I felt like I was on a really bad reality show.
BROOKLYN, NEW YORK -- The post-traumatic stress was not worth the low prices.
Recently moving to Manhattan from the West Coast, I needed to furnish my apartment, and was thrilled to learn about the free water taxi on the weekend to Ikea Brooklyn. Not having been to Ikea in years, I didn't realize my joy would stop there.
I roamed through the store writing down the silly Swedish furniture I wanted to purchase. When I asked a sales associate how I get the big ticket items, he told me that they would print me out a paper and I was to give that to the cashier. With this information, I filled up a cart with smaller items, breezed through the Self-Service section thinking that was for people who wanted their furniture today, and cruised to the checkout line. When I gave the women my print-outs from the sofa and bedding section, she looked at me like I was crazy. She told me I needed to load these items onto a cart and physically push them through the checkout line, and then proceed to Home Delivery. That is when I looked at her like she was crazy. This woman expected me, a small 22 year, plus one female friend to lift a queen mattress, a queen MDF bed platform AND a sofa? Yup, as confirmed by another employee, she did.
SO, I pay for my items in the cart, leave them stranded with my friend, and go back to the Self Service section, and TRIED to recruit an Ikea team member to help me. I found one, and they radioed on what obviously must have been a toy radio because it did not work to another employee to help me. I was instructed to wait in the aisle, and they would come immediately come to assist me pull the huge furniture on to the small cart. Well, Ikea's socialist politics must obviously transcend boundaries because at Ikea we are all equal. Nobody came to help me. Nobody. I was so pathetic trying to pull the mattress that New Yorkers took pity on me. After having help getting the mattress and bed platform on the cart, I pushed the cart (I must have run over a couple of children in the process because the lack of visibility pushing this thing was absurd) to the checkout line, and left it with my friend to push through the line as I got the sofa on a second cart.
I tried the "customer service" method again, which did not work, again, to get the sofa. I waited for more kind hearted civilians to help me, but this time I was out of luck. Then, magically, MAGICALLY, I just happened to see the exact sofa I wanted on a cart and completely abandoned in an aisle. Out of desperation I took the cart. I apologize to whomever's cart/sofa I stole. It was wrong. I'm sure the sofa will be a giant form of bad karma sitting in my living room. At this point, I thought my luck was going to change. No.
I return to my friend in line with my bed and the cart is broken stuck in the middle of the checkout line. Nobody is helping. People are obviously annoyed that this is blocking two checkout lines. The woman at the register is telling my friend that she needs to get the bed off the cart and get another cart, and THEN push it through the line. Seriously. This is when I threw a fit. After a number of f-bombs and other words I shouldn't have said in front of small children, one female employee came to help us push the bed. (Thank you whoever you are.)
Eventually, we made it through the checkout line and to the Home Delivery department, where we were promised I could ship everything (including the small items I bought the first time through the line) for the 99 dollars. When I asked the man here to ship my dishes, glasses and coffee press, he came back with a box and said, "Here." Bubble wrap? Nope. Packing peanuts? Nope. Just put it in the box and cross your fingers that it makes it home in one piece. Needless to say, I ended up lugging my 20 dollar dishes and cheap glasses on the water taxi. After all the sweat equity I put into that, they are now my fine China and crystal stemware.
Fast forward a week later: The eve of my delivery. I was supposed to receive an phone call the day before to confirm a delivery time, which I did not. I call Ikea's contracted shippers, and they don't have my record in the computer. They transfer me to their warehouse. Nothing. They transfer me back to the movers. Nothing. They'll call me later. They do, and the woman prefaces the conversation with, "Well, there are two problems." Problem 1: The weather. It is supposed to snow the next day around 2:00 (true), and this is problematic for delivery. I can see that. Problem 2: We can't find your order in the warehouse (AKA the real problem). She further says even if they do find the order tonight there is no way in hell they could get it on a truck tonight. She assures me that they could definitely get me the order the day after POST the six inches of snow that is supposed to fall. Yeah right. I freak out...badly. Throughout the majority of my freak-out the woman is adamant that there is no way I will get my order. After complaining, and complaining, and complaining, the lady finally says she'll see what she can do. She calls me 15 minutes later, and MAGIC, she found the order and it's on a truck and it'll be there in the morning.
Moral of the story (if anyone is still reading this rant), no Ikea. No Saab. No H&M. No Swedish meatballs. Nothing. Just don't do it. It's not worth the pain and suffering no matter how low the prices are or how clever the storage solutions are.