Sunday, January 23rd 2011
IKEA: I Still Hate You.

Why I haaaaate IKEA. In an article. With a map that has everything on it except  the mention of my near-death anxiety fit in the Draper, Utah, location a couple years ago. Oh. And it fails to mention the low ceilings on the first floor that I think are painted gray and the lack of natural sunlight and how the whole stupid place tries to EAT YOU ALIVE like a carnivorous plant while you try to zig zag out of there and back to the real world but you CAN”T because oh YEAH, they designed it that way.

I was alone. It was a dumb idea. The first rule of going off into the Wild is to take a reliable partner with you or at least leave contact information behind. I did neither and almost died of a nasty panic attack curled up next to an ugly futon, but I made it and am still here to be traumatized at the sight of that stupid article and relive the pain. I’m a survivor.

I know some of you like IKEA. You are clearly more brave than I, and are more adaptable to low lighting and are able to rise above mind games viciously designed to entrap consumers. Good for you, and your Swedish furniture. I am happy for you and I will never join your ranks.

Note to IKEA:

Your stupid plan failed. I did not end up spending 3-8 HOURS there, unable to resist buying things, like the article says you were hoping. I ran out of there as fast as I could, which was NOT so fast, thanks to the masses of people and the hidden exits and the craziness of the floor plan, but not ONCE was I tempted to buy a thing, because THAT WOULD HAVE SLOWED MY FRANTIC EXIT. I think this Maze Floorplan idea is actually rather meanspirited, dishonest, and it’s been years and I clearly have not yet found it in my heart to forgive.

Actually, I have serious, unresolved IKEA/Anger Issues. I see that now.  I was in town to visit and spend ‘therapeutic, quality time’ with someone who HATES me and was ready to aim all sorts of ill will my way, and THAT I was prepared for and handled just fine when it did indeed happen. I’ve had much practice, and had advance warning. But your store was a surprise whose unpleasantness I was rather unprepared for, and it had me in a cold sweat looking for an exit sign that could not be found and a paper bag to breathe into. Also not found.  If you won’t re-think the ‘confuse the customer’ strategy, you might consider installing paper bag stations throughout, for those who hyperventilate. Or you could install panic buttons. Maybe emergency exit chutes. Helpful little messages on the floor next to futons that say, “You will not die here. Breathe in, breathe out, and relax.”  THAT would be nice, IKEA.


Draper IKEA Survivor, 2008


10 Comments on “IKEA: I Still Hate You.”

January 23rd, 2011
7:16 pm

I do love the little room vignettes, but the maze setup is pretty devious. My mother-in-law is my IKEA shopping friend if I need to go there. She shops there so often that she knows all the little secret places where you can sneak through and cut off some of the time it takes to get through the maze. I will never go without her.
Geekwif recently posted..Remember What I Said About Libraries

Jennifer Sullivan
January 23rd, 2011
10:08 pm

Have been to Ikea only once as they don’t have one in Vegas. We had to go to Burbank, CA to buy the extra chairs they wouldn’t ship to me and I couldn’t believe how big the store was. No low ceilings though, maybe that’s a Utah thing? I think the store was four stories. I went with hubby and daughter though and we were on a thirty minute time limit. We blazed through that store like it was on fire, I think we spent more time waiting in line than in any other part of the store. You are so right about stupid confusing maze idea. Not nice, not cool. Way smart in a villanous way.
Jennifer Sullivan recently posted..Our weekend – volleyball- sleepovers- slurpees- brownies before midnight

January 23rd, 2011
10:52 pm

Yeah, not your thing. Although I’m with Geekwif, I like the little vignettes. I like to make up stories about who lives there – like the swinging single girl who only wears shoes with 5 inch heels and a full closet of items made only of gray chiffon. Then there’s the den where the serious student of Swedish biography has stocked up on 73 copies of the English translation of “The Life of Sven Borg de Borg.” Or the Japanese family that does sudoku as a group on their kitchen walls. It’s really a form of entertainment if you’re not in a hurry or frantically trying to avoid death.

January 24th, 2011
12:23 am

Trying to find the bathroom with a preschooler in IKEA also causes anxiety as you walk/run trying to find your way out of the maze before there is an accident. Regardless I still love IKEA :)

January 24th, 2011
7:40 am

That’s so smart. Look what you married into! Well done!
Jennifer Sullivan,
The low ceilings and gray paint may be exaggerated in my mind. Or they might be a Utah thing. NOT a good combination.
…..?? ReallY?!
Ugh, i can only imagine!! Brave woman.

January 24th, 2011
8:16 pm

LaLa, I love that idea! I’m so going to have to do that next time I’m there.
Geekwif recently posted..Remember What I Said About Libraries

January 24th, 2011
8:28 pm

Geekwif, it really does make it more fun. And if you read things like ‘Catalog Living’ or ‘Unhappy Hipsters’ you go in with the idea that there are hidden clues to weird personalities in every decorating choice. More of a game that way. :)

January 25th, 2011
10:28 pm

You sound like a crazy person.

January 26th, 2011
7:36 am

It’s true. Some days, that’s the best I can do and it’s hardly worth pretending otherwise…

Mary Jones
April 4th, 2013
2:33 pm

I had the same experience! I realized how lost I was and broke down crying. Haven’t been back since. Their floor plan backfired…

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