!

wendy said...

That is so funny! Sorry it didn't work out for you, Rosie, er Tootie, I mean!

NavyCS said...

Your one up on my wife - she never would have even started it. :)

Angela said...

Oh no! I can relate - I had a desk delivered here, and we ended up calling my Uncle over to assemble it... I nearly tore it up trying!

Kel said...

I know I shouldn't laugh, but it is kind of funny. I too am not of the 'furniture builder' family. I've tried a few times (and a few times I've put it in upside down and or backwards only to have to take it apart and do it again). I really think the directions are just for the manufactures humor..

Thanks for stopping by!