For the past week, my M.O. each night has been to assemble a piece of furniture I bought at IKEA last week. I don’t really have the Handyman gene, but I can follow directions, and IKEA makes it pretty easy. Oh, I’ve made a couple of mistakes – like I really should have had a second person helping me when I flipped the couch over before the two pieces were secured together. I wound up losing two of the four big screws that hold the arm rests to the rest of the sofa when they fell inside the armrests, and I’ve no way of getting them out. Also, I couldn’t get the screws all the way in on the sliding part of my computer desk, so it won’t retract all the out of sight. Still, I’ve been making great progress, the pieces are looking great (I chose well), and I’m really proud of the assembly jobs I’ve been doing.
Athough there was a wee bit of trouble when I built the second of my two night tables Tuesday night. I got a late start, so it was about midnight when I started. Most of these pieces are put together with screws; there’s very little hammering. Although, on the night tables, there was some hammering, to affix a panel to the back of the unit. It was a 10-nail job, all around the perimeter.
About 4 nails into it, the apartment below bangs back. I get it: I was noisy, it was late, and they didn’t like it. But I only had 6 nails to go, and finishing this unit was essential to my self esteem for the day. Sorry, Joe, I hope this doesn’t make me a dick, but I was finishing this job.
On the seventh day of Christmas nail, I think I hear a door slam, then (yep, I was right), there is loud banging on my outside door. Now, my apartment was originally a bigger unit that was split into two rentals. So, me and my next door neighbor actually share a joint door, which opens up to a tiny vestibule area, where our separate apartment doors are. This means the guy was banging on this outer door, and there was the vestibule area between his banging and my apartment door. I felt safe. He couldn’t touch me.
I actually felt more concerned for my next door neighbor, because the door he was banging on was hers too. Felt a little embarassed about that, but hopefuly she wasn’t home yet. (She gets home late sometimes.) And I really don’t want to be making enemies in my new building so soon, so I wasn’t happy about upsetting the guy below me. But this was the only time I had to do this, and I’d only been hammering 5 minutes and would only need two minutes more. This guy could show a little patience, I rationalized.
10th nail. He is outside now, S-C-R-E-A-M-I-N-G at the top of his lungs, completely berserk-like. Not just pissed off, it was more of a his-love-was-shot-to-death-and-lay-dying-in-his-arms-in-the-middle-of-the-road-as-he-rails-against-God-with-a-soul-crushing-cry-(while-on-crystal-meth) kind of scream. Look, I hope the guy didn’t have a kid I woke up (don’t think so, didn’t hear any crying) or a big morning meeting, but he was reacting disproportionately, I feel.
His tirade coincided with me finishing the job. He probably thought I stopped because of what he screamed, when the truth is he was screaming in Hebrew, and I have no idea what he said. I didn’t really want him to think he scared me into stopping, but I let that one go. Definitely better to say nothing, I thought.
The next morning, I definitely did tip-toe out of the building a little bit. If I ran into him and he confronted me, I was prepared to say I had just returned from travelling and had had a guest in my apartment, so maybe it was them?
I only have a bookshelf and filing cabinet to go. Well, actually a computer chair and two small coffee tables, too – but IKEA forgot to deliver them with the rest of my stuff. No probs, after a trial-and-error struggle with their Hebrew voicemail system, I got an English-speaker on the line, and they said I can get those items when I come back, which I had planned to do this week for some smaller items anyway. Here’s some more of my handiwork, btw:
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