The White Cottage

MY DAYS IN RETIREMENT

Oh God, Start The Car!! Let’s Go Home!!

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So! Went to Ikea this morning. That was fun!! Thought we were being smart and left the house early; arrived at the Burlington store by 10:00 AM on the nose (their opening time). We were naively surprised when we arrived and the parking lot was already full. Didn’t see that coming!! Oh well, not to worry, as Nat dropped me off at the front door and then headed to the back forty to find a spot. When we met up in the foyer of the store we were off and running despite the fact we had to dodge women, children, baby buggies, Dads and a few other Seniors thinking we were all going to beat the rush!!

As we meandered throughout the different departments – home furnishings, kitchens, offices, bedrooms and the like – we only stopped a couple of times to check out one or two new items. One other thing caught my eye – a sale sign for the Billy bookcase which I remembered Bonnie had been looking at when we were there last. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I spotted the sign – $69.00 crossed out and in red pen, $29.00!!  It was too good to be true and I had to double-check with one of the store clerks I grabbed. “”Is this right?” I asked. “Yes, but for one day only”, she replied. I grabbed the cell phone from Nat and called Bonnie. We were in the right place at the right time, had the van and could pop a couple of those puppies in the back for her!!! I knew in my heart of hearts she’d appreciate this kind of sale. How could you loose, right?? My memory had tricked me – yes, she had been looking at those bookcases, but no longer needed them. I had forgotten she wanted them while living in a previous home but since her move she had found another solution. She thanked me for remembering and Nat and I were soon on our merry way again.

Our main objective for going to Ikea this very day (aside from getting out of the bloody house) was to buy a couple of cabinets for Nat’s garage. We were so pleased with the two we installed in our little laundry room area, that Nat felt they’d be perfect for his workshop. We made our way through the rest of the store, again dodging baby buggies, small whining children, Moms, Dads, teenagers and other seniors, and finally down to the warehouse area. I had made note of the name of the cabinets and after asking a clerk in the kitchen department, we soon had our orders in hand and were off with our carts to pick up our supplies. There was only one item (the doors for the cabinets) that we would have to pick up at Ikea’s other warehouse and because of construction on the road leading to such warehouse, we’d have to get there via Ikea’s new designated detour route. They supplied a little map and instructions on how to get there, which all seemed to be relatively easy. We found the rest of our order without too much trouble and headed over to the check-out. This is where we came to a slow halt, very quickly. The lines were unreal; one self check-out was shut, but all other cash registers were opened and everyone in line had carts and trollies piled high with all kinds of boxes, doodads, knick-knacks and everything else they could find on sale. With a little patience, we managed to get through the line to the check-out and were soon headed over to that “other” warehouse.

It always stands to reason that whenever Nat and I have to head into unfamiliar territory there’s usually a problelm. I pretty much knew where we were headed, but with a few doubts and a double check of the map we sorted things out and found the warehouse in just over the 10 minutes Ikea said it would take. With road construction blocking the main route to this warehouse the detour took us down Plains Road, over to Waterdown Road, across the highway, the railway tracks to the North Service Road and then back up to King’s Road where that big blue and yellow sign was spotted on the side of another big concrete building.

Thinking this wouldn’t take too long, I sat in the car while Nat went to pick up the last of our purchases. With only one or two people ahead of him, I kept wondering why it was taking him so long. I walked into the entrance area and promptly saw Nat, with elbows rested on the counter, a scowl on his face and those infamous words coming out of his mouth “they don’t have any left!! Despite the fact that the computer inventory told the clerk they had 26 in stock, not one could be found. They checked twice and no one could find where those doors were hiding. We’d have to go back to the main store and get our money back. I couldn’t begin to describe the frustrated look on Nat’s face. It was bad enough that Ikea makes you go to their other warehouse now to pick up an item that (to our reasoning) should have been stored in the main warehouse next to the cabinets they belonged to. Whatever Management was thinking made no sense to us, but the deed was done and we had to retrace our steps back to the main store.

What were the odds, when arriving back at the main store, the Returns and Exchanges department was obviously short-staffed with another line to get behind. Once we made it to the front of the line Nat was now furious. He was ready to return everything we had loaded into the van. He handed over our request, stated our case and expressed his disappointment in this whole affair. The clerk sympathized and stated that the computer should have shown zero inventory for those doors. This wasn’t exactly helping us now – we’d already done the round trip to the other warehouse – and as we really needed those two doors, we didn’t want to get our money back only because we’d have to return to pick them up (with no guarantees there’d be any left when we returned the second time) and, coming from the Fort Erie area, it was going to be a bit of an inconvenience. Noting our dilemma, the clerk called over a Manager who, hopefully, could solve our problem.

The Manager heard our story and after what seemed like an eternity of researching our options on their computer system, she returned with the following solution. The whole affair would be resolved by Ikea refunding the money for the doors with a gift card; they would keep the gift card, order the new doors and upon arrival, pay for the doors with that gift card and then ship the doors off to us. The whole affair was finally complete and with grumbling stomachs (it was now 1:00 PM) we headed down the highway to grab a bite to eat at The Gateway in Grimsby and then head for home. Tired and frustrated we made it home by mid-afternoon wherein there was a message waiting for us from Ikea informing us the doors had been ordered and would be shipped within the next week.

Playing Devil’s advocate throughout this whole affair and trying to keep Nat’s blood pressure from rising, I tried to reason that this secondary warehouse was obviously there for a purpose – perhaps it was for overflow especially now that Ikea sells appliances. Why we had to get a full refund and then try to buy the doors at a later date, was even beyond me. What was the problem in just sending the doors to us when they came in? Question asked, but not answered! Somehow my reasoning wasn’t going over so well. Nat was tired and frustrated and with shopping not exactly being his favourite hobby, glad to have the whole process over with. Me too!!

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Author: Twila

Born and raised in a small town in Ontario, Canada, with 5 sisters and a brother. Now retired, my husband and I travel, play golf and am slowly renovating our new (old) home. After my kidney transplant in 1999, we've learned to enjoy life to the fullest. Nat and I have driven across Canada, taken an Alaskan cruise and drove home via the Northern United States. We've also been to Mexico, the Caribbean, the East Coast of Canada and Cape Breton. We've done the "Snowbird" thing, having lived in Destin, Florida for a couple of months of the year. In 2007 we changed our travel plans in order to move into and renovate our new "old" home, but hope to someday get back on the road again. We also love returning to Scotland (Nat's origin of birth) to visit his family and tour the Highlands and surrounding Isles.

2 thoughts on “Oh God, Start The Car!! Let’s Go Home!!

  1. I once spent seven hours in Ikea, soaking up the winding walkways and myriad of cool stuff. I loved it. My teenagers, in memory of the marathonic shopping expedition have an inexplicable reaction to the word Ikea. They drop to the floor, clutch their body’s in a fetal position, rapidly rock backwards and forwards and start chanting “please don’t remind me; please stop talking.”

    Ikea is not a shopping experience but a warehouse of mental torture.

    • Amen, Sister!! I love the place, too, but hubby has this aversion to all things shopping, especially Ikea!! If it wasn’t for the cabinetry he wanted, I’m sure we would have been wandering around Home Depot. Now there’s a shopping experience every woman loves!!

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