Friday, 5 November 2010
The first part always lures me into a false sense of joy because I will be eating Very Cheap Meatballs with lovely gravy, chips and some sort of jam on the side. That's all I really want from life generally. So with stomach full, I go to pick up the one wardrobe that I have already chosen from the catalogue in the comfort of my own home.
I just need one thing.
But hang on, there's a cuddly scorpion that's only 39p, so I'd better get 5. And something which makes my cupboards seem bigger. And a set of wine glasses. And a watering can. And, and...
OK, now I really do have everything I need, I just need to get to the bit where the flatpacks are kept. But there is a couple walking in front of me veerryyy slowly with a wide trolly and wider bottoms. I will have to stay behind them at their pace until I get to a junction because the path is very narrow and my only alternative is to clamber over the fitted kitchen. They are very slow. They are very wide.
Eventually I duck past but am soon met by another obstacle. A fueding couple who are blocking my path by holding oversized soft furnishings. "I don't want to make a SCENE David." "I'm not making a scene, I just don't think those will go with the curtains, and I don't think you really see the seriousness of that."
I would love to stay and see how this develops but I want to GET OUT but I am on a seemingly never-ending winding narrow path peopled by wide couples or arguing couples or other people blocking me in equally inconsiderate ways.
And I still haven't seen my wardrobe even though I've been through 3 wardrobe sections (or have I been to the same wardrobe section 3 times?).
I decide to ask a member of staff for help. There are none. I continue to search and eventually approach someone.
Me: Hi, I wonder if you can help me?
Employee (without looking up): Yeah?
Me: I'm looking for the Bonky Wardrobe.
Employee: You'll need to check the catalogue.
Me: Great, where can I find a catalogue?
Employee: On that stand over there.
Me: Ah, I did just check there, there aren't any.
Employee: That one over there then.
Me: Oops, none there either!
Employee: Sorry, can't help then.
Undeterred I continue to wind my way around the endless pathway until I locate the Bonky Suite, and copy down the corresponding code to find the flatpack. I can now get to the flatpack bit, but I have been here for 15 hours so my energy is beginning to flag, plus I have been carrying 35 unneccessary essentials with me for the entire duration.
I locate the flatpack I need and am physically unable to move it at all.
I ask for help and a kind employee takes it to the till. I pay and hand over my loyalty card which is scanned.
Me: This doesn't seem to have made any difference to my bill.
Cashier: No, it just gives you a free cup of tea in the canteen you were in 15 hours ago.
The employee helps me to wheel the flat packs to my car, taking me past the returns area. The facial expressions and body language of the people there make it resemble a waiting room for a doctors' surgery where there is only one doctor who is only in on an unspecified day and you are not allowed to know which one.
The flat pack will not fit in my car.
There is one thing (except the meatballs, and the joy of assembling the furniture once it's home) that redeems this company. That thing is Anna. Try saying these things to her: 'You are pretty.' 'Will you go out with me?' 'Are you married?' I love the way she becomes so anxious - it's OK, I'm not really interested in you, you're a picture! And I love the way she pronounces Ikea! If you can make her say anything else amusing, do let me know.
Oddbabble: Can't tell her Bonky from her Shlonky.