How Do You Solve a Problem Like Ikea?

So, on Sunday we went to Ikea to replace Terry’s dead chair, God rest its soul, and also to buy two desks, a filing cabinet, cable-tidiers, two sets of blinds, one of those pull-out trays things for keyboards, and a lamp. Yeah. In fairness, we had planned to buy all of these things: what we hadn’t really planned was to buy them all on a Sunday, and actually? I still don’t know why we did that. I mean, what possessed us? If we’d wanted to put ourselves through HELL, the local lunatic asylum is closer, and we probably wouldn’t have come home from it with a bunch of flat packed furniture that will now have to live in the living room, in its boxes, because, whoops, don’t really have time to put all that together, sorry.

Anyway, we went to Ikea, and God, it was like the seventh circle of hell. (the 5th and 6th circles being, respectively, Asda-Walmart on Christmas Eve and Primark any given Saturday). For a start, there were people crammed into every available space. Seriously, they were hanging from picture frames, stacked neatly on top of the BILLY storage systems, spilling out of the MALM chests of drawers… It reminded me of those shows you used to get in the 80s where a man in a brightly coloured sweater would “hilariously” see how many people he could squeeze into a telephone box, or shoehorn into a Mini Cooper. It was JUST LIKE THAT.

Just to add to the fun, each person (Terry and I excepted) appeared to have been issued with a screaming child upon entrance and instructed not, under any circumstances, to allow silly things like other people’s inconvenience stop them from using their giant pushchairs to block the aisles, because seriously, we can all just stand and wait while you examine that set of shelves in minute detail, no, really, don’t mind us! They were all also doing that thing where they spread out across an aisle and then walk reeeeaaaallllly, reallllly, slllooooowwwwllllly, as if out for a pleasant stroll. GOD.

Well, we got all of our stuff and somehow managed to cram it into the car, and drove home with me stuck to the inside of the window like one of those cuddly “window toys” people get. (WHY?) Tn_garfield_2

The idea now is to use it all to redecorate the spare bedroom office, in a bid to make it look a little more like an office, and less like, well, a spare bedroom with two computer desks crammed into it. Obviously, though, once we got the stuff home we just piled it into the living room then left it. I mean, it’s nice to buy this stuff, but you don’t seriously expect us to put it all together, do you? No, I think what we’ll probably do instead is, we’ll buy a brand new house, one that already has all the stuff inside it. And we will never, ever go back to Ikea on a Sunday. You shouldn’t go either, it’s not good for you.

9 Comments

  • Linda says:

    I was in Ikea a few Sundays ago. We took our children but they went into the crèche.

    But I fell out with some woman who was supposed to be 'entertaining' the kids, by making balloons in the foyer.

    She was the most un child-friendly woman I had ever met so why she was dressed up as a clown was beyond me.

    Funnily enough all my memories of Ikea are connected with having kids in tow!

    Once I went there with my two baby daughters (in a double buggy) and my then best mate (Cracks were starting to appear :))

    She stood out of the way, with my double buggy (no way was that fitting in an aisle!) and someone came and congratulated her on her "lovely daughters." When I saw how quickly and venomously she spat back: "Oh they're not mine," I knew our days were numbered!

    But the best was while I was expecting, I was in a wheelchair, so Neil plonked me out of the way from the aisle and I had to put up with all the 'mind the handicapped lady' comments from little buggers looking at the 'artwork'.

    So yes it can be a nightmare! Blame the sods for making the aisles so small so that us poor pregnant ladeez in wheelchairs are ostracised from the sofa buying public!

  • Jen says:

    Thanks for the heads up Amber ;)

    IKEA on a weekday at approx 5.30pm is bad enough, so yeah, I sympathise with the whole 7th circle of hell thing!

  • Amber says:

    Hehe, Linda – yup, for a supposedly family-friendly place that sells itself using images of cute kids and smiling parents, it's sure not set up for the average family to actually go there! Even the normally-placid Terry was feeling murderous by the time the twentieth person in a row stopped abruptly in front of him without warning – what a nightmare.

    Jen – never go there. Wait until such a time as they open an online store. It's just not worth the pain.

  • Erik says:

    I recall in the 80's, there was a variation of that Garfield car doll where only his backside was visible sticking out the back end of the trunk.

  • Gary Furbish says:

    An Ikea fan I am not. The droves of people are not the reason. after the purchase, you just don't get any assistance. I am one of the unfortunate souls who decided that an Ikea kitchen was a must in my Condo. 7 trips later I still cannot get all the cabinets I ordered and when I get stuff home it is missing pieces or is damaged in some way. The return process is so painful I rather just buy it again as to wait the 3 hours i did today. If I hadn't already spent so much time trying to make this happen I would run screaming from my cono for all the word to hear. DO not plan an IKEA kitchen…

    Gary Furbish

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  • Rob Elkins says:

    Totally agree, for a couple who are blessed with childlessness the one and only time we have walked around, (I say walked but by the time we got out we were making Paula Radcliffe look a bit like Driving Miss Daisy), was an absolute nightmare. I got told off for trying to create a shortcut through the painting display because of the 4 abreast buggyies and honestly why do people have to have conversations right in the middle of the aisle with children facing eachother like some roadblock? Move to one side for heavens sake! Now that the home office looms refurb is looming, I find myself drawn again to IKEA but the PTSD brought on by Yellow and Blue is keeping me from them. For now.

    Like your writing, BTW.

  • David Attwood says:

    We went to IKEA in Wednesbury on the Saturday of the May Bank Holiday – must have been lucky as it was exceptionally quiet! In & out in less than an hour with a bench for our new Flat TV. Just what we needed – got home to Norfolk & then the trouble started. One of the parts had a groove missing which prevented completion of a drawer. No response to an email after a week, so rang the Customer Service Desk. 'Take the unit back to the store' is the command. 'But that's 168 miles away will you refund the mileage?' 'No!' 'Can you send a replacement part?' 'No!' Same message from supervisor. So contacted consumerdirect.gov.uk and have now sent a recorded delivery letter informing them of their responsibility in meeting all my consequential costs in returning the goods. Although I love their Lingonberry Juice & some of the biscuits, I doubt I will ever use IKEA again! Will keep you posted with progress. DTA.

  • David Attwood says:

    We went to IKEA in Wednesbury on the Saturday of the May Bank Holiday – must have been lucky as it was exceptionally quiet! In & out in less than an hour with a bench for our new Flat TV. Just what we needed – got home to Norfolk & then the trouble started. One of the parts had a groove missing which prevented completion of a drawer. No response to an email after a week, so rang the Customer Service Desk. 'Take the unit back to the store' is the command. 'But that's 168 miles away will you refund the mileage?' 'No!' 'Can you send a replacement part?' 'No!' Same message from supervisor. So contacted consumerdirect.gov.uk and have now sent a recorded delivery letter informing them of their responsibility in meeting all my consequential costs in returning the goods. Although I love their Lingonberry Juice & some of the biscuits, I doubt I will ever use IKEA again! Will keep you posted with progress. DTA.

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