Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Some Assembly Required

I order a lot of stuff online. Not just Amazon but from many other sites. Most of it comes within a week or less and the prices are good. Amazon Prime is a real bargain. 

Recently, I almost met my match. The majority of stuff I buy comes fully assembled and ready to use. The biggest problem is opening the packaging, clamshells should be outlawed. Peanuts, bubble wrap, and styrofoam will swallow the earth. A couple of weeks ago, I ordered a TV. All I had to do was put the feet on (four screws) and hook up the cable and a few other things. As I wrote back then, my old TV stand was too small. I ordered a new stand online. It came yesterday.

This was not my normal delivery from Amazon. First off, the UPS guy had to use a hand truck to deliver it to my door. It weighed about 90 lbs. Needless to say, some assembly required. In fact, all assembly was required. It only required a hammer and Phillips head screwdriver although, in retrospect, I would have used an electric screwdriver or drill with a Phillips bit. It took about a ½ hour to unpack and separate the parts. By my count, there were 92 parts, 40 screws, 47 nails, and 17 pages of instructions. 

After unpacking all the pieces parts, I figured I needed to at least glance at the instructions. I sometimes skip this step. I'm glad I looked this time. There were pieces that looked almost identical but weren't. It would have been easy to flip a part or two only to have had to take it apart a couple of steps further on. The assembly went fairly smoothly although it took some time. My biggest problems were age related. My knees got sore from crawling around on the floor and kneeling while assembling. My arthritic hands and broken but never properly healed elbow hurt after awhile. My thumbs are pretty much shot. As it turns out, I can not screw as much or as long as I once could. 

I got almost to the end without any real problems and then it was time to attach the doors. It was a combination of a tight fit, tight clearance and hand fatigue. Those final screws were tough to get in. It seems whenever you are sailing along and feeling confident on a project, there is always at least one gotcha at the end. The stand is now assembled and looks good. Tomorrow I will set up the TV and all the auxiliary components. Since this stand has a solid back with holes in it as opposed to an open back, I will have to disconnect all the components from their wires and cords, then thread them through the back holes and reattach. That part is easy for me. None of the stuff is heavy and I'm very comfortable with technology. It's the cabinet making that is a bit troublesome. 

A few words on delivery. I have good luck with UPS, USPS, and Amazon. The USPS guy delivers mail and packages by noon on most days. If it doesn't fit in my mailbox, there are larger package receptacles available and the mail carrier puts the key in my mailbox. Amazon almost always delivers in the morning. If I'm not here, they leave the package, most of the time on my patio which is hidden from sight. UPS usually gives me a four-hour delivery window and meets it. For example, this package was scheduled for between 1:00 and 5:00. It was delivered at 2:50. That's typical. On the other hand, FedEx gives me about an 11 or 12-hour delivery window and either miss it completely or shows up at the 11th or maybe the 13th hour. FedEx sux.

All is well except for some sore joints. The new TV and stand will be in place and any needed furniture rearrangements will be done. The finished product looks great. Again, this is not a rant or complaint, except about FedEx. It is only an observation about our impossible first world trials and tribulations.


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