Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?
User Journal

Journal The Cydonian's Journal: My Chair Broke.

And I fell. Therein lies a story of commoditized globalization.

It was a nice chair, actually, a bwig, black executive chair that swings, pitches, tilts and yaws. You'd be forgiven for thinking it had a leather cushioning, but the reality, as it were, is much more nuanced; it had pseudo leather with pinches of cushioning that exist only to remind us that all good chairs must have some cushioning, even if it isn't exactly useful.

Over the four months I've had it, I've made exactly utilitarian enhancement; I somehow entwined my speaker system's volume control onto one of the arms. It's a minor change, and indeed, perhaps not entirely aesthetically pleasing, the cleaning lady who comes once a month to clean my house always makes it a point to disconnect the volume control and the wire from the sub-woofer source. The overall effect, though, is that of sheer, unbridled power; with my A/C remote and telephone to my left, music to my right, my wireless keyboard, mouse, office laptop and home comp in front, I knew it was only a matter of time before I get on with that taking-over-the-world process in earnest in a way neither Captain Kirk, nor trivia(l) masterminds could.

Until that is, it all came tumbling down tonight.

I was watching X-Men 2 on the comp while it happened. Actually, I think a lot of things happened simultaneously; those security folks attack the school, some mutant kid screams the hell out of my speaker system, another dissaparates through wooden floors, I received some astrological spam assuring me that my next week would be even more mundane than this one... and I'm on the ground, with my right arm hurting from all that sudden weight thrust upon it.

While I am shaken by the experience, I can't help feel stirred by the larger macro-picture from the above. You see, it was a bargain deal, or at least was supposed to be; between the sleazy furniture dealer around the corner, and those overpriced, unpronounceable swivel chairs from IKEA, I had opted to buy a cheap one from a local French hypermart chain, Carrefour. Unfortunately, those French marketers, with their double entendres and convoluted phrases, didn't quite mean "least expensive in town" when they said "cheapest in town". They had, instead, meant to say, well, low-cost, shoddily made, unfinished... cheapest.

The overall result, therefore, is something very familiar to Americans; I got a low-cost product sourced directly from some Shenzhen warehouse without, it now appears, passing through QC or other upper-class niceties.

My feet may be firmer on the ground now, but alas, I'm left with only two options and neither of them entirely desireable. Either I could show some Asian street-smarted-ness, eat crow and haggle with that neighbourhood furniture guy once more, orI could show some Indian ingenuity, eat crow and fix this with super-glue or duct-tape. In which case, alwas, there's only one place to get my hardware supplies in this region, Carrefour.

My world domination plan may be temporarily in pieces, and to steal an idiom from a longtime favourite comic (points for getting the reference), I seem to now throw my weight around more often, but oh, the choices we have to make just to stand on our feet.

This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

My Chair Broke.

Comments Filter:

Adding features does not necessarily increase functionality -- it just makes the manuals thicker.