Was man nicht im Kopf hat…


We were planning a trip to IKEA now for several weeks. We wanted to buy a sleep sofa, a bed for Thomas to replace his cot and some other shit that you buy by default when you go to IKEA (you know, textiles and stools and what have you). We put everything nicely into the IKEA app on our phones, but there was always one item showing out of stock at both shops in Singapore: the Kritter bed for Thomas (which is in fact the same bed that Oskar has).

We can see every night that Thomas would love to have a bed like Oskar. And I am promising him for several weeks now that Papa is going to buy one for him. Alas, for weeks the boat with the Kritter bed did not seem to arrive. Curses!

Today I decided that enough’s enough: instead of waiting till the bed finally shows up, I took a cab to IKEA Tampines to at least get the other stuff. And while I am there I would also demand an explanation why these bloody beds are not in stock. And an apology. And a cake. Or at least a free hot dog.

I arrived at the store and as a perfect specimen of the male gender I ran down my list of things to buy, not looking left or right for anything else. And likewise I was literally running through the shop because – clearly! – no sane man wants to spend more time than really necessary at IKEA on a Sunday afternoon. Not easy. The place was full with little people. Not children… well, also children, but really, I meant “people” in the general sense, because people in South East Asia are not that tall. I made it to the children’s section, amazingly without running over other customers, and even more amazingly, I found an IKEA staff member whom I immediately and very firmly interrogated about that Kritter bed.

Leo: Excuse me, my fine gentleman. May I inquire about the Kritter bed? I’d like to bring happiness and joy to my son by purchasing this fine piece of woodcraft.
Staff member: Ah, I am sorry. These are out of stock.
Leo: Oh, which misery and sadness. Oh, how shall I ever step in front of my child again, whom I promised something better than the moldy hay and hard rock he currently has to sleep on. When shall I expect the responsible folks at this fabulous company to supply this object of my desire eventually?
Staff member: In 6 weeks…

What the… 
Apparently the next delivery of 48 Kritter beds is in 3.3 weeks, but moving the stock around, setting things up and whatever else is needed apparently adds another 3 weeks. Haven’t these guys ever heard about just in time delivery? At least I knew now how long I’d have to wait and walked on. I might have walked 20 or 30 meters when I realized that same IKEA guy had run behind me.

Staff member: Sorry, I just saw in the system that we might have a few of the beds downstairs… here, let me print out the rack location for you.

I gotta say: this is incredibly nice!

Leo: Great! Thank you – if you have them downstairs you’re my hero!

I was really excited. Please, please, I thought. Please let them have the bed. I got slowed down by trying to figure out where to find the stupid pillow, pillow and quilt covers and protective mattress sheets (and I had to ask Lamia just to learn that she knew exactly where I’d have to look, even though she wasn’t even here… there’s something with women and IKEA which I will never understand). But then I finally got to the rack which allegedly had some Kritter beds.

Here’s a photo…

They had maybe 30 of them! I got confused. Was this the right thing? The little picture on the box was pretty telling. I sent the photo to Lamia to confirm (she did). I checked the weight and size information listed in the IKEA app and compared it with the information on the boxes I had to pick. All checked out. I was standing in front of a children hospital wing amount of Kritter beds. Why did it show out of stock in the app and on the IKEA website. Easy. The 8 digit code apparently changed. The one you see on the photo does not exist in the IKEA app, so I guess they changed that code for whatever reason and the stock system had not been updated.

Gee… so we could have bought all of that stuff weeks ago.
Anyway… I was happy and proud that this would be a more successful shopping trip than expected.

On I went to get the packs for the sleep sofa: a huge and heavy carton box and two mattresses.
With that I was all set and was ready to go to the check-out.

The queue was not too long and when it was my turn the lady at the check-out looked at the box for the sleep sofa and indicated that two packs were missing.

Check-out lady: Where are the other two boxes?
Leo: These are the mattresses… it’s a combo, right?
Check-out lady: No, there are two more boxes which are missing.

This was the moment where I was going all German on her. I knew I had checked everything. There had not been any other packs. I had even double-checked in the IKEA app. I knew what I was doing.

Leo: No, see: this is the pack with the sleep sofa. And then there are two more packs with the mattresses. So it’s three in total.
Check-out lady: There are two packs missing…
Leo: Where should they be? There was nothing else at the rack… It’s three. Three packs. Here: let me show you in the app.
Check-out lady:
Leo: So, here we are… this is the sofa. Let’s click on details… and you can see it gives the number of packs, which is…
Check-out lady:
Leo: Five. It says five…

Aaargh! Looking like a moron there. I was cursing and bitching about that stupid system, but I stood corrected. The lady was very nice, told me I did not have to move my cart away and just go and get the two missing boxes. I went back to the rack, angry and annoyed at my own stupidity. When I go to the rack I saw my mistake: beneath the huge, long parcel were actually two more parcels in the same stack of boxes. I simply had not expected that different packs would be stored in the same bloody stack.

Okay then. I pulled the first box out. And it was heeeeeeavy! Shit, was it heavy! I pulled out the box behind it and – damn! – this was at least as heavy! Lifting up the two of them together was darn difficult. And the size of the two packs was just manageable by somebody of my wingspread. But I got it done. I know I could have gotten another cart (my original one was still standing at the check-out, of course), but I was already committed to do this the hard way. And I admit I was kind of exhilarated by the fact that I could actually carry this difficult load without further help.

I walked the packs back to the check-out where I was pushing through the line to the front, all important and matter of factly stating that this was heavy staff, indicating that I needed these folks to get the fuck out of the way. I set down the boxes. I proudly looked at the lady and caught my breath…

Check-out lady: Why did you get two of the same box?

Yep, it’s true: in all my pride that I was able to lift something really bulky and heavy all by myself I had not checked the numbers on the box. And yes, I had gotten box #3 twice.  Oh god…

Beaten, I took one of the boxes, hauled it back to the rack, realized that box #2 was another layer down, cursed and bitched some more, then got #2 (which is lighter, by the way) and brought it to the check-out one final time.

I paid and took the cart to the delivery service desk.

I arranged delivery (very nice people at that desk, too) and carried the small stuff to the taxi stand.
Phew. It’s done. In a way I had my workout today, but my Apple Watch is showing that I am still 200 calories short… damn!

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