Thursday, March 14, 2019

Screwing It All Together

I have purchased items online. Sometimes the items are exactly what I want, other times not so much. Occasionally the dissatisfaction is my fault - I do not diligently read the fine print. I did not carefully review the data on my latest order, resulting in squandered time and a great deal of frustration.

The large box arrived on my porch on the day stated in the company’s email, a good omen. Hub and I dragged the box inside and opened it. Honestly, hub opened the box while I stood by eagerly awaiting the unwrapping of our new storage bench.

“Oh shit,” hub stated in an unmistakable tone of annoyance, “It’s in pieces. We have to put it together? Did you know that when you ordered it?” his voice challenging my intelligence and sanity. 

“No, I guess I didn’t read all the information,” I said sheepishly. Hub waved a sheet of paper plucked from the box, “it says it takes only five minutes to assemble.” He shakes his head, “Nothing ever takes just five minutes to put together.” 

We dragged the box into the family room and hub carefully unpacked the pieces. I took possession of the directions. There were two long boards - the top and bottom of the bench, shorter boards to separate the interior into compartments, three partially assembled baskets, and a bag of screws. The only additional item needed, not included in the box, was a screwdriver. 

We set to work.

Two hours later we had our storage bench. Two long, stressful hours later. 120 seemingly endless minutes later. And that does not include time spent unpacking the box and cleaning up afterwards. Styrofoam flakes and packing materials landed on the floor, chairs, our clothes, and assorted nearby items.

I read the directions while hub screwed parts together. We made (only) one mistake. Two panels were screwed on wrong. We realized this when installing the bottom of the bench and the holes did not line up. We unscrewed the misplaced panels and reassembled.

One task remained. Baskets, one for each cubicle, came four sided, the bottom pieces packed separately. We had to secure the bottom panel to each basket with four tiny screws, one in every corner of the basket. 

A frustrating endeavor.

Problem #1 – The holes were so small our senior eyes had difficulty locating them.
Problem #2 – The basket’s woven material obscured holes and proved difficult to move aside.
Problem #3 – We were tired and cranky.

We persevered, completed the job, and placed the bench in its new home next to the front door. Mission accomplished!

Next time I think about ordering online, I will rethink my thoughts. 


  1. It is extremely rare to order furniture online and have it already assembled. Even small thins like stools usually require assembly. Hubby is not good at putting things together and I am only slightly better! At least you have it done...but no photo?

  2. One reason I don't order stuff like that online. It's hard enough to deal with IKEA and other assemble them yourself things. Glad you got it done, though. :-)