Did you know, after months of research, the only place in Sydney, conveniently located, to buy a decent wardrobe, is IKEA aka i-ckier?
IKEA / i-ckier have shut all their Sydney stores except Rhodes - and what an experience that is!!
The distance around the store is one and a half kilometres, if you survive!
The 80s music, the stench of the plastic, the hardboard, the MDF, the chipboard, the melamine plus the pungent odour, the residue of the chemicals Australian customs must surely have sprayed on and over every item is, to put it mildly, TOXIC.
The staff are invisible or robotic.
Those you see all look unhappy, breathing in the crap that permeats the place, with the too loud disco music ruining their eardrums. One employee told us 'they have complained about the music but nothing is done, they get to the stage where they don't hear it, she thinks that's why the staff get tired later in the day.' We watched as these people unwittingly readied themselves for an early grave working in this hell hole.
By the time you're half way through the trek, eyes are watering, there's a dryness, a weird taste in your mouth as well as a tickle, a catch at the back of your throat ... I lost count of the people I heard sneeze, of the amount of times I thought 'Bless You.'
After you select your purchase you have to locate someone to computerise your order. They give you a print out and direct you to a warehouse as tall as a five story building, where you're to collect your chosen pieces. If you're patient and lucky you'll find someone to lug your goods onto a trolley ... a trolley surely related to the supermarket kind with a mind of it's own that moves only in the direction of its choice.
You queue at the checkout where you're ordered to lift the smaller items onto the rolling checkout watching bewildered as the checkout person leaves the checkout and scans the items too heavy to lift ... like ... WHY couldn't everything be scanned this way!
A sanity check is now in order as we look at each other, with furrowed brows, is it US or THEM!!
After parting with your cash you're directed to a counter to organise delivery.
IKEA has now got you !!!
They've got your money, your items will not fit into anything less than a semi trailer ... and there's 12 people in front of you with one, yes one, guy taking the delivery bookings!!!
I asked a passing employee is it possible to get someone else on the counter, she replies ...
Oh IKEA don't handle the deliveries, they're done by a private contractor ...
Being the demure little thing I am ... I go to the counter, as the frazzled guy looks up, in my bestest, silken honey tone, I ask 'is there someone else who could come and work one of the other work stations' ... he tells me 'There's only me, but there's two managers out the back!'
Sweet as apple pie I ask if I could speak to one ...
... and he appears ... I ask if he is able to work the counter, gesture back at the queue and he asks me to move forward ...
Not on ya nelly Buster I wanted to say - and what, be trampled by the horde behind me!
The guy opens another station, the crowd unanimously breathe a sigh of relief, the queue moves.
My companion shopper has, by this time, filled in a complaint form and as she goes to place it in the "feedback box" she finds it is jammed, chock a block full of written complaint / feedback forms. She wonders why she has paid so much for a wardrobe ... but, it is essential ... to add insult to injury the delivery fee is $110.00.
After 4 hours and 45 minutes in god forsaken IKEA, we leave ... and I remember I'd forgotten to take a photo for Photo Hunt.
Ta Daaaa ... I see the above on a wall - wooden IKEA / i-ckier pencils - Mmmm OK, I can use that ... as I aim the digi camera I hear a voice behind me 'Excuse me you can't take photo's in here' ... I was over it.