Posts Tagged ‘ people ’

A Trip to IKEA or How To Test the Strength of Your Relationship

There’s nothing quite like a trip to IKEA to test the mettle of a relationship. I think that if you are newly dating someone and want a forecast of whether or not your relationship will last, you must take a drive to IKEA.

If you have never been to an IKEA store before here are a few things you should know:

1. They are never in a good location. Building planners for IKEA think ideal store locations involve: busy freeways, lots of poorly marked streets, and are at least twenty minutes from any one person who wishes to drive there.

2. There is never parking close to the store. This forces you to park so far away that you walk past tumbleweeds, remains of deceased shoppers who didn’t make it, and turkey vultures who circle you in hopes for fresh carrion.

3. The store itself is actually a maze of rooms inside a warehouse where, although you try to follow the arrows on the floor herding directing you where to go, you inevitably end up utterly and hopelessly lost.

The day started out pleasant enough, but as soon as we hit north Jersey where the roads are continuously changing all bets were off. I’m trying to navigate while referring to my phone that’s telling me that IKEA is in the middle of an empty space with no discernible roads leading to it, while my girlfriend is yelling at calmly telling me to “just look at the map!” She is trying to drive and doesn’t understand that the map is telling me that she needs to calm the heck down because telling me to look at the map isn’t helping.

Finally, we arrive, park in LOT #52, Row 4 and make the ten-mile hike to the store.

Once inside we grab our cart (I asked a woman who worked there if I could have a basket and she looked at me like I was deranged), a paper ruler (not sure why we needed one, but they were hanging there and I didn’t want to hurt their feelings), a little golf pencil with the word IKEA embossed on it just in case we forget where we were, and a map – just in case you wonder off and are lost for hours, IKEA reps can say – “I don’t know what happened! She had a map!”

We went up the escalator to the first floor of torture fun – bedroom and kitchen supplies. I pull out our list of “things we need” for us to consult, while the seasoned professionals pointed at us and laughed. $300 and twenty-four adorable light up animals (for children I don’t even have) later, I understood the reason behind the mockery.

I found out very quickly how evil IKEA is. Everything is set up in these perfect “rooms” where you can envision yourself relaxing with a book and a cup of coffee. This makes you have to have everything in the display, despite the fact that you don’t really need a lamp that looks like a sea urchin. Very dangerous.

If you happen to successfully navigate through IKEA (Beware the Shortcuts! While the word seems like it might provide a shorter route to your end destination it is merely a trap to bring you back to the beginning of your journey, thus keeping you on an endless loop of death), you will end up in the warehouse. A warehouse in a warehouse, doesn’t get any better than that. You were supposed to have written down the information for larger products en route so that you could now trade in your smaller cart for a larger cart so as to haul those huge boxes (you have to put everything together at home, which is a whole other bundle of joy) out to your car. If you happen to actually find the right Bin, Row, Item number that matches the one you have written down in handwriting you can’t even read anymore because you’re so dehydrated, then you are faced with the task of loading said item onto your cart, taking it to the checkout, then trying to fit it into your car. Oh boy.

But as I passed the families huddled in the food court munching on their cinnamon buns and beef brisket, too tired to go on, I realized just how lucky I was. My girlfriend wasn’t screaming at me about getting the stainless steel colander instead of the white one, she wasn’t crying in a corner like some guys we walked by, and she just smiled when I told her we absolutely must get the 500-pack of vanilla scented tea lights.

As I watched her load up the car with all our purchases while I enjoyed my chocolate-vanilla fro-yo cone, I knew our relationship would stand the test of time.

Tales from the Library

And now it’s time for…TALES FROM THE LIBRARY!

I understand that a lot of how people react and interact with others at the library is circumstantial. Maybe your cat just passed on to feline heaven, or your brood of twelve children is especially rowdy today, or you just got yet another speeding ticket. But there’s a certain decorum that is expected when one enters a library. It is, after all, a hallowed place of peace for those seeking both refuge and a certain hopeful degree of enlightenment. But for those of you who have had a particular bad day or are at their wits end and forget those key rules of etiquette when visited your library, I have compiled a list. I call it:

Runner Sami’s Top Ten Non-Negotiable Rules of Library Etiquette

1. Never, ever put your child on the circulation desk (or any desk for that matter). This leads to (sadly, I say this from experience): being sneezed, coughed, spit and snotted upon, not to mention those parents who seem to have forgotten what a loaded diaper smells like before plopped said diaper disguised as a child on the desk.

2. When your partner/child/septuagenarian grandmother is across the library, please don’t scream at them to come over because you’re checking out.

3. When the first, second, and last calls are being made warning you that the library is closing, please heed these calls. There’s no reason fifty people should be lined up with piles of books/DVDs/CDs when the lights are dimmed because the librarians are going home.

4. Always check inside your books for pictures, checks, cash, thermometers, baseball cards, and toilet paper BEFORE you return them to the library.

5. Stop taking covered hardback books to the beach. Please.

6. Get chance for the copier/printer before coming to the library, so you won’t have to ask us every time if we can break your hundred.

7. There’s no need to scream and pitch a fit at your librarian. Despite what you seem to believe, we are NOT out to get you for twenty cents. We have much more important things to do then plot ways we can piss you off and ruin your important life.

8. Gum is best chewed quietly in a closed mouth. Chomping does nothing to expedite the checking out process.

9. For the love of all that is decent in this world, please don’t put fifty items on hold then wait for them to expire before coming in to get them only to put them back on hold.

And finally,

10. Under no circumstances should you send your six-year-old child to inquire about the fines on your card. Shame, shame on you!

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Tales From the Library

 This week in Tales From the Library – danger, mayhem, late fees!!! (Cue dramatic music)

 I work at a library and, as the clever title suggests, I’ve decided to post stories from my job every Thursday.

 Man walks into the library and comes up to the circulation desk where I am working.

 “Hi. Yes. I was wondering if you could check my account to see if I have any books still out?

 “Certainly, sir. One moment.” 

 I scan his library card and check his account.

 “Um…It looks like you do still have a book checked out, sir. It’s actually overdue and you have a $10 fine so far.”

 Man looks bewildered.

 “Can you tell me the name of the book?”

 (Pause) “Erm, yes,…It’s  – How to Eliminate Your Debt.”

And, yes, that’s a true story.

Until next week, my bibliophilistic friends! 🙂

Tales From the Library

When you work at the circulation desk at the local public library you get to interact with very interesting people. Sure, I deal with my share of irate patrons, but those aren’t the ones that stick in my mind (fortunately). No, the ones that I remember most are the people who are so entrenched in their own separate realities that they kind of lose touch with, well, reality.

These stories are too classic to not share, so I’m going to dedicate Thursdays to:  Tales From the Library!

Yesterday morning:

Phone rings while I’m working at the desk. I pick up.

“Hello, Circulation Desk, how can I help you?

“Yes, I was watching a program and it was about something that had the letters EDT or ADT or something like that.”


“Yes, I was wondering if you could tell me what it was about, because I forget.”

“Um…Was it a program at the library?”

“No! It was on TV.”


“Something about hyperactive children or something.”

“Ma’am, I really have no idea what you saw on your TV program, but maybe you mean Attention Deficit Disorder – ADD?”

“Yes! Can I get some books on that at your library?”

“Yes, ma’am, let me transfer you to reference.”

And the great, wise, and all-knowing librarian comes to the rescue again! (Cue dramatic music)

Tune back next Thursday for more – Tales From the Library!