|FIRST DAY OFF: IKEA GRAND OPENING|
The alarm clock went off at 5:00 am. I made some coffee and jumped into the Green Bean (Jason's truck)
I got there a little after 6:00 am and got in line. A younger, college age woman was in front of me and an older African-American woman from Lexington, Kentucky was behind me. They would become my neighbors for the next three hours.
While I had brought my iPod classic, I have to admit that there was enough to keep us entertained for the time. Mascots from the Cincinnati Reds and other local teams had a dance competition. Then the Nich Lachey's Cincinnati choir from "Clash of the Choirs" sang several songs. I especially liked their renditions of What a Wonderful World and America the Beautiful.
Then we had other groups perform, including a Children's choir singing Children's songs in Swedish. The MC for the morning was not terribly hard on the eyes:
The sun came up.
Closer to the opening, all the employees (some 400 people) came out and there was a river of men and women in yellow shirts flowing in front of the crowd of anxious shoppers.
A women's group singing the Swedish national anthem. There were speeches.
Although I had dressed warmly, my feet were cold as I had foolishly worn tennis shoes. It was fun to people watch.
I was happy as the store opened. The crowd was quickly whisked inside. At the entrance were a hundred or more employees cheering us on with boom sticks.
I went right to the warehouse and presented my long list to the worker who helped me determine which row/bin to find each of the components of my shelves. I'm glad I brought printouts of what I wanted from the website. If I hadn't had them, I would not have know what to buy as the workers in the self serve warehouse area had neither access to their website nor an actual paper.
It took awhile to load the 130+ packages of lumber into carts.
I still wanted to do a bit of shopping in the "marketplace," so I left my 2 carts with the warehouse person and went back and got some other items at the marketplace, in a THIRD cart.
At about 11:20 am, I was at the checkout. It was early enough to be empty. I didn't wait at all. I paid for my items.
I noticed that the press was really paying attention to the early customers and were taking a lot of stock footage. A pretty woman from channel 9 news asked to interview me. And she did for about 5 minutes. Below is the entire clip from the segment that aired that night.
Cincinnati Inquirer also snapped a few pictures of an IKEA and me loading the car, which they published online. It had really warmed up. So the pictures showed my yellow/IKEA blue outfit.
ASSEMBLY OF IKEA ITEMS
I was home before noon! I was excited as this meant I had the rest of the day to put up shelves and begin organizing the garage.
After unloading the truck, I began assembling a "GORM" shelf.
I cursed the Swedish gods as I realized that none of drill bits worked with the screws. I figured that they must be in metric. I called around to a couple of hardware stores and visited 2. Neither had what I needed. I decided to head to Westwood to Small's Hardware. While they didn't have a 13 mm attachment for my drill, I did manage to get a socket (and a brand new socket wrench.) Yes, I was most definitely butch.
I spend several hours assembling some shelves that afternoon and into the evening. (To offset this butchiness, I did listen to some musicals while working.) It was dark when I finally gave up for the day. My muscles ached as I showered. I slept like a log.
SECOND DAY OFF: ERRANDS and MORE ASSEMBLY
While I had got up early on my second day off, I managed to waste the morning driving to the Vokswagen dealership. I was told I needed to get the car serviced but upon arriving there, they felt I needed neither an oil change nor service. Fine then.
Over lunch, I cleared an area for more shelves.
I had an eye exam in Westwood but was home by 2:00 pm to begin more assembly of IKEA items. I tackled the shelves again. I got one shelf built when I realized that I did not have enough cross braces to finish the project. F**&&**!
What was I to do? Wait until the weekend? Attempt to go now.
I called Paul and asked him how the traffic was there since he works right next to the store.
He told me that I probably should head up... that it would be worse on the weekend. So, at 4:00, I did just that.
Just as a note, when Paul gives advice, I've found the 180 degree opposite advice to be true. In this case, strangely, he was correct.
While I didn't get the most perfect parking, I did manage to find a spot. I was in and out of the store in an hour. There were very few people at 4:00 pm the day after the opening!
It made me wonder: why did I wait in line yesterday when I could have gone now?
I assembled more shelves until it was dark outside. Both Jason and I were pleased with the progress.
I will post "before" and "after" shots soon.