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Where are the directions?

It has been a long day. porch2

I decided early this morning that today was the day to assemble the easy-to-assemble furniture that will complete the front room.

You remember the front room.

Oh, and there was a NOTE: at the bottom of the sheet, saying “Table is not intended for sitting on or will not function as a step stool or ladder. Place and use the table on flat surface only. Please be sure that all bolts are securely tightened before use. Improper use of this product or failure to follow as directed may result in injury.”

All right then.

On to the last item of the day … a small Bistro Table. Me thinking that it will work well with the two dining type chairs as a place to have morning coffee with a friend.

I especially liked this one because it had four interchangeable 12 x 12 tiles as the top. I can get other tiles if I want to change the look of the table. This sounded like a plan.

After being warned by the stock man at the store to be sure to put the little round rubber stick-ons on the tiles, lest dire consequences befall me but have no fear there are two extra tiles just in case … I set out to assemble the small table.

How hard could it be?

My first hint should have been the fact that this item had not only the obligatory Allen wrench and bolts … but it also had an 8 1/2 by 11 inch set of Assembly Instructions.

The first thing on the cover … other than a title and a picture … was the Warranty Coverage Requirement and Limitations.

1. You must have copy of your Original Store Receipt.

2. You must have Picture of the damaged parts.

3. You must know the name of your product and any corresponding item numbers as well as the name of the store where you purchased the item.

4. Please gather ALL of this information BEFORE you call customer service.

This is for a $50 two by two bistro table.

There were then two pages of Parts lists and additional warnings and pre-assembly notes.

In three languages.

Then came the ASSEMBLY INSTRUCTIONS … in three languages. I am thinking English was not their first language.

So first I “Place table top faco down on a protect surface.” Then I decided, once I had laid out all the pieces, that I would do a bit of a clean-up. Gathering all the cardboard, Styrofoam, paper and plastic, I dutifully took it all out and threw it in the trash.

Back to the project.

Now how was this to be done? The directions.

Where are the directions?

Out to the trash.

Retrieve the directions from said trash.

English: An illustration of an Allen (hex) wre...

English: An illustration of an Allen (hex) wrench and screw. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Back to the assembly. There were only three steps when all was said and done.

And the third was “Turn the table in the upright position and put the tiles (H) on the table top frame (C)”.

But somewhere between step one (… face down protect surface) and step three (turn the table upright …) was a mish mash of words in which somehow the four legs and the lower square leg support would magically be suspended in mid-air while I fastened … but not completely … the legs … one at a time with the one bolt at the base of it all.

Which is not to be confused with the pictures which show you attaching the four legs first before attaching the lower leg support.

Shall I mention that this would not only be totally different from the written instructions … but also impossible to do once the four legs are bolted into place. Even partially bolted into place.

You know, I have done my share of technical writing … and instructional design … and teaching.

And I am here to tell you … this could have been explained a whole lot better.

Especially in eight 8 1/2 by 11 pages.

But then seven were used for warnings and warranty instructions.

Only one was used for directions.

In three languages.

The table is assembled. As are the other pieces.

Anybody need an Allen Wrench … or five?