So true. Back in college to make money around the Christmas holidays I used to work at a large retail toy chain. Was an absolutely awesome job, but sort of scary in a number of ways. The most disturbing being when they asked me to work in the “mechanical/large toy department”. This was where all those battery powered 4-wheelers and BMX style bikes for young kids were sold, and in many cases pre-assembled as part of the sale deal. I figured it would be cool, just like slapping the decals on the 4-wheelers and doing customer service. Instead they put me to work immediately as an assembly tech, despite having zero experience in building anything mechanical, and even less in bike assembly. When I mentioned this to manager he said. “It’s no big deal, everything comes with instructions for assembly from the factory and are like idiot proof.” Ok, I thought, I can follow instructions, no big deal. Came to find out the “instructions” my manager was so sure would allow anyone with half a brain to build these things with little effort, were more cryptic than Kryptos and basically useless. I had no help and the kids needed their bikes so I powered through the best I could. I think I managed to build like 15 bikes and 20 or so 4-wheelers. I shudder to think what happened to the excited recipients of my bikes, but still have nightmares of broken bones and mangled bodies as a result of my shoddy at best work.

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Research scientist (Ph.D. micro/mol biology), Thought middle manager, Everyday junglist, Selecta (Ret.), Boulderer, Cat lover, Fish hater

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