Home again and clothes changed, I carried the box onto the back porch and opened it up. Hurray, the Little Giant ladder comes assembled! No loose pieces and parts to mess with!
Actually, a little looseness would have been welcome. The work platform was wedged in so tightly between the two sides of the ladder that I couldn't get it out or get the ladder open.
Yes, I could have worked out how to do it myself. But I decided it'd be a good chance to see how helpful the Little Giant customer service people are.
Very helpful. Told the young woman, "I can't get my ladder open." Says she cheerfully, "Oh, that's probably the work platform. They wedge it in tight so it won't rattle around in transit. Sometimes it's too tight. Just try pulling up on the bar on the top of it, and it should come loose!"
I worked at it, and whoop! the platform was free and the hinge could operate. I asked the Customer Service rep when I should expect my accessories (on Thursday, she said), thanked her very much, and began to play with my new toy. I mean, tool.
I didn’t try the ladder in more than the A-frame configuration today, since the porch is open and the weather was chilly, with a brisk wind. I had no trouble putting it up to its full height and any position in between. It was fun going up to the very top and looking out over my ceiling fan. I'm queen of the mountain!
Or maybe not. Now I can see all the cobwebs and dirt I have to get off my porch ceiling before I can stain it white the way I've always wanted.
I had another meeting out of town this afternoon and couldn't do any actual work with the new ladder today. But I easily compacted it down and carried it down the basement for storage. I can see how you might hurt yourself if you let the inner ladder slide down out of control when you’re collapsing it (re: the Consumer Reports worries), so you don’t. Let it get out of control, that is. The directions say keep your hands on the outer frames when collapsing it, anyway. In fact, they say it repeatedly. And they say it again.
I’ll play with the extension function out in the back yard when the rest of the accessories arrive. Or when the weather gets warmer. Whichever.
The ladder is shiny aluminum with orange plastic fittings now. Too clean. I'm looking forward to baptising it in paint, stain, and wallpaper paste.