One of the greatest questions of our time has been solved, the question that no one asked but everyone should know the answer to. How many engineers does it take to assemble IKEA furniture? Answer: nine. At least that’s how many crammed into the living room of my apartment on a Monday night to construct my dresser and two bedside tables in exchange for nothing more than a promise of a group dinner. In all fairness, the process can take as many engineers as you want it to and you can participate as much or as little as you like. These individuals tend to be highly efficient when confronted with a puzzle and will likely be delighted to solve it for you if you let them.
Such was my experience although, originally I was just requesting assistance carrying the heavy IKEA boxes up three flights of stairs to my apartment. I wasn’t expecting them to put the stuff together once we got there. But thank goodness they did. I am an engineer myself and love a puzzle as much as my fellows but I was utterly unprepared for the sheer number of pieces and parts waiting for me just beneath all that cardboard. Of course there were instructions and I’m relatively confident that I could have understood them and constructed the stuff myself if I’d had to and it would have likely been a project spanning an entire week, maybe two if I was feeling lazy. But, thankfully, that was unnecessary.
I’ve made the heartwarming discovery that people are basically good and happy to lend a hand when asked. There was also the more amusing lesser discovery that if you give engineers a puzzle, they will show up in force. But generally, people want to help where they can and a shared story of chipping in to bring your home one step closer to perfection makes for much better conversation than the tale of terrible woe at your worst IKEA nightmares come to life.
It is a very special friend that can show up at your door unannounced and make themselves at home. One should cherish these people for the lifelong gems that they are. However, all the other wonderful friendly people in your life need an invitation. Inviting people into that sacred little corner of the world that is a shrine to all that makes you you and where you go to unwind from life feels horribly uncomfortable but is a hurdle that simply must be overcome for a well adjusted adult life. You will be so glad that you made this leap. In my case, every time I open one of my non-slamming IKEA dresser drawers I smile a little as I remember that time when my apartment was full of engineers busy passing around tools and instructions to complete my little construction project before dinner.