Monday, July 29, 2013

My Desk Job

I've had it.

This morning was the breaking point for me. Here I was, set to look at online graduate programs and maybe slip in a quick game of mahjong or two. The whole morning was free and clear of any possible distractions. All was right with the world.

While I was sitting here, taking in that fact, I noticed that the keyboard drawer on this "made-in-China special" was a little out of alignment. No problem for me. I have a lot of experience with adjusting drawers. (I know what you're thinking. Stop it.) The keyboard shimmied whenever I slid the drawer in or out. One quick adjustment with a Phillips screwdriver should shore up this pesky drawer

-right onto my lap. While grousing about the apparent lack of design tolerances in high volume-manufactured merchandise these days, the keyboard decided that it, too, wanted some attention as it fell onto my toes. This called for a professional approach. I define professionalism as snapping at an inanimate object, grabbing some shims and a crescent wrench from my toolbox (and a Mountain Dew), and fixing the damage.

Let me be the first to mention that being six feet, two inches tall and weighing two-hundred ninety-five pounds doesn't necessarily qualify a person to crawl under computer desks. That point was driven home in grand style as my back began to cramp just as I was putting the final touches on the previously misaligned door. The sudden stabbing pain sent me, involuntarily, headfirst into the bottom of the drawer whose final bolt I hadn't quite tightened."Thunk" was the all-too-familiar sound as the top of my head took a lesson in empathy from my lap regarding being a target for furniture parts.

One might imagine, at this point, that the drawer was once again dislodged. Nope. The component, proudly decked out in the finest particle board and leftover steel that thirty-nine dollars can buy, proved as solid as a Studebaker. The compatible emotions of relief and pride prevailed in my mind as I sat in front of the ol' Dell, once again ready to investigate the world from the sanctity of this back room.

Pardon the cliché, but "then it happened": the mouse decided to take a quick swan dive over the now-repaired drawer and into a stack of papers on the floor I've been meaning to file since November 2010. As if to mock me, the thing decided to right-click itself  so that I could read, ironically enough, something about "All Accelerators". Ugh... I've learned, from experience, that the best way to retrieve a mouse is to pull it back up by the wire, hand over hand like a fisherman retrieving a small net of cod. I don't think I can express the frustration I felt at the moment as I returned to the toolbox, this time for a small hammer and some brads. A quick scan in the hall closet scored me two small blocks of scrap wood -perfect for stopping a wayward computer mouse. The idea was to nail the two blocks on the back edge of the drawer, about an inch and a half apart from each other, such that the wire would be fee but that the mouse would be prevented from escaping from the safety of its "Top of The Rock" pad given me by my mom following a vacation to New York.

It's wonderful to be able to go online without having to anticipate some ridiculous furniture malfunction. I revel in that fact, which suddenly seems unattainable. See, the chair I'm sitting in has a loose slat, and...


1 comment:

  1. Love it, love it, love it! I too bought my computer desk for around $100 and had to put it together and fortunately, it doesn't have a keyboard tray and have since bought a laptop, which wouldn't make it feasible anyway.

    Those pesky little rodents! I hope he has to stay in his place now!

    Et oh about the chair! Too funny to leave us hangin'.