Falling chair... and slipping tongue syndrome (?)
Finally, my new office chair is here!
I've been waiting a long time for it... Too many choices and options make the final decision quite painful.
But it was made, "it" for my choice of course, just follow what I'm saying (! 😊), on a model manufactured... outside Europe ☹ but with a quality at least equivalent to models easily twice as expensive as this lucky winner. Remotely, on the shopping site, the comments and opinions from customers reassured me on the quality of the product I could expect.
Neat packaging, gloves for assembly, a feeling of solidity and durability. And so comfortable my dear fellows, so comfortable compared to my old office chair that could no longer support me during the long daily hours of seated work.
Good and loyal service from a chair at the end of his life.
By contrast, the user manual is, over and over again, a real nightmare! Even though it's not a highly technical product, it took me almost an hour to assemble this lovely new companion. I'm not talking about a chair that is worth less than a hundred euros, but about a chair that is supposed to be high-end indeed with a few hundred euros spent. Fortunately enough, I am intimately familiar with English, since they were kind enough to let steps 1 to 6 of the assembly instructions in English! Corresponding merely to the steps, in full, of course...
Quirky? May be… But it appears more simply as an assumed incompetence or imprecision, and may be more dramatically, as a sacrosanct quest for penny-pinching which can be very harmful for the customer; not to mention the manufacturer's or dealer's image given.
Translation as an adjustment variable? Wrong move, Doc.
But to crown it all, giant and bitter cherry on top of a ridiculous cake, when there was a proposed translation, it reflected nothing less than what unfortunately persists at the beginning of the 21st century: a pathetic and detestable translation on the cheap that even free translation software or apps would have better softened, improved, fixed, even partially.
Some few samples below...
THE TRAUMATIC PHRASE
"A chair is confined to one person only."
In a post-lockdown period, one may be surprised that items like chairs should
remain... confined at home (!!)
THE BASICS OF FRENCH OR EVEN THE GA GA BA BA MA MA DA DA
"Children under five cannot take this chair."
"To take", is still non-dramatic versus "to use" (at least in French).
But the plural form missing in French on
the verb, remains for me, I must confess,
a Great mystery. But not of those that
make you dream... More like that
primordial soup that urges you to go far,
far away, to cry for your poor abused
Not to mention the use of "can" where a verb conveying a much more explicit
prohibition or restriction of use would have been highly recommended.
THE PHRASE THAT MEANS NOTHING
"Keep your hands off the seat base mechanism in addition to the button in case of a
We got the message: there is a risk of crushing. But the question beyond this is, how?
Here may lie the risk of a painfully compelled empirical experiment (?)
All right, I can't resist a quick FAQ or two:
"if you please contact the after-sales service for a replacement".
HELP! Apart from the "tiny" and even ridiculous detail, at this stage, of the missing
capital letter at the beginning of the sentence, this sounds like someone who only
studied for two short years the beautiful language of Molière, Camus, Maupassant and
all the other great writers, contemporary or disappeared, but still so much alive,
theoretically, through today's French culture...
Two years… of (far) distance learning?
Talking about after-sales service, "if you please to fire", that project or product or quality manager or anyone else who is (ir-)responsible for the final quality of the product, in its entirety. And let's stop the approximations that in the end could well make us believe that "it's all Chinese" (?!)