another Ikea tragedy
Thursday, February 26 2004
I went to the UPS store on 9W today to mail a laptop computer to a client. This was what had been in the parcel that had been lost by the post office before my trip to New Orleans - it turned out that the client had given me the wrong mailing address and it had been shipped back to sender - me - slowly. Anyway, when I came in the door, the UPS guy asked what was in the parcel and I said that it was a laptop computer. Whoah! Easy, Dude! The guy nearly bit my head off about how little padding I'd put around it. He insisted that laptops must have at least four inches of foam around them on all sides before UPS will ship them, and then he refused to take it. He sewed so much uncertainty in my head that I actually took it out of the box to see if it still worked after its pointless trip down to New York City and back in the thoughtful, considerate hands of the United States Postal Service. It was fine.
Somehow I found myself installing some track lights at one of my computer repair gigs today. It's hard to find a licensed electrician when you really need one, and I happen to be something of a technological factotum. I was doing this installation in a business office, and, lacking a stepladder, I decided to move a big desk under the place where the lamp needed to be attached. When I went to drag the desk, a whole side of it tore loose. It was then that I realized it was one of those cheap Ikea-style desks, held together with wooden pegs and those nameless metal fasteners that tighten with a screwdriver and wriggle loose on their own in a matter of weeks. So then I had to climb under the desk and try somehow to get the little pegs to line up with the corresponding holes they'd torn free from in two different dimensions. I was unsuccessful until I ripped out most of the pegs in the splintered particleboard. The whole time I was fretting about whether or not I'd be "busted" for "breaking" the desk.
I've probably said this before, but interacting with such cheap, disposable furniture is inherently depressing. Even the cheapest furniture of the 1800s could be an antique today. Not so this stuff; it's as durable as an ice sculpture and a lot less attractive.
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