Sunday, October 28, 2007

Jumbo Breakdown

Every time we go to the Jumbo there is always some kind of crisis. Yesterday we took the bus there to buy an electric heater/fireplace since our apartment buildling can't seem to provide guaranteed heating services. Once in the Jumbo, we found the fireplace we wanted on the display but couldn't find it on any shelf in the entire store and we searched every department in order to avoid the worst case scenario--having to talk to someone.

Finally we gave up looking and I wrote down the name and model of the unit we wanted to avoid any kind of misunderstanding due to bad pronunciation. Then we went to the customer service desk and I managed to get across my point. I understood the woman when she told us that the last one left was the floor model and we could have it if we wanted it. We thought we understood that someone would bring it up for us (hopefully in a box) so we waited near the desk. And waited. And waited. Finally, annoyed and frustrated we went and got it ourselves. But first we wanted to test that it would actually work. So we plugged it into an extension cord and plugged the extension cord into the wall. And then we blew a fuse.

Actually I was glad about the fuse as I was annoyed with the service we had received anyhow. So after that, we pushed the electric fireplace up the ramp on our little orange cart. The size of it was very awkward--especially without a box as it couldn't fit in our cart, but rather set precariously leaning against it. At the check-out register, the woman looked at us strangely with this out of the box fireplace leaning against our cart and asked us something unidentifiable in Swiss German. We pointed to the woman over at the customer service desk. So she called that woman and made sure it was legal for us to be taking their floor model.

In the US, normally if you buy a floor model with no box or instructions, you get a discount, but like I said in a previous e-mail there is no such thing in Switzerland. So we paid full price and hoped for luck dragging the fireplace, boxless and vunerable, 3 blocks to the bus stop.

My husband has had a lot of practice manuvering strange objects on an IKEA cart and his previous expeditions paid off as he expertly leaned the fireplace on the cart and held on to it when we had to go over curbs. When we got on the bus he expertly lifted the entire thing along with the cart it was resting on, onto the bus and then off, down an elevator, across a busy road, and then up the steps into our building and finally our apartment.

Of course, when we got home 2 hours after the expedition began, our heating was working again. But I didn't care. I was happy to have my little fireplace, even if it is just a glorified glowing hairdryer. To me, it's beautiful and makes me feel more at home. And hey, anything in this strange country helps.

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