Archives for posts with tag: annoyance

Today I discovered that engineering students who find their calling too difficult often switch to psychology.

Does that mean my department is full of students who don’t care to work hard enough to do what they originally wanted to do?


Of course, switching out because you really can’t handle the work is perfectly fine. I understand that engineering may be a lot more complicated than expected. And not all engineering students who switch end up in psych. That was just a generalization one of my classmates told me. But, switching because you don’t want to work is not okay. It is also not okay to think of the psych department as a dump of bird courses (although they would definitely be easier compared to the average engineering course).

I suppose I’m just frustrated because I met a lot of people from my psych courses today who are complete slackers, but still want to get a 4.0 GPA and go to med school. They skip lectures, they don’t read, and they rely on bell curving to save them. The most annoying part of it is that they actually are saved by bell curving (and possibly the luck of having overly lenient TAs). So while I actually earn my grade, they do nothing and still receive good marks.

Honestly. The system needs to change. It’s too easily corrupted.


There is never a time when I can actually blog properly.

Where I live, I’m constantly surrounded by chatter and distracting noises — my parents talking, the news broadcaster yapping away, the people living upstairs running around and causing a ruckus. Honestly, it is all I can do sometimes to not scream at the top of my lungs to tell everything to give me just one minute of peace and quiet.

I can’t think with the noise. I can’t think right now either — I was writing another blog post, but no matter how I phrased things, nothing sounded right. The only reason I can write this right now is probably because this is the only topic that has a strong enough grasp on my mind… Not a good thing, of course, since it’s likely raising my stress levels.

Let’s just hope my ideas, ability to write, and some quiet time rendezvous soon. I didn’t start this blog just to have it wither away into digital dust.

This past Thursday, I bought a shelf at Wal-Mart. It wasn’t a pretty thing: An imposing, dark gray tower of five grates made of hard plastic that clawed painfully at your skin if you ever dared to run a finger along one of its cut edges. But, I was okay with that — all I needed was a shelf to store my ever-growing collection of stuff — so appearance was unimportant. This shelf by Plano Molding looked sturdy enough. And at $39.96, I thought it was a reasonably priced solution to my packrat-ish disposition.

At home, I gave the following instructions on the box a passing glance before ripping into it and pouring its contents out (five shelves and twenty black plastic tubes). After all, I’ve assembled utility shelves before, and this really was the self-assembly process I expected:

Assembles in 2 minutes!

  1. Organize shelves.
  2. Place poles in bottom shelf. Poles will “Snap-Fit”.
  3. Add next shelf…repeat.

So, I laid down the first shelf, and placed the poles into the openings… Or, rather, I tried to place the poles in. They didn’t fit! Each of the openings were ribbed (to give a snugger, sturdier fit for the poles, I’m assuming), but the ribs protruded so much that they made sticking the poles in next to impossible!

Nevertheless, I tried. I pushed the pole in as far as I could by putting my entire weight on it…and even then, it only went a third of the way in. No matter how hard I pushed, shoved, twisted, or sat on the pole, it refused to budge further.

My dad suggested filing the ribs down a bit. Maybe that was all it took to make it fit better. So, we took the poles out, grabbed a couple of hand files, and filed the openings down a bit. We stuffed the poles in: They fitted…a little better, but still, it took lots of effort, and the poles only went halfway in. Great.

So at 1 AM, after over an hour of struggling (er, what happened to those “2 minutes”?), we gave up. Making a sturdy shelf out of those poles (which weren’t even cut at a 90° angle) and mishappened gratings was hopeless: It wasn’t worth the time or effort to grind the openings down just to get the poles in halfway, nor would the shelf be sturdy with the poles not fully inserted. I went to sleep, convinced that I needed to make a bothersome trip back to Wal-Mart the next day to return the shelf.

But the thing was, my dad and I didn’t feel inclined to return the shelf the next day: It was going to be a lot of work to pack up the shelf, haul it into the car and then into the store, and then go through the troublesome process of getting a refund. Furthermore, we had already filed down one of the shelves — not only was the product not in its “original state” (although technically, it fit better in its altered state than the original anyways), but it seemed like a waste to return it after having worked on it.

Hence, we followed the totally illogical decision to keep filing down the openings until the poles would fit. It took two days — two days of hard, painful labour. I say “painful” because, in order to apply enough strength to file down the ribs properly, we grasped the rough surface of the files instead of the handles. So, on the second day of filing, when I took a break to go grocery shopping with my mom, I could barely dig through the bin of longan (a fruit which has a rough outer skin, kind of like really fine sandpaper) because the surface of my palms hurt so much from holding the hand files.

I should say that, even though we were able to get the poles down almost all the way down in the end, trying to put the poles in still required lots of effort. I still had to put my entire weight on the poles to get them to go in, and when I was putting the topmost layer on (which was taller than me), I was literally hanging off the corner of the shelf so that I could use my weight to drive the pole down.

To be frank, I’m relieved that this whole ordeal has passed: I have a shelf, things look organized, my hand can start healing now, and life is good. But, I’m quite annoyed at Plano Molding for its empty promises of a 2-minute assembly and of the poles “snapping fit”. They could not have been further off from the truth: Never have I exerted so much effort to put together a piece of furniture, not even when I had to put a king-size IKEA bed frame together. However, what was worse than their empty promises was that, when I went to Plano’s website, they said this about their shelving: “And all Plano shelves easily snap together in minutes with no tools required.” Erm, “no tools required”? Seriously? If we had no hand files, the shelf would never have come into being. Sure, it would’ve resembled a shelf, but it could’ve collapsed if anything was placed onto it, since the poles weren’t secure.

Verdict: Don’t buy Plano’s crap products. I sure won’t be doing so next time, after this experience. I’m shocked at the fact that they even have fans on their Facebook page…but maybe their hunting/fishing/golfing equipment isn’t as defective?

“Are you sure this is the right place?” my dad asked me as we parked outside our (relatively) local DriveTest Centre.

“It…has to be. The address is correct,” I answered. But, as I said that, I had to stare wide-eyed at the crappy little office that brandished an old plexiglass box sign saying “DriveTest” on it. What’s worse was that this office was stuck in a run-down plaza, right beside an empty store which said “FOR LEASE”. Em. Okay. The only reason I gave this dive any credit at all was the fact that they printed, in letters so tiny they were almost invisible, “Licensed by Ontario,” on their ugly sign box.

Upon walking in, I was greeted by passing glances from…probably a good 50 people, who were either standing, sitting on benches, or hunched on the floor — all of them waiting to complete a test today. I pondered whether I would be lucky enough to get my G1 within the one hour that their website suggested as I approached the guy manning the “WRITTEN TEST” desk. He sent me to the “Help Desk” to apply first.

Help Desk? Registration? Who does registration at help desks anyways? Weren’t such places reserved for people with questions? My mind spun at the DriveTest’s odd organization as I joined the lengthy line for help. I stared at the drab gray walls. I stared at the LCD screens broadcasting ads for driver education programs. I glanced at the bored faces of those waiting to complete their tests (that is, if they weren’t looking at me). Rinse and repeat for fifteen minutes. Needless to say, despite the fact that there were enough young people in the room to throw a huge party, it was not an exciting place to be.

It is not a good thing to feel dread when you’re waiting in line at a government office. In fact, it is never a good thing to feel dread. But that was what I was feeling as the line inched forward. People did not look happy after being served at the desk. I was hoping that it was just bad customer service, but deep inside, I knew it was something worse.

It was finally my time. I approached the girl at the desk with apprehension. Her blue polo shirt, coupled with the speckled gray wall behind her, reminded me of a shady car rental place.

“Hi, I’d like to do my G1 written test today.”

She smiled at me in a way that suggested she was not going to give me good news. “I’m sorry. I’m afraid we’re completely full today. You can come back another day though — we’re open 8:30 to 5 Mondays to Saturdays.”

“Ah. Okay then. Thank you,” I told her with a smile, hiding the annoyance that was already beginning to bloom. I had been so anxious to write this, to get it out of the way so that I could stop thinking about how many days your license would be suspended if you did X or how much you had to pay if you did Y. I was excited to have this milestone completed today, but in one fell swoop, this girl punished me with sudden disappointment…and another day of memorizing useless facts. My only crime? Coming two and a half hours before their closing time.

You have to wonder — why did they not post a sign at the door informing the public that they were already full, so that people wouldn’t have to wait in vain at the Help Desk? I felt particularly sorry for the father and daughter who were waiting in front of me — I saw them waiting for a bus home as my dad and I were driving away. Basically, they paid $10 ($2.50 per one way trip for an adult) to get to a DriveTest centre, only to accomplish nothing.

I’m planning to go to this dive of a government office again tomorrow — and as a safety precaution, I’m going to go six hours before their closing time, so that there is no way they can kick me out this time.

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