Wednesday, August 9, 2017

the chair that nearly started World War III

Today it is my task to relate to you the story of the chair that nearly started World War III and it wasn't the squeaky chair at the G20 Summit, it was the Kalmar Chair in Grey that boasts a sturdy and comfortable construction suitable for up to 5 hours of comfortable sitting at a time but couldn't deliver actual ability to be assembled in full, not once, but twice.

It may only be one woman's quest to obtain a comfortable chair for her home office and studio to you, but to me it has been quite the emotional roller coaster a tale of highs, and lows, judgement, recriminations, screaming, a LOT of curse words, exhaustion, and tears. So sit back, and observe how perilously close to the edge I have been brought by how utterly impossible it is to buy furniture that does not require assembly before use.

On the 27th of June, I decided that I would treat myself to a new computer chair before the end of financial year. This was quite a decadent decision on my part considering it would be the first time I purchased a chair before the current chair I'm using physically broke, and the only flaw of the chair I am currently sitting on is that it was cheap fake leather that is shedding large flaking patches of black all over the carpet and then distributed through the house by pets and shoes. I also felt I deserved a more ergonomic and comfortable chair considering the hours I sit in it and my back, neck, and shoulder problems.

My main priority in choosing a chair was to avoid a repeat of the fake leather shedding which has been raining down prolifically for years, so I wanted a fabric chair, with arms, tilt and tension adjust, and a high back. I started at Officeworks online, and was shocked by the price of the Kalmar at $199 - more than any chair I'd previously bought and I kept looking. Well prices just went higher and higher no matter where I looked it came down to it that the Kalmar was the best of the bunch (or so I thought) I felt guilty about the price but it was going to be hard to find a fabric chair with the same comfort and I decided that I would just not confess the REAL PRICE to my Dad, as I felt sure he'd be shocked by it.

I bought the chair that very day, online of course, and was pleased to have the chair by the 29 of June, wow, that was fast. Awesome. I hadn't been well for a long time but I spent the energy assembling the chair, of course the last part is attaching the arms - wait a minute, the holes don't line up, off by a good inch on the right arm and can't be attached. I was so disappointed, but oh well, I gave the customer service line a call and let them know. They said they'd get back to me.

I waited a week, no call back, so I spent more energy taking the chair apart and we drove it to the local branch and they ordered a new chair for me. I waited a few days, a bit longer this time, but my chair came and I started to assemble the second Kalmar. All was going well until, hold your horses, the right arm again, same problem, the holes didn't line up by about an inch. This time I did not take it calmly. There was yelling, swearing, I'd say I banged some tools around, but honestly how much sound does an alan key make when you throw it down in disgust? Surely not loud enough to be heard over my anguished cries.

Another call to customer service was placed, and they were very kind, and when I said I did not wish to receive a third Kalmar they let me know they would authorize a return for refund, all I had to do was put it all back in the box it came from so their courier could collect it, and my refund would be processed after they got the chair back.

Hahaha, all I had to do was put it back in the box - okay the first chair that I took to the local store, I only kind of took it apart, but not all the way, after all I only had to fit it in the car, not the box. But how hard can it be? Um.... really, really hard. I asked my Dad if he knew how to get it apart, and he monkeyed around with it for a few minutes before telling me that "you buy rubbish" (and I never even lied about the price). This is the exact moment of the figurative gunshot heard round the world, aka the start of World War III.

I work hard. I felt guilty about the amount of money I spent on the chair. I didn't think it was cheap crap, it felt like an indulgence to me. I had twice assembled a chair I couldn't sit on. I had no part in the manufacturing process but was its victim. I was tired, and sick and emotional, and I cannot for the life of me find a store locally or online who will sell me an assembled chair, there is nothing to do but keep the chair I have (which will eventually break one day I'm sure, and isn't doing my back any favours in the meantime) or buy a chair that requires assembly. Words were had over this damn chair, angry, bitter words.

And I still couldn't take it apart completely and cram it back in its damn box.

So we drove to the local store and begged them to get a mallet out and take the base apart for us as the courier won't take it if its not in a box. Then wondered when the courier would come (sometime in the next 5 days) meanwhile I shopped online again from scratch for a chair, because hey, I had a hankering for a new chair and now by hook or by crook I will frigging get one, and it had better be comfortable.

Well, I couldn't find another fabric chair that has the armrests and high back, or can tilt etc, so I decided that I would have to risk getting the best quality PU I could get - hopefully for the price tag it would be thicker and more durable than the flaking horrible crumby chair I am hoping to replace.

At least it cost less than the Kalmar. But still, more than any chair I have bought previously. Enter the Knoxville. I still bought it before I got the refund from Officeworks, but oh well. I should at last be happy. It looked like it would be ridiculously comfortable compared to the shapeless black monster I'm on now.

Well the Knoxville came and I started to put it together, more energy, but hey, looks like a nice chair.... um, wait a minute, the sides of the back rest don't have holes cut where the screws of the arm rest are supposed to go in. OH FOR FUCK's SAKE!

Email support, wait a week, get told they will send me a new back. Okey doke. Wait a couple of weeks to be informed the back was in fact shipped. Wait a week to get it. Came today..... the bit that comes out of the back isn't long enough to attach to the seat of the chair. NUCLEAR IMPLOSION.

How is it possible that for a decision I made on June 27th, to treat myself to a new office chair before the end of financial year can have lead to weeks of having very large boxes of half assembled chairs taking up the available space in our front room all this time? How can I still not have a chair? Have I offended the God of Chairs in some way? Should I have paid through the nose to reupholster my current chair (that would cost more than buying a new chair but now wish I had done) Please, just, please, don't let office chairs defeat me. I really am not a bad person. I just wanted a nice chair and felt I deserved it. Please, please, a chair! My kingdom for a chair!