I am one of those rare newbees to the IKEA world, and probably one of few Winnipeggers to not make it there before the New Year. I have also never been to an IKEA anywhere else. I have heard some glory and horror stories, and I’ve heard of the Swedish meatballs. What I hadn’t heard about was some of the meatballs that run the place.
In all fairness this is a newer establishment in the city and one that must employ hundreds of staff members, whom are easy to spot in their bright yellow and blue uniforms. What you should know is that though the staff is there to point and herd you down the isles and help you locate the item you are looking for, they are not there to help beyond that…”because normally people come with someone.”
Maybe it was just a rookie IKEA mistake on my part, but I made the bold decision of going to pick up 64 vases for my fundraising event, solo. I guess I assumed that because people would go there to pick up entire living rooms and bedroom suites, that they must have a cart or something to move 64 vases from the showroom to the loading zone…never assume.
I walked up to the glass decor section and began moving around vases to try and get a palette to place mine on. When I finally unloaded the palette and placed it on my cart, I realized that it was too long to sit on the flatbed carts. I again assumed that IKEA would have a similar set up to the large orange Costco carts that fit just about anything on them. Did I mention never assume yet?
I flagged someone down and asked if they had bigger carts. “No, sorry you may have to make some trips.” To which I replied, “ohh really, but I just came by myself.” “oh is this for a wedding? Because most people come with someone for things like that.” No actually it is for a fundraiser, you know? Those events where you do something nice for someone else?
The second person I asked for help said that glass decor wasn’t their department. Great.
The third time was somewhat the charm, for this phase anyways. Tammy, whoever you are at IKEA, you deserve something. A promotion, a raise, employee of the month, something. When I asked Tammy for help she went and got some smaller palettes from other sections that would fit on the dinky carts they provide. She helped me stack and load 5 palettes of vases onto my crap cart for 15-20 minutes. What a gem.
I dragged the shitty, heavy cart through the rest of the maze, desperately trying to avoid toddler casualties. When I got to the check out the lovely gentleman behind me (who did not work for IKEA, just a helpful customer) helped me lift the palettes so that the cashier could count them all. When I finally paid her I asked if I could leave my cart behind her til in the empty lane while I walked 2km to parking lot E5 to grab my car and move it into the loading zone. “umm well actually no, you’ll have to just wheel it outside and try and find a guy out there to help you.” Fabulous, thanks.
I wheeled the cart outside, holding my breath as the cart got stuck in the snow and sand and the stupid vases clanked together. No one working in loading. Great.
I wheeled my cart back inside and flagged down what looked like a manager. I asked with a snippiness in my tone for her to please watch my cart for two minutes, because I didn’t come with someone, I wasn’t told that was a requirement to shop and IKEA, and that no one was working outside to help me. She said, “I can try and keep an eye on it.” Okay well that is the closest thing I will ever get to a yes out of these people.
I ran to the car before she could try and change her mind, and I loaded the 64 vases broken into 5 palettes into my car, solo.
Why am I sharing this story? I want to save everyone the humiliation and shame you should feel for ever considering shopping alone. HA!