Now, I don't want to turn this blog into one long rant, particularly not one long rant about kitchens. But my recent experience at Ikea leaves me with no option, I simply must share the comedy of errors that could only be described as shambolic! .
So,having decided that Ikea was the simplest, cheapest and, well cheapest option we embarked on the kitchen purchasing mission. We were well prepared (THIS TIME), having already lost many hours of our lives to the big blue monstrosity (hours we will NEVER get back) perusing, measuring, opening and closing cupboards, debating the merits of shiny modern versus traditional, watching incredulously as whole families argued their way around the store and treated themselves to a hot dog meal at the end. So we were optimistic about how long it would take, the boy thought one hour (delusional) I thought 2 max.
At 6.45pm having had one last look at the kitchen of choice we set too finalising our plan (be aware that this had already been gone through by 2 of Ikea's "Ask me for advice about fitting your kitchen" T-shirt wearers). And yet, still we had end panels of a different model and draw fronts an entirely different colour. Not to worry, stay calm.
One small question "how do we get a door only, without the frame". Oh, my, dear, lord, was that a mistake. To say our helper was not the sharpest tool in the box really doesn't do it justice. "No, we don't need a fridge, no definitely not a washing machine, no, no not an integrated dishwasher.." Sweet as he was I knew very quickly that this man was only set to hinder, not help. 20 minutes later we managed to loose him, onto the next grunting assistant, he knew the answer but crikey did he begrudge sharing it!
1 hour gone and we are ready to buy.... we asked misery boy to help us but, no, please no, he refers us back to the original simpleton. This could only mean 1 thing... a slow, painful, agonizing process as he re-loaded 1 by 1 every item we needed into his system. By the time we had circled the store and gathered every accessory needed he was just about finishing. Time to check it through... and then... after going through, line, by line, he lost the order.. it all disappeared. By now the boy was ready to explode and took refuge in 'Office storage', I decided the only method that would work a calm, patient approach and my finest sympathetic voice. I went through item by painstaking item (I am now fluent in Ikea), correcting every one of his many mistakes. 2 hours gone.
Time to pay.... Fantastically Ikea are giving a gift voucher with every purchase over £1000. Genius... or not. They don't actually know how to process said voucher in kitchens. Simpleton seeks help from his manager... clueless. He calls downstairs, we wait, and wait and wait. We process once.. nope, wrong... try again, still no. In the end angry lady from downstairs storms upstairs to sort it out. 3 hours gone. (Please note I am still being patient). Even dumb and dumber are beginning to realise that this is somewhat unacceptable and so give us vouchers for a free meal. The boy is genuinely excited about free meat balls. "thanks, is the restaurant still open". "No, it closed at 9" "Oh, so I can't use the vouchers then". "No".
3 hours gone.
It is now so late we receive an escort back of house to the tills to pay. In order to arrange delivery, we have to wait for the items to be picked and then queue at the delivery centre. Comedy genius at picking informs me it will be at least half an hour. He gives me a coffee voucher for my trouble. "Oh thanks, can I use this down here?" "no, it's for the restaurant" "But the restaurant closed at 9", "yup" "So I can't use it then?" "No".
Half an hour later, items are picked, time to be checked. Picker informs me he can't check, manager has to. Manager walks past..."Mike can you check these for this customer?", "No, I have finished, I aren't doing any more" walks off. "Mike, you have to", "No I don't". And so it was I found myself on the floor of Ikea at 10.30pm going through each item, 1 by 1, checking each code against my order (There were approx 60 items). The only saving grace, the lovely picker man who went way beyond the call of duty to show us his method and help us with the checking. Finally at 11pm, job done. We celebrate, with an Ikea hotdog. Happy day!