Literally so no hard feelings

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A decade ago, a penny pinching manager decided to buy IKEA office furniture and directed me assemble them. The building of the furniture was seen as a management tool to encourage initiative. The only problem was that the filing cabinet had screws so I needed a screwdriver. This is the part where people without much hands-on experience will tell me to get a screwdriver and stop screwing around. I got one screwdriver from my home. I even made sure that the screw fitted the screwdriver.

The screwdriver could not screw the screw into the hole. There was a centimetre sticking out no matter how hard I tried to screw them in. This is the part where where critics will tell me to go to the gym and get fitter. Or call me a weakling. Or if they have watched Deadpool, call me Blind Al aka assembler of IKEA furniture.

However, I have enough woodwork experience to know that IKEA furniture do not need strongmen to put the item together. Before an IKEA furniture is sold, some lucky IKEA employee has to put it together. If it is too difficult, he or she has a word with the designer. Everything from the assembly plan to the correct type of fastener has to pass some quality control or survive some employee’s reasonable attempt to put together.

Long story short, I purchased a toolkit with nothing but screwdrivers. Then I picked a long screwdriver and screwed all the screws in. The lesson learnt was that the longer screwdriver allows me top use more torque. Or as the saying goes, if you have a hammer, every problem looks like a nail. I have a box of screwdriver so everything was screwed?

A decade later, I had a new contraption from IKEA. I also encountered the same problem. There were screws that refused my efforts to screw them in with the short screwdrivers. So I got the long trusty screwdriver and got working.

And I found myself going round in circles. The screwdriver fit the screw but all my effort to turn the screws were all in vain. It turned out that I needed a screwdriver that fitted the screw to a T. It was shorter than the long screwdriver. But once the screwdriver fitted the screw, it required less effort to turn the screw.

Now the Monday night quarterbacks, armchair generals will tell me that getting the screw to fit screwdriver was expected. Except that all the screwdrivers that I used fit the screw to a T. Or more accurately to an X.

If you fancy yourself a carpenter, try to pinpoint the correct screw bit from the box below. If you are truly a master, try to identify all the bits. That is a tool set from IKEA that supposedly has the tool for all the products.

IKEA Toolkit from Ikea site

I discovered that there is a type of screw called Pozidriv screw. That decade old toolbox had a Pozidriv screwdriver so it was not a modern invention. But it looks superficially like a Phillips heads screwdriver.

Unfortunately, my woodwork class left out that part about screws. I knew more about screw threads and screw heads than I knew about screw driver heads. All my formal training on screws was there was a type of screw that had to use Allen keys and another that used screwdriver. But I digress.

There are many reasons for success and failure. The truth is that you often have to roll up your sleeve and get your hands dirty in order to prove that you are right. I am not saying that you can never call the shots. But if you are mouthing off because of your ego, frustration or desire to be helpful, maybe there is another screw loose.



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