I have many things to get done this weekend. One of them is to buy a bookshelf. I decided to drive down to IKEA. My friend tagged along as well.
It's the weekend, so we weren't surprised to see heaps of people milling around in the store. From previous experience I knew that in IKEA if you are looking for something specific there's a good chance you are not going to find it straight away. They have the knack of making you walk through aisles of retail forest with stuff that scream out 'I am on sale! Buy me!'. You are forced to drift around with the tide of people turning left and right until the sense of direction is lost and you feel like you are in a maze. People around me (mostly ladies and ara-tickets (kids)) were just ambling along, scanning displays/stuff - they didn't appear to be looking for anything particular. Just checking out stuff, anything and everything which was labelled 'On Sale' or 'Buy me!'.
However, we were men on a mission. We are here to buy a bookshelf and we are not looking for other stuff. We reached the aisle of bookshelves. We found a display of the model that I wanted. I had a huge decision to make on the choice of colour - woody brown, charcoal, blue or white. That's a lot of colour options for a bookshelf. I was pondering a bit. My mate was shocked that I am *actually* spending a few seconds to decide on the colour. "Sriramaa, its just a freakin bookshelf!". "Alright, Alright". I took a pick. This achieved, we had to find our way to the warehouse end of the maze to find the pre-packed bookshelf. The warehouse had racks that almost touched the clouds. We somehow managed to track down the rack which had the pre-packed bookshelf. I also realised the package was big enough to carry home if we are driving a Ute or a trailer. Our Mazda6 wont do it. So, home delivery it is!
With the bookshelf model number in hand, we gouged our way to the counter with the big sign saying 'Home Delivery'. There was a Middle-Eastern looking, middle-aged guy at the counter.
"Hi. I'd like buy this bookshelf and I want it home-delivered. This is the model #". I handed out the model # chit.
He looked behind us as if searching for something. "Where is it?"
"Whatever you want to buy"
"Um..its in the back. At the warehouse."
He gave a muted laugh, waving his hand and nodding his head "No no no. It doesn't work like that. You have to bring to us"
"Err. It's here...in your warehouse. It's in your store"
"That is right. You have to bring it from the warehouse to there". He pointed in the direction of checkout counter.
"...and what do you do?"
"We home deliver". He said with a beaming smile.
I paused. My friend chuckled.
"you see, all you gotta do is to transfer the bookshelf from the warehouse and put it on a truck. After all, that's what home delivery is for. Right?"
In a stern, matter-of-fact tone, "For delivery, you have to bring your item to the front counter. That's the company policy" he said, pointing at a poster on the wall.
I am glad my Uncle or my colleague wasn't there with me. They would've lashed out the "you can shove it..." phrase and stormed out of the door. This convo tested my usually-calm temperament as well. This is like going to a restaurant and the chef says if you bring all the raw materials, I'll cook a meal for you. It doesn't make sense to me.
I took the pragmatic approach and decided, for now, to accept the harsh truth. There's no point throwing a tantrum. Like I said before, I am on a mission. I want to get things done.
So, we re-enter the maze with a trolley making our way past hordes of people. We located the towering rack again and loaded the ~80kg package on the rickety trolley. The pack was kinda big. The wheels of the trolley made a 'queeek queeek' noise as we careered along the aisles. My friend was in the front waving people to make way. Thank God he came along. I crashed into the steel storage rack once (no damage to anything) and narrowly missed piles of merchandise.
We reached the loooooong queue. It was almost the peak-hour of the day. The line we were standing in had women in varying stages of pregnancy. With the glacial rate at which the queue was moving, at least few of them would've delivered before they had a chance to pay for their purchases.
I also observed the idea of making people walk through almost always works. Most people in the queue had trolleys loaded big, bulky, brassy stuff - most of them were 'on sale' items. Some of things in their trolley were useful, most things they probably would not need or never use. At one stage, it almost looked like a competition of who arrives at the checkout with the biggest pile of stuff.
I paid for the bookshelf. The bookshelf was delivered in the evening. Armed with a screw driver and a craft knife, I rip opened the packaging. It's the wrong colour bookshelf. I chose charcoal, they've given me the woody colour. Hmph :)
No. I don't wanna go back. It's just not worth it. I am happy at least they delivered the correct-model-wrong-colour bookshelf instead of a sparkling white wash basin or something.
Kashtam! No wonder we are called Kashtamers. IKEA - Indha Kadaiya Ezhuthu Ada ! :D