Sunday, 20 January 2008

Waiting at the End of the Universe

Please take a ticket and wait your turn. A number is called: three hundred and five please come to desk 4. My ticket says 333, issued at 5.40.

3 people behind the counter. Takes approximately 10 minutes to deal with each person trying to return items. Then there are five minutes in between to get the goods out back. This is an uncared-for part of the warehouse store, all the glamour and lighting kept to the bits where they are trying to pursuade you to purchase something. Here are hard benches, unflattering lighting with nothing to look at. Returners sit with their heads in their hands, unwanted, damaged, broken goods loaded on trolleys.

By 6.30 we are onto number 325. The last couple of people have been at the counters for 15 minutes. The 3rd staff member has wandered off. There seems to be an inverse proportion between the length of time it takes to serve someone and the closeness of your number.

My advice is this: make your choices carefully in Ikea. Do not go in there and buy on whims, don't buy on the spur of the moment. You do not want to have to return anything.

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