Elfin Grievance Form -- NP123
Date: December 26, 2011
Grievance filed by: Amy M. (aka The 4th Frog)
Nature of grievance:
___ Shoddy worksmanship ___ Poor packaging ___ Wrong item sent _X__ Other
Please provide details of the complaint:
Our son Charlie received a basketball shooting game for Christmas. He was thrilled. Unfortunately, the elves in the sporting goods department must have slipped the box into Santa's bag before Santa could notice that they didn't actually assemble the game. Luckily, Charlie was kept plenty busy with his other Christmas gifts that he didn't seem to mind that the gift was still in the box.
The day after Christmas, Charlie opened the box, assuming that he would just need to unfold the game and it would be ready to go. Ha! If only we'd been so lucky. The box was filled with no less than 247 individual pieces that required significant assembly.
There were more than a dozen metal pieces that had to be put together to create the frame. To the elves' credit, these were all clearly marked and actually matched up with the numbers included in the instruction booklet. If only the bolts were as clearly marked. Yes, they were separated and labeled initially, but once the package was opened it was nearly impossible to tell the difference between a #24 bolt and a #25 bolt.
I started the assembly with Charlie helping me. That lasted about 17 minutes. Then it was Annie to the rescue. She and I matched metal poles and nuts and bolts and washers, hoping that the entire contraption would not collapse on top of us. Annie kept saying "Aren't there people who get paid to do this?" She is her GoGo's granddaughter!
Mike called us to lunch and we emerged from the basement, not yet finished, amazed to find that we had been working on this little project for more than 2 hours!
After lunch, we had to tighten up the bolts, install the hoops, hang the backboard, install the scoring system -- and oh, yeah -- find batteries, something else those elves forgot to do. All told (some unscrewing and correcting of erroneous building), it took us about 3-1/2 hours to put Charlie's gift together. I'm thinking the elves could have had it done in 45 minutes or so.
I suppose it was a character building experience. It was some mother-daughter bonding time. In the end, what really matters is that Charlie is having fun with his gift. And so are the rest of us.
But, I do think that someone might want to have a word with those sporting goods elves.