Sunday, February 7, 2010

Office Space

Over the weekend I finally set up a space to work from home. I've never been a huge fan of mixing work into my living space, but this means that I can avoid the drive to work on the weekends (yeah, the project is going that well...) so I'm all for it.

My original plan was to set everything up in the spare bedroom so I could banish the cats if they got too annoying and also protect everything from Scooter. However, either the work laptop doesn't have wifi or I don't know how to set it up (which I freely admit is very possible -- my knowledge of Windows is almost nil), so it has to be within cable's reach of the DSL modem. Which means that the work setup is in the living room next to my beloved Mac. (I turned the Mac away from the laptop so it doesn't have to look at it all day.)

I bought a new computer table and a rolling chair. Buying the chair made more sense when everything was going to be in different rooms, but it turned out to be a good thing -- it's hard to lift my existing chair over the ethernet cable suspended in the air, so I end up using both of them.

The back of the new chair came with a huge sticker with fine print listing all the hazards. At first I thought it was ridiculous, but then I started thinking about all of the stupid things I have firsthand knowledge of...

Warning - Serious injury may occur if failure to follow these instructions

Yeah, that's not really a sentence in English, but who am I to judge?

1. This chair is designed for seating only. Do not stand on this chair. Do not use it as a step ladder.

Okay, my first thought here is: duh! But then I remember back to olden days when I worked at UCSD. One of the facilities people needed to change a lightbulb, so he put a rolling chair on top of a cubicle desk, and climbed on it. He wasn't injured when he fell, but the person who got hit in the head by the chair got a ride to the hospital in an ambulance. OSHA was not pleased.

2. Do not use this chair unless all bolts and parts are firmly tightened. Check and retighten all bolts and parts at least every 3 months.

First off, who are they kidding? Nobody is going to do anything after the chair is put together. On the other hand... in a couple of different places in the instructions it admonishes the user not to tighten the bolts until the chair is completely put together. But it never reminds the user to do so after the last step. So maybe they've had a problem with this.

3. This chair is designed for sitting one person at a time.

I'm not sure how you could fit more than one person on it anyhow.

4. This chair has been tested and approved for users weighing up to 225 lbs. It is not recommended for use by users weighing more than 225 lbs.

Um, I bought this thing at Target. At least 50% of the people in the store don't qualify to use this chair. They really need to put that information on the outside of the box...

5. This chair has been tested and approved to be used as a seating device only. It is not to be used as a replacement for a walker, wheelchair, crutches, or any other medical support device.

What? The chair is only meant to be a chair? Why didn't they say so?

Whatever. These instructions are obviously meant to keep the idiots from suing over a chair.

I think I may have a case against the manufacturers of my steak knives, though. There was never any warning about not using the knives to dig out the dowel that fell in the wrong hole when putting together the desk. I'm thinking it ought to be good for at least one million in pain and suffering. It hurt when I jabbed that thing into my hand.


A Free Man said...

All these warning signs and stickers are contravening natural selection, which I think is just a shame.

Theresa B (of Nebulopathy) said...

Actually, I think that by putting warning signs on everything, the effectiveness of all signs is diminished, so it's possible that it might actually speed natural selection.