No African safari, no trip to Antarctica. No climbing a mountain. I was going for the extreme adventure today. I went to Ikea.
For those who have heard from those who have braved Ikea during the pandemic, you might have heard that the overall store is indeed open, but if you are going for Click and Collect, you were apparently taking your life into your hands. Reports over the last few months have been that it ranged from an outright sh**-show to chaos made real.
But I’m working on my dream office setup, the desktops came from Ikea originally, I finally found the leg / bases I wanted in another part of the website (spoiler alert: they were NOT listed with “legs”). I already had two desks set up, one with the proper base I like (an inverted I so that the leg is basically in the middle of the side of the desk rather than a leg out at the front to whack my knee on) and one with four annoying legs. I have another use for those, but I had a top with no legs at all, so I splurged and bought two sets of the legs I want.
I ordered them online late last night, and I was thinking I might have them delivered. No, apparently that wasn’t an option for me in “white” legs. They weren’t available locally. Now, this is where I’m confused. If they are IN STOCK at my local store, I don’t really need to have them delivered, I can go pick them up. If they are NOT in stock locally, that seems like an ideal scenario for where delivery might be needed. Or, just taking a flyer here, maybe they could DELIVER them to the local store and I could pick them up there?
Ah, no. Apparently it’s a binary world. If they are at the store, I can have them delivered. If they are at other stores, I can’t. Huh?
Moving on. I notice that they have the same legs in black in stock. Okay, fine, I’ll take those. I do some weird mental math that makes me think I need three sets for awhile before I force my brain to function and note that I already have ONE set. Soooo, for those playing along at home, that’s THREE sets needed minus ONE set I already have. What does that leave us Trigger? One stomp, two stomps. Ah, yes, Two more sets. Very good.
So I ordered them and it asks for my credit card, no problem. Then it says, “Hey we’d like to verify you can use that MC that is IN YOUR NAME, so we want to send a text from PC Financial to your phone”. Umm, okay. Except PC Financial doesn’t HAVE my mobile number. I think they sent it to my home VOIP-line-disguised-as-a-landline. Sigh.
Fine, I’ll pay with PayPal. Same card, no problem. Dolts.
Okay, it’s IN the system. And I’m going for CLICK and COLLECT. I know, I know, I heard the horror stories! But I don’t want to wander around the store collecting boxes!
And they send me an immediate confirmation for 2:00-4:00 Sunday. Hmm…that’s interesting. No place did it ask me when I would like to come. What if I was busy Sunday? What if I was busy 2-4? No matter, who are we kidding, I have no life. But they warn me, “don’t come until we confirm your order is ready!”. Great.
So I got up late this morning, ran some errands with Jacob and Andrea (Jacob to Michael’s for school-like supplies for a course / online camp this week, Andrea to return some stuff in Kanata from an online order). Pita Pit for lunch, and I decided apparently that I needed a Pita Pit enema. I ordered the Western, fully knowing that eggs frequently insist on using the fastlane through my digestive system. Two hours, door to door, so to speak. And just for fun, I risk the Raging Cajun and chipotle sauces. I *expected* to tell them to go light on the sauce, but then I waited in the car with Jacob while Andrea grabbed the food since I had no customization to do, and so I wasn’t there for the admonishment to not kill me. Good news — a Western pita with sauces keeps the fun of a fastlane and adds the wonderful experience of a forest fire all along the tract! Good lord, what was I thinking?
Anyway, back home, playing games, waiting for my email to say “Come now!”. 2:00. 2:30. 3:00. 3:30. Ummm, that window is closing pretty fast. At 3:40, I phone the Ikea number and there are NO options even close to “Where the f*** is my order?” so I end up on a generic hold. At 3:45, I hop in the car and head to Ikea anyway. By 4:00, I’m talking to the woman running the collect area, note that I never received confirmation, and that I’m on hold for status. Since she can check status, I hang up and just deal with her.
Now, admittedly, I’m going in expecting the sh** show that has been heralded for months, and yet it seems strangely calm. They have a single driveway to pull in, and then a very large section of the parking lot set up for parking while you wait, with numbers on the stalls, and spaced every other stall for distancing. I wasn’t in line for the cars yet, and said that I had just parked until I knew if I should get in line. Nope, no worries, just pull around here, park over there, we’ll go get your stuff. Okay. I’m sure it won’t be that easy.
I get set up, I’m playing on my phone. Woman calls from the back of the car to let me know it’s all there. And it is. Very little waiting. In fact, they’re done so fast, I have time to run two other errands on the way home. Apparently ordering after midnight on a Saturday to get stuff end of day Sunday is a good time. I never got confirmation the order was ever ready, but they seemed super well-staffed and surprisingly chipper with still 2 hours to go.
Okay, home, unloaded, dinner, and then the fun began. I had an empty desk top and a set of legs. Should be easy enough, right? Hahaha yeah, that’s funny now to me too. Not.
I get the metal parts together no problem, that’s relatively easy, mildly annoying for one alignment. Then I go to put the metal part on to the underside of the desk and I see that they have completely changed the design from the previous version I have. THAT version was basically universal…you could line it up on ANY tabletop really, or board, and as long as it was thick enough, you could screw in your screws. Great.
This one? Noooo, that style apparently wasn’t good enough. Now they have anchors and plugs, and plastic bolts that go in. Which means the tabletop / desktop has to have HOLES in very specific places to hold the plugs. Which of course my old desk does NOT have.
I suppose I could go over and buy two new desktops to match the legs, but that wasn’t happening. I’d return the legs before I’d do that when I have two perfectly good desktops already. What to do, what to do.
Okay, well, if it was an anchor in a wall, you would drill a pilot hole first and then insert it. Could I drill holes for the plugs? Sure. Relatively easily I guess. I’m not handy, but I have a drill and a good set of drill bits that I inherited from my dad about 25 years ago when he was cleaning out his shed. I marked all the holes, slid the metal over, drilled six anchor holes and put it together. Great. All the anchors work. Of course, there are these other plastic plugs that are supposed to go in too, but they seem deeper than I have space for. Okay, I can get by without those.
There is also a netting thing you’re supposed to install on the bottom so you can tuck cords up out of the way, but it’s in a relatively stupid place and a terrible design, so that ain’t happening. I install four clamps that come with it to hold the wood more strongly to the metal, and with Andrea’s help, carefully invert it to regular orientation. I tested the stability and strength, seems good. We picked it up and I shook it side to side and up and down, no wiggling. It’s solid. Andrea helped me with the height of the desk, putting it at 28.75 inches for my working height (I type directly on it, so it’s a good height for me ergonomically).
One desk complete. So I installed all my computer stuff from work on it, and with a multiple-monitor stand from Amazon that arrived last week, it looks awesome for layout and setup. Way more functional than I had. I even installed my work tablet on a shelf in the middle of it and you would swear they measured it to the mm. It is a VERY encouraging start. And it all started with a decision to risk Ikea today. I’m going to do a “before and after” post later this week, and I’ll have all the photos then. For now, it’s bedtime.
Today I choose to brave the wilds of Ikea, despite all the negative press and commentary I’ve seen about their curbside services. And it was relatively painless compared to the horror stories.
What choices are you making today?