Do you know what else is sad, but true? The opening paragraph of the instructions I had to follow to assemble my new chair. Being the wife of a husband who often tackles do-it-yourself projects, I am no stranger to assembly instructions. They begin with a list of hardware/parts and continue with steps that, if followed correctly, take you to your destination, be it a repaired automobile or, as in this case, a finished piece of furniture. They get right down to business. They certainly don’t come with a “pep talk” like this:
CONGRATULATIONS --- you’ve purchased a fine furniture item from Target.Since I copied the above statement directly from the actual assembly instructions that arrived with my chair, I can only surmise that such directions now come with “encouraging words” for those who need them. I guess I am not one of those people; hence, my bewilderment.
We have designed our furniture with you, the Target guest in mind. Our clear, easy to follow step by step instructions will guide you through the project from start to finish. Feel confident that this will be a fun and rewarding project. The final product will be a quality piece of furniture that will go together smoothly and give years of enjoyment.
To Target’s credit, the instructions were clear and easy to follow. However, I am not sure that a $24.98 chair qualifies as “fine furniture” that will “give years of enjoyment.” I am also not sure whether sitting on my kitchen floor and installing a few bolts are activities that come up to the definition of “fun and rewarding.” Productive, maybe.
Have enough of us really lost (or simply not acquired) the basic skills necessary to assemble something as simple as a chair without it becoming an issue of fun or self-esteem? Please tell me we aren’t that far gone.
Note: I also don't like the idea of Target referring to me as a “guest.” When I shop in their store, I don’t feel like a guest; I feel like a consumer, which is what I am.