With M.’s birthday just two days away and S. working tomorrow night, I selected Monday night to assemble the birthday gift that needed assembling. No hints (I’ve caught M. trying to break my password to wake up the Mac several times), but I envisioned Christmases Future as I struggled to put this thing together.

What was most maddening was the instruction sheet. Not a word of description anywhere on it, all pictographs. Now anyone who has assembled anything in the last ten years is used to this. It is rare to find the company that bothers to put words next to an assembly diagram. But what royally pissed me off tonight was the utter vagueness of these instructions. In a couple, they placed a man in the picture, apparently to show you the correct angle to manhandle the pieces from. However, in at least one, the “man” was blocking an important part of the process, leaving me to guess at exactly what I was supposed to be doing. Also, at several points along the way there where large stop signs with a specific piece next to it. I had no idea what this meant. Was I supposed to check to ensure I had the correct part? Was I supposed to take a break, maybe get a beer? Or, did the designer think it would be funny just to throw random stop signs in to confuse us? I’m sure some summer intern could have put a brief description together and saved me some worry.

Now I just hope I deciphered everything correctly and this thing doesn’t fall apart and crush M. the first time she puts all of her weight onto it.