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Well, I went to the new Ikea that recently opened here in Orlando. My intentions were to get at least a couple of things on my list (I got a 5-quart stainless steel pot and an inexpensive bar stool for my counter). The place was... just a little bit different. And as we all know, ostentatiously "green." They had these hilarious water-saving flushers in the bathrooms with two settings -- for "liquid waste" and "solid waste." Guess which setting actually flushed the toilet paper and the disposable seat cover. And that's how I now know that in Sweden women don't wipe when they do number one.

That being said... it's definitely my dream store. However, it is gigantic, and I made the mistake of going out just a little bit too late to avoid rush hour traffic on I-4. (The store is all the way on the other side of town.) That was fun -- continuously jerking back and forth from first to second gear, and then it turned out half the problem was some idiot who had stalled his van in the center lane and no one had done anything to move it out of the way.

One more thing I forgot: it wasn't completely foreign efficient Scandi-land at Ikea. They made sure to make me feel right at home by hiring the usual contingent of local morons who prefer standing around in groups talking than actually attending to the person who had the help light on for nearly fifteen minutes at the self-help cash register. (I couldn't get the bar code to scan, and then when the attendant finally noticed me -- because I yelled "HELLO" as she walked by trying not to see me -- she came over and got it to scan right away, which made me feel like an idiot.) The only employee there that was at all helpful was the nice Hispanic woman outside who watched my things while I went to get my car and helped me put them in the trunk.

Comments (3)

Sigivald [TypeKey Profile Page]:

If it helps, the self-serve brokenness is not unique to your Ikea.

(Well, perhaps the talking-in-groups-rather-than-helping part is; here the self-serve aides might take a while to get to you, but that's because there's only one or two and they're busy with other customers.)

The scan system double-scans too easily, and you can't void an item off, yourself (which is stupid, since the system should be weighing your purchases, and should notice you didn't actually put two FLUURGENN cast iron toilet cozies in the bag. If it can tell I didn't sneak one in without scanning, it ought to be able to tell I didn't really put two in, either), and items from the food shop aren't in the !@#!%# POS system, or at least the ones I buy seem not to be.

But, then, I'm super-critical of POS systems, since I work for a company that makes them. I know it ain't easy to get right, but IKEA has the budget and size to have no excuses for their bad user interface.

I actually prefer using the self-service lane, because I'm a misanthrope and the less people I come into contact with the better, for me and them. But these systems always have problems with bar codes underneath plastic wrap -- the wrap reflects too much of the beam, or something. I've pretty much got down how to use them properly, though. I wouldn't mind the occasional glitches if it weren't for the see-no-customers policy apparently endemic in the Orlando area.

I refer to the attitude of the clerks (what IS their proper title these days?) as I-95 Syndrome. I have never been treated so badly by anyone as when I've stopped somewhere along I-95. If they were just talking to each other, it would be a vast improvement over the obvious hostility & F-U attitude I've gotten at nearly every stop, whether fast food or not but ESPECIALLY fast food. Truck stops usually have nicer people, don't know why.

I guess it's not just I-95, since that doesn't go through Orlando!

Reminds me of why I dislike the East Coast so much...

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Don't worry, he's just chopping broccoli.


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