IKEA: Beyond Thunderdome

July 6th, 2011 2:37 PM -05

So I’d be remiss if I didn’t share our IKEA experience from this past weekend.

It was their super-duper, only happens twice a year (or more) July 4th inventory blowout sale.  Dan and I went Friday night to check out an armoire and changing table.   We went fairly late, so it wasn’t very crowded.  Having selected a Pax system, we took the worksheet home to configure the best possible closet for Wiggles.   Dan hearted the Pax big time and daydreamed of either bogarting it for himself (Wiggles could have his half of the master bedroom closet) or just sharing.   I kinda like the latter.  I have giggle-inducing visions of him biking to work in wintertime while accidentally wearing her BabyLegs.

Once we took measurements and made our system accessory selections, we were ready to seal the deal.   It’s a truth universally acknowledged that no sane person in want of keeping his limbs goes to IKEA on a weekend, especially during a sale.  If it must be done, the earlier or later the better.  We opted for later at 6:00pm.

It was not late enough.  The place was insane.  Luckily, Dan had written down all needed parts numbers, so we were able to quickly order our pick-up items and pick up our self-service pieces.   While heading for the drawer aisle, I noticed a lughvlay, well-fed, scarcely dressed family.  The 10-ish kid and whom I assumed to be his father were wrestling mid-aisle.  Kid kicked dad full force in the knee, so dad retaliated with a roundhouse kick to the kid’s chest.  I gasped.  Seeing he was okay, I hauled ass to get as far away from them as possible.   Mom intervened and the ultimate fighting ceased.

We encountered them again as they stood behind us at checkout.  It turns out dad was really uncle.   I realized this when kid and actual dad got into mini shouting match with mom threatening to smack him for back-talk.  Once kiddo was gone, their conversation returned to more prescient matters:  who wanted ice cream and/or cinnamon buns.

Next came the pick-up/delivery scheduling area.  I plopped my feet up while Dan patiently waited in line behind the biggest jackass.  We’d seen him earlier, when he interrupted us trying to order our Pax system.  He had two carts full of various bed and dresser elements, and wanted them delivered to The Woodlands.   I should mention that the delivery area was packed with the weekend’s haul and the line of future delivery requestors was growing by the second.   As the IKEA clerk tried to verify the item count with him, he refused to help.   He stood piggishly by as she explained the items on his receipt didn’t match the items on his cart.   For delivery, those numbers must match.  Makes sense to me right?   He insisted she was wrong but did nothing to expedite the process other than bitch and moan.  His helpful wife pitched by remaining silent and eating multiple cinnamon buns.

After twenty plus minutes of this nonsense, the IKEA clerk decided it was best to just nod and move on.   Meanwhile, the family from before was right back behind Dan.   Their discussion had progressed.  Now they debated dinner options (fajitas or lasagna) while eating cinnamon buns and bitching loudly about how lazy/dumb/shitty IKEA’s customer service was.   Mind you, the clerk sitting mere feet away could hear everything.  Dan was next in line and I felt things would go much more smoothly when I saw him making her smile  I waddled my way over and assured the clerk she wasn’t to blame for the delay.  She’d had a day and we agreed that IKEA had some serious WT asshole customers.

That’s when Eurodad walked up, screaming, red-faced newborn in hand.  I’d seen him checking out as his catatonic wife remained seated.  This kiddo was miserable, so Eurodad bounced him like a sack of potatoes.  Shockingly, this did not soothe le bebe.  He explained to the clerk it had been 20 minutes since he’d checked out and he needed to go, pointing to his infant.  Here’s an idea: don’t bring your one month old to IKEA during a crazy weekend sale.   I turned to Dan and urged him to smack me if that same idea ever sounded good to me.   If it got to that point, I’d surely have lost my ever-loving mind.

Two hours after our initial arrival, we were out the door.  The crowd had thinned significantly by then.

In hindsight, we should’ve gone much later.  If ever asked how to say “much later” in Swedish, the answer is simple:


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