Anonymous IKEA Employees Share The Wildest Meltdowns They've Experienced
IKEA has been the world's largest furniture retailer since at least 2008. The company's name consists of the initials of Ingvar Kamprad (company founder), Elmtaryd (the farm where he grew up), and Agunnaryd (his hometown in Småland, southern Sweden).
IKEA owns and operates about 411 stores in 49 countries. That's a lot of shoppers.
Reddit user shroudedlynx asked "Employees of IKEA, what are some of the worst meltdowns you have seen?"
Here's the inside scoop.
Two words. Black Friday. It was 9:55, we open at 10. We were almost done, all that we had left to do was put out some children's kitchen set. What we didn't realize was that it was 50% off. I only had two pallets left to put out when the store opens and the horde came.
They were crazy. Sprinting, pushing and shoving. They fought to get to these kitchens and when they noticed my pallets, they tore them open and took it. Eventually one woman started screaming and attacked the guy who took the last one off of the pallet, not noticing the the two full pallets. I had to pull her off him and security came. After about 10 minutes the chaos ended, and I cleaned up.
At that point an elderly couple came and asked if there were any kitchens left and I put one in their cart as my coworkers laughed at what had just occurred.
I work at a massive IKEA store in Australia. For a lot of people it's their first time in IKEA, so by the time they get to my section they start to panic because they aren't used to the maze-like layout. There are a lot of breakdowns. Usually small children who want to go home (seriously theres so many parent wondering around with their 5 year olds at 9pm on a school night)
Anyway, the most memorable breakdown I dealt with was when I was working in Home Organisation. This man marched up to me, phone in hand and family in tow.
He wants to buy a certain clothes rack but he can't find it ANYWHERE in this STUPID STORE. Alright mate, I'm happy to help you out. (although I'm not liking the attitude) he shows me a picture on his phone. A screenshot from a website with no context. I haven't seen that clothes rack before. Either it's very new, very old, or not something that we stock.
I ask if he knows the name of it.
"no that's YOUR job."
He's getting even more worked up now. But I can't search with just an image. I check our store's website and I can't find the damn clothes rack anywhere. I ask if he was sure he looked at (store location) 's website specifically (not all IKEA's stock the same stuff. Shocking I know.) immediately I can tell he feels insulted. OF COURSE HE LOOKED AT THE RIGHT WEBSITE. I activate dumb salesgirl mode and ask him to show me.
He pulls up the website, and there is the clothes rack. Quite clearly on Target.com.au. He notices and storms off wordlessly.
I got immense pleasure watching him get lost and do a couple loops through the store before finding the exit.
I used to work in IKEA in my student days, the Glasgow, Scotland store.
When it was newly opened an elderly Irish guy and his wife stopped me and asked where IKEA was, I explained that they were in IKEA and they couldn't understand. They had arrived at the ferry port in Ireland that morning and decided that they'd go on a day trip to somewhere they hadn't been before. When they arrived at the port in Scotland there was a dedicated 'IKEA' bus. They thought IKEA was an actual place in Scotland and didn't realize it was a shop.
I used to work at IKEA. It was 2 women fighting over my service. I was helping one customer and it was a super busy weekend, so I'm sure all the employees were pretty busy. As I was helping her, another woman came up and interrupted us. They started arguing and one of them called the other woman a cow.
We needed a new mattress. My now wife insisted that we pay the $99 for delivery. I was adamant that I could get it home on the roof rack.
I strapped the mattress to the roof of the car, ratchet straps across all four corners. Motherf'er wasn't going anywhere.
We get in the car and opt to take surface streets home instead of taking the highway.
Everything's going great, but there is one stretch where the speed limit is 50mph.
We're driving along and a big truck flies by and immediately after it passes us, I see the mattress fly off the car in the rearview mirror.
"HOLY F'ING SHIT"
I'm backing up on the road and come to the mattress.
I did do a fantastic job strapping it to the roof rack. Problem is that the mattress took the roof rack with it. It's still tied to the mattress.
We hoist it back on the roof and take it slow to a gas station. Re strap the mattress (straps going through the car this time) and get it home.
There's a small cut on the underside of the mattress and some gravel in the protective plastic cover. Otherwise, no real harm done.
My wife still brings it up every time we go to IKEA.
"So... we're paying for delivery, right?"
Tjejer Och Killar
My now-husband and I were driving to Ikea (about 3 hours away), and this was at a point in dating when we were starting to get serious. On the trip, I found out his middle name was Riley, and I mentioned how it could make a very cute girl name. He was completely aghast and was very firm in stating that Riley is a BOY'S name, and had been handed down in his family for over 5 generations. I tried telling him that it was starting to change over to be a girls name now, much like "Ashley" or "Quinn". He thought I was crazy and was adamant that people do not name little girls Riley. We lightheartedly argued the point for a good 15 minutes.
We finally get to IKEA, park, and walk in the front door. Five feet in front of us a little girl of about 2 goes running by and her mother is chasing after her, saying "Riley! Get back here!!" My husband just looked at me defeated and said "...shut up".
(Our firstborn girl was named Riley. We carried on the family tradition, just in a slightly different way!)
Det Finns Ingen Vi
My boyfriend and I overheard while browsing in IKEA a couple having some sort of miscommunication in their "relationship".
I guess they were deciding on things to buy. The girl says "we should get that rug" to which the guy replies to her super loud "there is NO we, you don't live with me!"
Seen a dude in the car park of the Newcastle IKEA cram a load of furniture into his Ford Focus, wife stood next to him SCREAMING at how much of an idiot he is for buying so much, how they aren't going to fit in the car now, and how he is putting all this furniture together alone because it's his "f'ing stupid s*** we don't need"
Husband replies, "no you won't fit in the car now" and drives off.
A guy came in and wanted something that we only had "in the air" so it would require a forklift to get the product down, which we don't do with people in the store for fairly obvious safety reasons. I told him we could get it down right after the store closed for him but that was not an acceptable answer. He proceeded to lose his S#!+ on me demanding I bring out a forklift and take it down now. As this is happening, his wife and two small children walk up. I say, "well sir, just imagine that your children are in the aisle when the forklift comes out and an accident occurs, your children could be crushed by a falling pallet, the arms of the lift, or any other number of possibly fatal incidents." His response, "I don't give a s#!+ about that, I just want you to get my f'ing table." I didn't have to continue the conversation. His wife took care of it.
In soft furnishing/textiles, he was 'playfully' throwing pillows at her to get her attention. She turned around and said (scarily calmly) 'I know that you think you're being funny, but you're not. So if you're going to act like a child I will treat you like a child. Start behaving like an adult or we'll leave now and I'll take away your X-Box for a week.' He pouted and marched off, muttering under his breath.
Köp Din Egen Tårta
In IKEA making the most of my complimentary cups of tea. The couple at the next table over just had a brilliant argument about whether or not they could put a TV in their bathroom. He thinks it will fit, wife/girlfriend thinks it's the stupidest f'ing idea ever, they don't need it, it won't fit and if he wants to do that then he can move back in with his mother. And he keeps asking her to give him half of her Daim cake. After about five minutes of whining she told him if wanted some he should have bought one because apparently he always does this.
I saw a mother let her child go to the bathroom in the display toilet in one of the display washrooms.
I was once shopping at Ikea and noticed a couple with the guy just having the complete look of apathy and distraction while being berated by his wife.
The volume was fairly low until they got to the bedroom department and she specifically said,
'I'm thinking of buying new sheets but I might as well not cause I don't wanna buy sheets just so you can f*** that HR b***** in them. I hope you realize I'm just staying with your cheating ass until the kids are grown up.'
I was so distraught I went for Köttbullar to calm myself.
I'm a cashier!
There was a bratty teenager and her mom about to pay for their over $1000 transaction and the mom suddenly said "You know what? This girl here doesn't deserve any of this. Put it all back." I've never seen a teenager completely lose it until that shift. I feel bad for my co worker who had to do my go backs.
I work in IKEA food. I had one guy claim that he was a "big guy" and wanted me to put extra food on his plate after I made the plate. I explained that I can't as we have to stick to a portion size and that he could add a side plate for 1.99. He then yelled that we are all cheapskates, stormed off to his family, brought all the plates of food that we made for them and told us that he is going to bring his family somewhere good.
Plattor för Sniglar
I was on my third day working at IKEA, still wearing the "I'm new here" badge and this lady asks me where do we keep the plates for slugs (Escargot plates). It was my third day but I already knew we don't carry that and said I don't even think I saw one before in my life. She goes "If I was your boss I'd fire you on the spot!" and stomps away.
What did I do lady?
I was working in the kitchen accessories department and this middle aged guy asked me where the cheap white plates are. So these are the lowest price plates that come in one color and are sold straight off the pallet. But they changed the color from white to light beige a month ago.
I explain this and this guy starts raising his voice at me, telling me he owns a restaurant and that I go back there and bring him more white plates. At this point I know I'm not dealing with a rational person here, but I go to the computer and check if there isn't in fact a pallet of the stuff just so he sees I've tried helping him. Even shown him the big fat zero on the screen. He gets red in the face and starts telling me how I'm personally responsible for the gas he spent driving here on his Audi A8. Asked me if I know how much gas an Audi A8 burns. He's yelling now, the whole floor is looking our way and I'm doing my best to not laugh but I realized I'm already smiling and that pissed him off even more. The convo went something like this:
"You're gonna pay for the gas I spent driving here."
"I doubt that sir."
"LISTEN HERE KID! I'M GONNA DRIVE BACK HOME, LOAD UP ALL THE F***ING WHITE PLATES INTO MY CAR AND DUMP THEM ALL IN FRONT OF YOUR F***ING STORE AND YOU'RE GONNA PAY ME EVERY LAST CENT FOR THE DAMAGES"
"That's a good idea."
I wasn't even trying to be rude I just really wanted this guy to do this, but then he asked for my manager, yelled at him basically repeating everything including his Audi A8 gas mileage, everything. He ended up buying the light beige plates.
I was in the Vancouver IKEA, and they have a children's play area that was packed. There must have been 100 kids in there, some being watched from outside and some completely unattended.
Without warning, the power went out. There were emergency lights but the play area was still quite dark. The kids all started shrieking and crying and running around in the darkness.
The power probably only out for 2 minutes, but the chaos was spectacular. When the lights came back on, it looked like a battleground. Some kids were bruised and bloodied, some had the 1000-yard stare of a war veteran. There were a few who had bonded together in the tunnels and refused to leave. Some were missing entirely - they must have escaped in the shadows into the well-furnished maze that is IKEA.
Overheard two young women trying to agree on a dining table. One of them said, "This table screams, 'I just got out of prison and I need a table.'"
Skräck av Engagemang
This was my Ikea family meltdown. My then boyfriend and I were getting our own place just after college. Until then, we had both been using twin beds thanks to student living spaces and sharing a single twin was proving uncomfortable for two adult humans subjected to California summer temperatures. To fix this issue, off to Ikea we went.
Things start off ok. We start with lunch, admire the living room couches, move into kitchen wares. All so far enjoyable fantasy. And then we reach our destination, bedrooms. A sea of beds in a variety of price points greet us with brightly colored duvets. An experienced furniture purchaser I start scanning the price tags to narrow the options. I bring him to an attractive affordable model I think matches some of our bookcases. And this is where the trouble starts.
See up until now, I didn't realize exactly how bad this man's fear of decision making was. He stares at the bed incomprehensibly for literal minutes, refusing to talk about it. Eventually it is discovered that buying a bed means committing to delaying graduate school, never moving to the east coast, and having children with me. I don't understand that logic and request explanation which is slowly and tearfully given.
We spent three hours in that Ikea and left with nothing. About a month later we went back and again after several hours bought that exact bed. He never went to grad school or moved to the east coast. We also did not have children and broke up a few years later. He took the bed.