The Father-Daughter Ikea Assembly

Last week I came across a Tweet about how sitting can kill you, complete with all sorts of stats that made me think about my own habits and how sedentary they are.

A news report then followed, touting the benefits of treadmill desks that some companies have installed for workers, that has them walk slowly but for long periods of time, with great results.

In an effort to see if something like this was actually doable for me, I looked for a way to try this out with the treadmill that I already have at my office. So it was off to IKEA.

I purchased a small table that attaches to a wall, and brought it to my office. My 13-year-old daughter has assembled lots of her own IKEA stuff, and she offered to come to my office and do most of the work. What follows is our separate accounts of the experience.

His version:

What can you expect from an eighth-grader? Well, when she is MY daughter, I expect quite a bit. And she rarely disappoints, and she did not disappoint this time either.

She assembled the pieces perfectly with no instructions or supervision from me. So now it was time for me to get involved because it was time to attach it to the wall. It was also time for things to begin to go downhill.

“Oh, so those screws don’t come with it?” I asked. “No, I guess we need to go to the hardware store”. Off we went. But first I checked to see that I did have the plastic shields to put into the gyproc to make sure the screws would hold well. Check.

So we get there and I locate some good strong screws, ignoring the packs of screws that come with shields, since I already had those. Let’s go put in these 6 screws and our work will be done.

Except that the big screws did not fit with the shields I had installed, so we had to start over, with four big holes in the wall. We hit another patch of frustration due to one of my screw-ups, the details of which I no longer recall, resulting in more holes.

Long story short, we finally got the wall-mounted table attached, after more sweat (no tears or blood!) and a few muffled bad words.

She gets a 9/10, I don’t know if I deserve a 5/10.

Her version:

My father bought an IKEA desk, and seeing as I’m the IKEA expert of the family, I offered to go to his office and help him build it and hang it up.

When we got to his office, I decided to start off the building of the desk. I’d dealt with IKEA furniture before, so I completed it with ease, but it still needed to be mounted. The treadmill then needed to be turned 90° so that the desk could over-hang properly.

We realized that the screws required to hang the desk were not included in the box, so we were off to the hardware store!

We got big sturdy ones that could support the weight of the fixture. We came back and put in shields, but they didn’t go in properly, but we still tried to hang the desk and failed miserably. So we took them out, and moved it an inch to the right, and tried again. One of the shields broke, another one went straight through the wall.

At this point, I thought we were pretty much screwed. But then, we tried one last time, and we went a bit upward and took our time. It worked!

The desk is now hanging more or less properly over the treadmill (I’d give us an 8/10). I had an over-all great day with my dad, and I’m looking forward to having some feedback from my father about his brand-new treadmill desk.