Today I set forth on an adventure that may result in my losing some of my civil liberties or at the very least have me banned from one of this nations most popular retail sites – I intend to go through Ikea, THE WRONG WAY.
Wish me luck.
It all started on Sunday, with Jodie away this week we tasked ourselves with buying her a new bed, so off to Ikea we set, arrived there at 10am, opening time, and managed to bag a parking space, I was amazed, I found a parking space at Ikea and didn’t even have to drive around the multi-storey car park waiting for the random act of someone else leaving in order to bag a space, its a game I’ve played often, its a game I’ve curtailed often too by driving all the way back home again and not bothering with the cursed Ikea car parking arrangements.
The Ikea in our city is right across the other side of the city, in fact its so far right over the other side of our city that its almost not in our city any more, so to drive over there, drive around their car park for half an hour hoping that someone wants to leave just as you are driving up to their parking spot, and then give up and drive all the way home again, is dispiriting, to say the least.
But Sunday we were there at opening time and bagged almost the last parking spot without having to do the “driving around in circles” routine, and we joined the old people in the endless shuffle around the Ikea warehouse.
An Ikea warehouse feels like its the biggest warehouse in the world mainly because the crafty Swedish store designers are grand masters in taking an average sized warehouse and filling it with endless walkway loops, then ensuring that its almost impossible to veer off the official walkway, thus forcing you to walk at least three miles in order to traverse their warehouse which is no more than 100 yards wide.
Its a masterpiece of planning and there is no truth in the rumour that the official walkway was designed by a chimpanzee scribbling with a red crayon, each of those twists and turns is carefully designed to extract some more yardage from your feet while at the same time giving them another display option with which to prevent you from taking a short cut across the furniture.
And so you join the wibbly-wobbly way behind a group of old ladies who have never bought anything from Ikea at all in their long lives but who are secretly employed by the store in order to deliberately slow down the procession to a slow shuffle, they move along at a snails pace, pointing at things in faux appreciation and you just know that they are undercover shufflers because what sort of old lady keeps a range of stainless steel coffee gadgets and tongs for squeezing garlic in a McCarthy & Stone retirement apartment ?
So we shuffled around Ikea on Sunday for what seemed like an age until eventually we reached the beds, and we found the bed we wanted within nanoseconds, measured it, wrote down its stock number and its warehouse location and then joined the shuffling hordes on the wibbly-wobbly way for the long hike to the warehouse – its only about ten yards away from the bed department but it takes a tortuous route.
And we got the trolley and we found the flat pack bed, loaded up the trolley with the two big flat boxes, and then stopped and thought this through.
“Will it go in the car” said the wife, “have you thought this through properly”
“Yes of course it will go in the car” I replied, “I’ve had an eight foot long piece of wood in the car, just”
“Yes but this is a big flat box” she replied, and she had a point, for with this big flat box in the car there might not be any room for a passenger, or a driver either.
This is the point at which you think “Why did I hand back my company car and think that her Peugeot 107 would meet our every need ?”
So we put the bed back on the warehouse shelf and left.
Today I return with a much bigger car, and today I do not need to do the wibbly-wobbly way walk for today I know exactly what I want and I know exactly where its stored on the warehouse shelf, all I have to do is to walk IN through the EXIT doors, walk the WRONG WAY through the tills and then if security haven’t spotted me by then, dash to the “leave your trolley here” point, nab one against the flow and join the shuffling hordes in the warehouse with an air of innocence and a “I’ve been here for ages” look on my face as the guards come looking for me armed with a grainy printed mug shot of me from the cctv system.
Wish me luck.