Published: May 14th 2012May 5th 2012
Ergonomic keyboard tray
There it is, all innocent looking.
Even though it’s vacation, there is one task I’d been wanting to do for weeks and weeks now. I wanted to install my ergonomic keyboard tray. I decided to treat it like an arts and crafts project, to make it more vacation-y.
The problem began with the magical belief that I did not have to turn my desk upside down in order to install a keyboard tray. Not even when I had to use my feet to hold the metal plate against the underside of my desk, because I needed two hands to screw in the screws, did my denial flag.
If I had been watching me, I would have called me an idiot and made me turn the desk over. Instead, after getting one screw in, and feeling smug, thinking, there, this one screw will hold, and now I can let go and do the others
. Which would have been true, except the drill holes weren’t lining up right. So I needed to unscrew the screw, but just a smidge, to be able to wiggle the metal plate a little.
A sane person would have put down the electric drill-cum-screwdriver and picked up a plain old Phillips to unscrew one half a turn. But I was in the throes of insanity. I turned the electric drill from righty-tighty to lefty-loosy, pressed the trigger for a millisecond, and felt the metal plate come tumbling down where one edge smacked my forehead. Then, like a scene in a movie, I dabbed at my forehead, feeling something wet, which could only be my own blood.
It was at this moment that Sanity returned, hands on hips, yelling, what did you do to yourself?! You could have put an eye out!!!
She watched as I wiggled out from under the desk, and went to the bathroom. It wasn’t so much the cut, a clean, half-inch line, midway between my hairline and left eye that was bad, but it appeared I had a good quarter-inch dent in my forehead. That could not be good.
Woody Allen appeared in my head, telling me I might have a permanent dent, but probably, most likely, did not have fragments of bone splintering into my brain at that very moment. He’s so helpful that way. Sanity made me sit on the floor, in case I passed out. After several moments, when it appeared I was not going to lose consciousness, I cleaned the cut and put a bandage on it. Denial LOVED the bandage. After all, if you can’t see your dented forehead, it’s not really dented. And, Vanity chimed in, your bangs cover the bandage. You’ll just have to wear bangs forever now, to hide the dent.
I have put together at least 20 different pieces of furniture from Ikea, Office Depot, etc. And it seems whenever I put together something "ergonomic," I hurt myself.
A Little Later
I was having company that evening. I wanted open some wine, because I could. But I didn’t want to be that sad lady, drinking alone. So I invited my wine-loving friends over for, you know, wine. Plus snacks and a movie. I needed to straighten the house. As I mentioned in an earlier post, the maid service is lousy here, but I had a long chat with the staff, and they assured me the house would be clean by the evening. Of course, I was the staff, and now I had a near-fatal head injury.
For the next couple hours, I alternated between finishing installing the keyboard tray, tidying up, and waiting for the brain hemorrhage to kick in. Then I went to another session of Restorative Yoga. Once again, we draped our bodies over cushions and breathed from our feet to the crowns of our heads. Once again, I pulled the washrag through my brain, cleaning out stray thoughts, which now focused on my imminent death. But truly, there were far fewer thoughts, and none, zero about work. Phew. Plus, by now it was pretty clear that death was not imminent at all, and Woody Allen seemed to have gone back to New York or wherever he lives. This time, no one asked me if I loved the yoga class, which is too bad. It’s kinda growing on me.
At home again, I finished tidying and desk ergonomifying, this time without incident. Guests arrived bearing cheese and wine and brownies. An unbeatable combo. We watched The Philadelphia Story
with Cary Grant, Jimmy Stewart, and Katherine Hepburn. My friend, Carson, explained that the upper-crust-movie-actor accent they all spoke in actually had a name: The Transatlantic Accent. He found that in Wikipedia, so you can go look it up. My friends are amazing. They cleaned up before they left, honoring my Staycation status. I should get them souvenirs.