Friday, December 28, 2012


In two days, I would've survived one month of my job, which means I haven't been fired or broken down in meetings and quit, it also means the house hasn't frozen me to death through the winter and the 14 day return right for most of the things I bought are now gone and I have to live with them for the rest of my life. In the last few week I have recollected my experiences of being here and have now realised something has slipped my mind. 

There is an unsettling number of things made from wood here, like Greenpeace's nightmare. If you look closely and weren't asleep at school, you can pick and follow one tree ring throughout the length of most of the furniture, which means the carpenter was pedantic enough to shave each piece of wood down to one tree ring throughout it's length before slotting and fitting it to other pieces. Looks good, feels rich, great. Just before my first work day, I was quite excited and ironed all my shirts in preparation for the next week on the big table top of the shelf which was quite ergonomic and avoided unfolding the ironing board (not a big fan of flimsy collapsible metal things). After enjoying myself in the humidity of the steam iron and the knowledge that my blankets are oven-hot and pressed, which would make my night an enjoyable one, I pulled them off the table and threw them on the bed to discover to my shock that the big shelf, shaved, built and finished by my owner's father had a more than just conspicuous white patch on it which wouldn't come off with simple abrasion, worse, I'd then risk scratching the furniture permanently. I looked at it for fifteen minutes not knowing what to do while my mind went a circle round the things I could do. quit job and change cities overnight, cover it with mess and act like the wood did that to itself by the I cleared it, own up and pay to have it repaired, standard responses. 

Then I went on the intertube, thinking that I might not be the most intelligent person on the planet, rightfully as some people claim, but I am also not the first stupid person to walk on two feet and as a consequence of the latter I should not be the only one to have done such a blunder. After some research it occurred to me that the blunder was this, it was the equivalent of putting a rug on a polished oak floor and then stepping on it carelessly. I had put my rug on the furniture and ironed on it. Having slept through the furniture, paint and lacquer class in my childhood, I hadn't instantly realised what that had done to the wood, the heat from the iron had discoloured the varnish finishing and turned it cloudy. I was lucky not to have someone breathing down my neck like those husbands who'd put the remedy up on the Internet to help other people whose wives had ironed on their furniture, or me. The remedy was to use the same iron and use the steam to take off the damaged layers of varnish to give the wood back its finish. Can clearly see why this gave me a second round of sweating. As if not enough of being stupid once, I had to do it another time in the hope that this will reverse the effect. To my amazement, it actually did and to my disgust, they told me at work the next day that I can wear any old tee shirt, which made the tedious ironing on all my dress shirts a requirement only for special occasions. That's learning carpentry, the hard way.

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