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IKEA + Lys = Anxiety Attack

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Wednesday, January 16, 2008

IKEA + Lys = Anxiety Attack

I went to the new IKEA Tuesday night hoping that after the holiday, it wouldn't be as crowded.

That was NOT the case. I guess one should get an instruction manual on what to expect because if I HAD known, I most certainly would have either (a) ordered from the catalog, or (b) went somewhere else.

I'm going to disclose something but, before I do, please make sure that you are sitting down and not drinking something (because I don't want you to, god forbid, choke or spit out whatever you are sippin' on at the monitor).

I can't shop in huge stores.

I know, I know. I'm letting down shopinsitas everywhere. I'm ashamed to say it - but I just can't do big azz Home Depot-esque stores. Nor can I do crowded stores. I'm fond of stores with set aisle patterns, some sense of order and things that make sense.

IKEA does not do any of the above. See - I went in and they gave me a "map". The map did NOTHING to help me - not. at. all. I go up to the showroom and wander and, I have to say, I felt like a rat in a maze trying to find the way out. Round and round and round I went only to find myself back by the futons. And, often when I turned there were college kids hanging out, making out, just in the damn way (who the HELL wants to hang out at IKEA with their friends?? Isn't there a bar that they might want to drink, shoot darts or a game of pool and yap their evening away or was that just what my friends and I did in college?) I got frustrated, flustered and annoyed - which I can easily achieve when I'm uncomfortable.

So I finally find my way out of many of the little rooms and head downstairs and we're back in more mazes. More rats wandering - no sense of direction - people walking the wrong way down aisles, cutting off my little wheelie cart that really doesn't wheelie correctly, confronted with aisles and aisles of stuff - which confused me more. Was it a good buy or a p.o.s? Would it stand up for what I wanted or should I just put it back? Again with the confusion. Again with the frustration. Anger is starting to simmer.

So, I attempt to find a sales clerk because really what I want are these shoe boxes - that's what I came in for. But no matter HOW many times I go through the home organization part, they can't be found. Anywhere. There are things that hang up on curtain rods but no front opening Komplement Shoe Boxes. To top it off, there are no sales clerks to be found on the floor. At. All. None. Nada. Nil. Finally, out of the corner of my eye I spot a yellow shirt - wait - help is coming. Then I hear the annoyed tone from yellow shirt boy as he tells a customer next to me also feeling confused and befuddled "Listen - I don't know where anything in the store is. I don't work at this store normally. You'll have to check". More confusion. More bewilderment. Anger is now reaching a slow boil.

My father tells me "Use the computer". Fine - sure. See my dad is well versed in all things IKEA. He gets it. I don't. He's up north - I'm in Florida - I'm on my own - out of the nest and heading in a downward spiral. I look around confused, bewildered and befuddled. Wait - up there - it's a computer. And as I get there, I'm derailed again as there are more teenagers goofin' off and not leaving the computer. Still no shoeboxes. I'm well past confusion. I'm far from bewildered. The anger is rising to a rapid boil.

I think "Forget this crap!" and get ready to check out - figuring that either they (a) didn't have the shoe boxes or (b) I'm blind, dumb and stupid, but pretty much am counting on (a). I head to the checkout counter which is ablaze with lights thinking "Well I'll ask the checkout person and THEY can point out the boxes or perhaps they can be so kind and bring 'em over - cuz I'm lost" I pretty much was hopeful that they would be nice as the people in Home Depot who are trained to spot the Lil' Blond Girl Lost aka moi. Then I notice something. There are 2 girl on register. 2. That's it. With a store full of people and you got two gals checkin' customers out? Then I see all these register lights that are also lit and notice the sign for "SELF CHECKOUT". Well I obviously can't ask my damn self where the hell the shoe boxes are. I tried that. I didn't know the answer. I don't work at that store and I can't tell myself where anything is. All I need is a yellow shirt and a paycheck and I'm as good as all the other store employees - and I have the matching attitude.

I check out and I should have guessed I went to the wrong girl. Anyone who greets my cart with a labored sigh due to my minimal amount of stuff (teal curtains, 2 stainless bowls, a mortar & pestle and some organizers for my casually strewn about Bon Appetit and Cooking Light Magazines) is an indicator that we're gonna have issues. I'm sorry - was I supposed to self checkout. Whatever. Now the anger is at the boiling point and dammit I want my *#*@*@*#* shoe boxes. Because this is the LAST time I'm coming in this store at all.

When I ask the girl about the shoe boxes and even give her the ITEM NUMBER to see if they have it in the computer, she sighs again. She asks me if I asked a floor person. I tell her the only guy I saw and how his stressed demeanor and rantings that he didn't work at this store and he doesn't know where anything was pretty much discounted him from the helpful category. Another sigh and she picks up the phone - all while scanning my items. Surprise surprise - noone in home organization picks up - he's probably running around like a rat in a cage - like us all. She tries another extension and after talking with someone on the other line with "I have a customer here and she wants Item No. !!!!.!!.!!!! - where is it?", she gets off the phone. She completes the sale and then tells me "You have to go upstairs - it's in one of the displays in the showroom". What. The. @#*@. Are you flippin' serious - you are going to throw me BACK in that hell? Oh hell to the naw. You know my response: "You aren't seriously going to make me go BACK up there and try to find this needle in a haystack?" and she said that was what I had to do. I smiled nicely and said "Well then - let's just get this taken care of because I think I'm done with IKEA. We're breaking up". She shrugged her shoulders and I rang out.

Oh - and the stuff I bought - still in my trunk because after I have a couple aspirin in me from the headache that crap brought on - I'm bringing it all back and telling the manager what is wrong with the IKEA in Orlando - let me count 'em for ya:
Listen - I know it was a big deal that Orlando got an IKEA. I'm sure Buddy Dyer is hoping that rings in a few more votes on January 29th because he's such a good mayor, he brought in IKEA. I just don't get IKEA. If they are like this in Orlando - what does that say for IKEA in, I dunno - Anchorage. I know Reese and Michelle understand IKEA and it baffles me that someone as seasoned in shopping as me has a near anxiety attack while lost in that store with no semblance of direction - not even a kid in a candy shop - more like a kid lost, left alone at the arena with no parent to be found. And I'm still upset about it - and I'm still disappointed. They talked it up like IKEA was like the second coming - this fabu store that would just do wonders for Orlando. What I saw was a store with some nice stuff, some crappy stuff, some junky stuff - and signs for meatballs everywhere. Oh and a Swedish grocery. But what does that really do for me - nothing. And all I wanted were shoe boxes.

I've failed you - my shopping buddies - and for that I'm sorry. I thought I could handle IKEA and clearly I couldn't. But I did redeem myself. As I had exactly 22 minutes left - I shot over to Millenia because dammit, I needed good shopping mojo. A quick fondle of the Louboutin and Chanel shoes at Neimans and a quick run through Williams Sonoma and all was right with the world.

Well, until I have to brave IKEA tomorrow to return everything. Lesson learned. Lys + IKEA = NON-MIXY THINGS!

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Posted by Lys :: 12:01 AM :: 2 comments

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