Fun at the IKEA Corral

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Fun at the IKEA Corral

Mmmm… Mmmmm… Mooo!

We were at IKEA. The cows were all pushing ahead down a narrow hall, surrounded by household products by the thousands, unable to veer either left or right. Some wanted to go slower, some faster. The slower ones kept the faster ones from getting to where they wanted to go, in our case, the cashier.

We thought, that by arriving early (a half-hour after store opening) on a weekday, we would be pretty much alone. I don’t know whether it was the semi-rainy weather or the construction holiday, unique to Quebec, when construction workers all take their vacation at the same time, but the place was full at 10:30 a.m. The cows were strolling down the halls checking out the merchandise leaving quicker walkers like my wife and I very frustrated.

Kids seem to love IKEA, at least the ones I saw, while the little infants were either crying or sleeping. The young ones were running around with smiles on their faces while their parents tried to keep them out of trouble. I guess going to IKEA for them is a little like going to an amusement park.

Some of the babies looked as if they were just days out of the womb. Oh, I know, as soon as mommy is ready to leave the hospital, she doesn’t go home, she tells her hubby, “Get in the car, we’re off to IKEA.”

There were an awful lot of strollers at IKEA this morning, strollers and babies in slings. Daddy looks kinda cute with a little one tucked under his chin, fast asleep in a sling.

But we didn’t have time to look; we were off to the kitchen planning department to purchase the kitchen cabinets we had carefully and painstakingly chosen at IKEA’s famous kitchen planning website. However, once settled at the terminal and without my wife’s contractor son to help us, we were like straying cows without a shepherd. And the technical personnel were few and far between. Corral one for an important point (in our case adding a cabinet to our array of choices) and his impatience was palpable. They are not really there to help in the design work but only at the point when you’re ready to purchase.

Had we known to what degree they prepare the purchase and take care of the myriad of tiny yet important points, we could have gone to one straightaway for him to tweak the design to perfection. But we were never told, upon arrival, that that’s what they do, and so we both ended up staring with confusion and frustration at a computer screen wondering if we should give up altogether and come back with Jeremy, Esther’s son, and finish the job with him.

And then there was the store-wide siren to deal with. When it finally went off too-many minutes later, the whole store applauded. We sighed in relief; our attempts to get answers by ourselves were frustrating enough and moreover, I had forgotten my computer glasses at home. “Your eyes are all bloodshot,” my wife told me. “Er, yes,” I said, “I suppose they are.”

But all’s well that ends well. We got word from the technician who would eventually deal with our purchase that we didn’t have to do it all ourselves and with a little patience (and a chocolate bar I wisely ran to buy at the cafeteria when Esther hinted that she was starving, a state, with her widely-fluctuating blood-sugar levels, that neither of us ever wish to go through) we finally had our session opened at the technician’s terminal for the long and detailed-heavy process of getting everything right. When the ordeal was finally over and we were ready to enter the cow-lines again and the endless walk to the cashier, we high-fived ourselves.

“We did it!” we both said simultaneously.

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