Mission: Buy desk
Ok, I hired a car for the day - a stationwagon
which was £69 -ouch. Leave home at 9am. Got lost walking to
pick it up and took 40 mins instead of 20. Picked up the car,
drove home to get some stuff, then tried to put car in reverse
- it just wouldn't go. Sat there trying for a while then gave
up and rang the car hire place. Turns out there is a handle under the
gear stick you pull up to let it get into reverse (it
was a manual but never seen one of those thingies before).
Anyways, navigate my way to Ikea which was no big deal, only a
couple of wrong turns...
First stop, customer services to get some bits that were
missing from the kitset wardrobes. Takes about 25 mins. Go
into the showroom to order my desk. Get a sales assistant who had
only been in that department a week and had no idea what she
was doing. After much mucking around, had ordered what I
wanted (they generate your order in the showroom, then you go
down to the warehouse and pick it up). She tried to book it
through, wouldn't go as something was out of stock. So, had to
change to a different colour - didn't really like it but
determined to get a desk at all costs.
She books that through - time elapsed in store so far,
about 1.5 hours (desk with drawer was £530 - bloody
outrageous, but I don't care... must get desk). She says
20 mins and it will be ready. So I wander round for half an
hour or so, buying a few
other little bits and pieces then go down and queue up waiting
for them to give me my order. It hasn't been picked yet, asked to
take a seat. Here we go again.
Wait another 20 mins, then they
come back, without my order. Apparently out of stock of the
desk top - exact same situation as my unsuccessful visit a
month ago - computer says in stock, warehouse says not. So
have to make another decision, decide to get different shape
as all they had in stock. So now I have neither the colour or the
shape I wanted, things are starting to go well. Get my order,
queue up to pay for it. About 2.5 hours gone, get
out of the store.
Getting it home
Start to load into the hire car. Realise desk top will not fit into wagon. Start to spit
dummy. Push, pull, twist, will not go - and this thing is damn
heavy. See an Ikea person there, ask his advice. He suggests I
tie boot down with rope. As I wanted to do more shopping and
knew stuff other than the desk would fall out the back with it
open I realised
this was the only option. So, required coming home then going back there
again. Locked up rest of my shopping in a cage they have for
such a purpose, then back into store to buy a rope. Another 20
mins or so go by as I queue up again...
Tie a maori knot on the boot - the Ikea person was no help
and said he was not allowed to anyway. Drove home, starting to
feel a bit peeved and wary of appearing on BBC News for causing
a major traffic pile-up on A13. Get home,
find I can't get down my street as a crane is blocking the road for
some construction. Have to park car 300m from house and walk
down street with 1.6m x 1.2m x 25kg+ desk top... oh so easy to
carry too. Get to my building. Can't find my access card that
I need to swipe to get in. Go back to car, can't find it.
Think it must be in flat. Start randomly ringing apartments on
the buzzers to find someone home to buzz me in. Someone is
thankfully, so lug desk top in. Time now about 2pm.
Hadn't had breakfast - figured I would celebrate with lunch
in the shopping centre after getting Ikea out of the way. But
still have to get back to Ikea for rest of stuff. So back into
car, drive back there. Major roadworks on the A13, down to 1
lane. Is only a distance of about 17kms to store, takes an
hour. Get there, load up rest of stuff and head to rest of
shopping centre. Time now 3.30pm
Lakeside is an absolutely massive retail park. It has all
the big chains with their big retail park style outlets (like
Wairau Rd, etc) as well as a massive 3-story mall. Drive
around, get a couple of things then head to the mall. About 5pm,
time for some breakfast/lunch/dinner. Cod and chips, not bad.
Then the fun begins - only real major thing left on my list
was clothes. And boy was there clothes shops. Dozens and
dozens of them. Too many. Didn't know where to begin. Settled
in the end for a new suit and an overcoat. Was too scared of
buying anything else - I need a whole wardrobe basically and
that is what Mums and girlfriends are good for, of course
neither being handy.
Left about 9pm, headed to the supermarket - was supposed to
be an important secondary mission. Since I normally don't have
a car today was meant to buy 6 months worth of cans, bottles
etc to save me lugging them by hand each week. Feeling a bit
tired and crabby so didn't buy as much as I planned to but
still a few months worth of heavy stuff.
Drive home, get here about 10.30pm. Time to unload the car.
Takes about 15 trips back and forth, each time having to stop
to get through the access door - flatmate Nick was not home so
no help there.
Anyways, after midnight by time get everything unpacked so
totally shagged and crash.
The next day
Woken up this morning by a job agent - as he said himself the
last thing you need when trying to sleep in is a phone call
from one of those pricks. Take the car back (£12 worth of petrol -
it is about £0.75p per litre - you think NZ is expensive!!!). Find the public library while walking back
home and get some books. Think the day may be turning out
well. How wrong can I be.
Start to assemble the desk. Discover it is missing some
bolts and screws. So not only wrong colour and wrong shape,
doesn't have all its bits. Recall overhearing conversation
while I was trying to order about an 'irate customer' who 'had
finally got their desk and didn't have the bolts to put it
together'. Think I have a new definition of 'irate'.
to take whole thing back to them and tell them where to put it
but that will involve hiring a van at even more expense. Try
to get through to customer services on the phone. Can't even
get in the queue as too many calls. Try every 5 mins for 3
hours. Finally get through and let rip. Supposedly they are
couriering out some bits to me, however the store I bought it
from (there are only 3 in London) does not have a 'missing
pieces' department supposedly so told may take a few days.
Explain ever so tactfully that having something missing from
virtually every item bought from that store (my desk and the
wardrobes) they should open a department.
An isolated incident perhaps?
Hmmm... day gets better and better. Get the mail -
accountants have screwed up again and paid me (they are
supposed to be keeping money in the company and not pay me,
that way I pay no tax). Third week in a row. Ring up and let
rip. They are refunding me three weeks of their exorbitant fees and promising a night out.
My chair I ordered last week has not shown up. Rang them
on Wed, they said would be delivered that day. Still no sign.
Ring up and enquire politely. Several hours later was rang back
and told that they had tried to deliver. Crap - I was here all
day both days so something fishy. Supposedly will get
delivered next week.
Cable & Wireless show up to install the cable TV.
Perhaps something may go right this week. Perhaps not. They
try to find the wiring in the place to connect up to. After
much hunting, find it in the hot water cupboard. They give it
a tug to get some slack to work on it. Pieces 8" long
completely sheared off come out in their hands. Looks like a
cowboy electrician screwed up and poked some wires in the wall
to look like it was wired up. C&W guys can do nothing -
have to get someone out to rewire the place. Hand that puppy
over to Nick.
My DVD-ROM I bought for my computer is still playing up so
looks like I will have to send it back. Will delay that until
next week, not quite in mood to give them a fair hearing at
the moment I feel...
Other than that, having a great time, wish you were here,
P.S. You have to laugh, god knows how people live in this
hopeless country. Told Nick the story, he cracked up and said
he felt embarrassed to be English. So he bloody should be. Hee