May 25, 2011

Kerri Vs The Machine: The Tears, The Triumph

Yesterday my elliptical trainer arrived*. Unfortunately I wasn't home to receive the package, so I trooped to the Post Office with notice in hand to pick it up.

"Oh no," said the nice lady behind the counter, followed by a lot of things I couldn't actually understand as English was clearly her fifteenth language. "No no. Not heeya."

Through a combination of sign language and despair I intuited that the package was too big and had had to be rerouted back to the holding centre, which of course was out in Woop Woop**. After contacting the holding centre and failing to agree upon a time at which they could redeliver it (because I am busy and they are inflexible) I decided to schlep out there and pick it up myself.

Luckily my car is the size of a small town, because the elliptical trainer, described online as being 'compact', was in a box the size of a large house. I drove it home, dragged it inside, and proceeded to open the package.

Or at least, I tried to open the package. The damn thing was sealed in industrial strength cardboard and stapled together with metal clasps the size of my foot. It took every piece of kitchen equipment I had just to tear the damn thing open. I had to rest for about an hour as my whole body was shaking with exertion. Exercise equipment indeed.

Then it was time to assemble the machine. Well, the instruction manual provided with the equipment made the lady at the Post Office look like an English professor. It referred me to the 'Explosion Drawing', which was appropriate as the sight of it made my brain explode into a million tiny pieces. Much like the elliptical trainer on the floor.

Still, I made progress. I got the first two bits into the main thingamyjig without too much trouble. But then I had to insert the spindle bar through the connecting tube with a sharp washer and a spring washer using a hinge screw and a chain wheel shaft without damaging the crankshaft, and I completely lost my mind.

After sobbing in the corner for several minutes I continued my quest. I struggled through but was hindered by typos and spelling mistakes and ommissions. Was the Right Connecting Tube number 40 or 49? It was labelled as both. What on earth is a D Sharp Washer?*** And perhaps it would have been helpful to tell me to put piece 1 in between pieces 17 and 24 before I found out by myself and had to dismantle the whole thing and start again.

However, after a mere 147 minutes, my elliptical trainer was assembled (with only one slight crack on the footrest after I put it in the wrong way and broke it on my first pedal). And it's great. Not that I ever plan to use it.

Quite frankly, after the morning I've had, I never want to see that little fucker again.

 *(the one I bought online without informing The Architect, who, as many of you will know, is a Minimalist and lover of stark white furniture, a category into which 'eliptical trainer' does not fall).
**(You know. Far away.)
***Turned out to be a D Shaped Washer. Sigh....

25 comments:

  1. After a few experiences like this myself I swore from now on I would always, always pay the extra for some nice person to come along and assemble anything I buy for me. I am definitely assembly challenged.

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  2. See, there's your problem right there. You've got a handbag in the picture instead of a toolbag. :)
    But congrats on putting it together and providing us all with a laugh on twitter and here in the process.

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  3. Didn't you know Kerri that the exercise is in the unpacking & assembling because once you have one you NEVER use it! LOL Funny as always xo
     

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  4. See, this is why I run.  The only assembly necessary is tying my shoe laces. Oh, and the washer? That's d sharp one you step back on when you thought you'd bloody well finished putting the stupid thing together.

    Brilliant blog! I look forward to the follow up... "Kerri Vs The Architect: Passing off the elliptical trainer as an art installation."

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  5. I see it came with not 1 but 3 allen keys, always a sure sign of a project that will make you lose your mind, if not your marriage!

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  6. Hey, very well done on the assembly of such a terrifying beast! If the fitness thing doesn't last I hear they're also very good for airing clothes...

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  7. very funny.
    how about i buy one and bring it to yr little study and we can exercise together. Oh and since you now know how to put it together can you put mine together for me.....please.

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  8. loved this blog and can so relate after years of assembling products also never to be used again from IKEA.

    I had a piece of exercise equipment years ago, I think it was a bike, that sat in my room and became a very handy clothes horse for a long long time.

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  9. They make a great clothes hanger :-)

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  10. Kid in a Lolly ShopMay 25, 2011 at 2:35 PM

    Those instructions... at first glance my brain exploded, so, ummmm..... 

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  11. I have tried to post a million times, so I post will either go to never never land or turn up here 16 million times.... anyway I'm trying to say that it will make a great clothes hanger!!!

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  12. It's not an exercise machine, but a test designed by CIA to see how much people are able to torture themselves. This will save the CIA heaps in salaries and legal costs.

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  13. Yes, I've been training the kids. They're to say 'Dad, it's been here for months! You just haven't noticed!'

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  14. You've succeeded! And yes, it will! My jacket is hanging on it right now!

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  15. Are you kidding? It will take me months to recover fron this one!

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  16. Exercise machine? Shudder. I have tried to comment, but I can't, as even the thought of exercise renders me helpless....

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  17. That's awesome. I am impressed you actually got it together. I don't have a single handy bone in my body. Not even a handy nail. I would have done the sobbing, and then waited for Husband to get home! Good work!

    PS. Given the work it took to get the damn thing together, I think you've earned the break!

    Sarah

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  18. The thing that gets me with any self assembly is that I always end up with several screws/bolts/items-essential-to-hold-said-project-together left over when I've finished putting it together.....Not sure if that's guys on the assembly line who are bored and entertaining themselves with the (very correct) notion that it's going to drive any person crazy, so they throw a few extra in the pack purely to screw with your head, or just that I've incorrectly assembled everything I've ever bought....?! 

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  19. Ha!  I had EXACTLY this experience when I bought one about two years ago.  Took me a DAY to assemble the damn thing.  And then I hardly ever used it, and it just took up space.  Still does, in fact - and my partner keeps asking whether he can put it out in the next hard rubbish collection.

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  20. Ben Elton did a skit once about a mail-order execise machine. A key selling point was  'special compact  design so it can be slid under the bed & forgotten about after the first use.' Ala, I think your eliptical trainer may fail that test. Poor architect!

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  21. This is the BEST MACHINE invented.  Living in The Shoebox I don't have the space for one, so I head off to the gym to burn 500 calories in under an hour on that little baby.  Enjoy, it will become like your fourth child I promise! xx

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  22. My brain exploded when I saw those instructions. I'm in awe that you put it together!!  I think I'll stick to couch surfing for now.  

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