By Tyler Sikov
I am thinking of getting a new apartment but it is not furnished, so I need to buy some furniture. I heard of this store called IKEA, I have never been there before but I decided that there is a first time for everything, so I head to the IKEA nearest me. I get there and I start wandering the store looking for the bed section but since I do not speak Italian, I get lost. By the time I find the beds it feels like days have gone by, in case you are wondering where the beds are, they are just past the flugflorgs and around the bend from the sängar. Since I have been walking for so long, I decide to take a nap on one of the beds, as I am falling asleep, I think to myself, why don’t I just live here.
I awake to someone asking me where a section is. I tell them I don’t work here, they then say “but you are wearing a shirt and have a nametag”. To which I respond, “no I am not”, but then I look down. They are right, somehow, I am now wearing an IKEA shirt and I have a nametag on that says Finn on it, I guess my new name is Finn. My wallet is also gone, but I presume that is just how they have had me pay for lodging and the new clothes. I decide to accept my new life and work there, so I try to help this customer because the customer is always right. When I am walking around, I touch some weird sap on one of the pillars, so I go to wash my hands. I head towards the in-store restaurant because I know they have a sink. I wave my hand under the motion sensor but no water comes out, so I try again, to no avail. A customer comes over so I step out of the way to let them try. I tell them that it was not working, they say that they think it will work. Sure enough when they wave their hand water comes out. This definitely happened because the customer is always right. I then see a sign that says “all employees must wash hands * before returning to work”, but in small letters it says “* at show room sinks”. When I go to the sink section, which I find easily, now that I am an employee, I seem to be able to navigate easily, one of the sinks activates and I wash my hands there. A gold star appears on my fanny pack. Oh, by the way, a part of my uniform was a fanny pack.
I work for the day and now it is closing time. I was planning on going to sleep but when I got to the bed section all the beds were disassembled. I opened my fanny pack to see the employee handbook, it says “all employees must build their bed each night” and then “once morning comes employees must build all show room furniture”. I build my bed much slower than all the other employees, as many of them have had a lot more practice building beds, like 3 days more.
I awake at 4 am and get right to building. Once I build 5 office chairs and 12 sinks, I look in my fanny pack and find a bag of carrot sticks. I eat these veraciously as I had not eaten anything the previous day. It is forbidden to eat in front of customers, as they can not know that we are humans, or, I mean, that we were humans. Today there are a few new people working. I feel that they fell for the same pillow-toped trap I did. The longest working person there, Mike, was not around this morning but we did have a new piece of furniture, the mikrofon. It seems like every day one of the workers goes missing and then a new piece of furniture shows up. Eh, I guess I am seeing something where there is nothing. Luckily, we build all the furniture before the first customers show up.
I have been here a week now and I am getting excited as the manager told me that I get to launch the newest piece of furniture. He takes me into his office and I get into this weird machine. The next thing I know there is someone sitting on my lap. I try to ask them to get off but they can’t seem to hear me. I look over and see an item name tag on my wrist that says finländare. I managed to get over to the computer section and finish writing this, just remember what they always say. “In IKEA no one can hear you scream”.