Wednesday, December 20, 2006

IKEA - it's Swedish for divorce!

My house looks like a flatpak factory exploded, every vertical surface has a wafer of brown cardboard leant against it, the fold-out couch (from IKEA) is loaded with boxes, all bearing that familiar logo (actually the outdoor setting is from another company - but lets keep it simple).
The reason that our place looks like a satellite storage facility, is a pretty obvious sold or gave away half of our belongings when we moved to Australia, we didn't know when we would be returning. Now we are going home and there are some things we need, furniture in NZ is expensive, the Auckland IKEA doesn't open until 2008 and we would prefer to spend more on important things (jewellery and champagne) and less on kids bedroom furniture.

But seriously, Flash has insisted that I purchase my home office setup, so that I have things almost exactly as they are in my dreams (except they are from IKEA), the office has white walls and pale blue carpet, so I am going with white and natural wood (I think they call it "birch"), loads of shelves and cupboards, a cutting table, and a desk which the two of us will share, and lovely curtain fabric in shades of beige, chocolate and pale blue. I keep daydreaming of finally having space to keep my sewing machine and overlocker on a bench available when I need them, of being able to find the embroidery threads without upending the button boxes, and of stacking my yarns in a visually appealing manner - ready to go at a moments notice, instead of being packed into plastic boxes and forgotten. Anyway - enough daydreaming, back to the point.

We arrived at IKEA early, to avoid the queues, and with a list which we had compiled using the website and catalogue, we eagerly marked the location of each item and even took time out for a coffee and a shared "Dime" slice at the cafe (mmm - Dime)so secure were we in our ability to complete our mission without incident. The warehouse floor was confusion, but we held hands and managed to find almost all of our list, but dammit! the glass doors for the "Billy" shelf units had sold out...won't be in until monday or tuesday, bollocks, and that metal DVD cabinet - it's on the slow boat from Scandinavia, it will be 4-6 weeks. We leave in 2 weeks people! Finally I resign myself to lining up at the checkout, with Flash promising to take a lunchtime trip on tuesday to get the doors.

Tuesday arrives, but the doors don't, seems they are on that slow boat dreams lie in tatters, those doors pulled the whole room together, without them I am bereft.
For a minute or 2, then I ask Flash if he could go back and pick up some other doors, the ones you decorate yourself with paper or fabric, they sound good, I can use some of the curtain fabric, yay we're back on track!
Flash emails his brother, since he works near IKEA they may as well meet for lunch, his brother replies and suggests that he could "pick the stuff up from IKEA" for Flash, so that they get a longer lunch together, to which Flash replies, and copies me in on the email:

Great Idea - thanks for offering to pick something up from Rhodes for me... but obviously you have never been to IKEA !

1. thread your way round the entire place which is the size of a football field, and designed so you can't cheat - you have to follow their track. (while your wife sings the IKEA song to herself, and you know you won't get that bloody song out of your head for a week)

2. go to the Warehouse area and pick the product yourself …it will be out of stock

3. join a queue to talk to a staff member

4. who will look at you blankly while you try to pronounce a Swedish word which sounds something like “skanky ho” and won’t know anything - just paid to show up and wear the yellow uniform.

5. Once you've shown them how to use their computer to look up the product you'll have to thread your way BACK to the display area to see what their proposed replacement for the out of stock item looks like.

6. Ironically - the area you have to go to will be just past "kiddie land" so you are now limping because some stupid bitch ran you over with her "Bugaboo space station"(tm).You will get to the display and see that the recommended replacement is fugly but you will see something else that looks better

7. limp all the way to the fecking warehouse to see if they've got it but you would have forgotten the "location coordinates"

8. So - you'll limp over to a staff member - show them how to use a computer and find its out of stock !

9. GO back to step 5.

10. repeat this process several times (avoiding the married couples who are also repeating the process and speaking to each other in low and measured tones)

now it is wednesday, apparently I will get my doors tomorrow, then I will have 4 more little flatpaks to find stacking space for, I'm thinking of building myself a little fort and cuddling up inside it with some pillows and blankets - to hide from the inventory lists, the interminable cleaning and organising - so that I can spend 10 minutes dreaming about the fun we are going to have in the new house with the kids, the cats, the garden...and the sounds of Flash swearing because he has lost the bloody alun key!

There has been knitting, it is looking quite good, I will reveal all in time