Tip of the hat, Wag of the finger: IKEA Perth

ikea

My Tip o’ the hat goes to: The greeter at IKEA Osborne Park in Perth, when I walked in there for the first time this week. Sometimes I like to pretend I’m independent, you see, part of the Human Race of folks who sometimes Go Out and sometimes Buy Stuff. Which would likely be relatively simple in a world set up to include people like me.

I easily found a parking spot marked “accessible” (OH LAWL, but that’s later in the post), and she greeted me looking and sounding as if she wanted to help.

“I’d like to buy some lighting without walking very far, please,” I said. She smiled, and pointed me straight to the lift (briefly noting the presence of the escalator just in case I wanted that instead). She handed me a map, and traced out a path through the store involving lifts, shortcuts, and surprisingly little walking. She was pleasantly patient with my clarification questions, and I was off and racing. For various values of “racing” that include “stopping for a little rest here and there”.

I found my coveted Jansjö flexible-stemmed LED wall lamps. Oh, how I {heart} them. As I did, an older bloke, fellow customer, stopped me (no hands-on, for which he gets the world’s smallest cookie), and said, as if trying to help my poor addled self, “You know they’re the dearest ones, dear?”

“Yes,” I said, “But they’ve a light-emitting diode, you see, giving me fifty thousand hours of light, and at only 4.2 Watts. I’ll never have to locate and change one of those stupid fucking fiddly little fucking douche-arse fucking lamp globes again!” [This may have been filtered a little in the articulation process.]

“Oh.” he said. “Well, that’s a good point.” And wandered off.

I found the checkout. No queues. Yay.

~~~~~

Which brings me to my Wag o’ the finger: The store Exit & Pickup Complex. Which is nowhere near the store Entrance. Which is a problem, you see, as the “accessible” parking is over past the other side of the Entrance.

What. The. FUCK.

I hit the Exit & Pickup Complex exhausted, thinking, “Cool, all I’ll have to do is pop my things in the car, and I’ll be off at last.” But no. I had to park my trolley (the trolleys are hemmed into the Exit & Pickup Complex by pylons, so that you can’t wheel your trolley, which doubles as a handy improvised leaning walker when one is tired and one’s legs are aching, back to the “accessible” parking area. Oh no, because we can’t have that: mayhem would ensue if the gimps had it too easy. We must have Order at all times. Beautiful IKEA örder. Neatly confined trölleys. Tidy, tucked-away car pårking. And not an unhale body in sight, on account of all the keeled-over fölk are piled up behind the liftwell or something.

I had to somehow schlep all the way back to my car, drive it back over to the Exit & Pickup complex, haul myself back OUT of my car, load my purchases in (I picked up a few cushions on the trip), and get the hell out of there.

Here’s the thing:

ACROD parking permits are issued to people who need wider spots and ramps, or to people for whom walking more than 50 metres can be detrimental. To people for whom parking more than 50 metres away can cause physical pain, distress, difficulty, deterioration in their health, or risk to their life, such that close proximity parking is required.

Putting your store entrance AND/OR EXIT more than 50 metres from the ACROD parking spots therefore makes no actual sense. I can’t believe I’m actually spelling this out in words. This design is a blatant slap to people with disabilities, an obvious, in-your-face, “We don’t give a fuck. Your kind are not welcome here. Do not darken our fetching blue-and-yellow doors again.”

Can someone please translate this pre-school level concept into words of half a syllable or less, suitable for forcible installation into the wizened, overprivileged cerebrum of every architect in the land?

Thankyou and goodnight.

SFX: *not-quite-Human person punching wall*



Categories: ethics & philosophy, health, Life

Tags: , , , , ,

9 replies

  1. Menard’s here in the US does that too. Handicapped parking spaces close to the entrance door, handicapped spaces close to the ext door, and those doors are about 100 feet apart. So when I go there, I park by the exit doors, and those are the doors through which I enter. The other thing that gripes me about Menard’s is that they are a HUGE store, and they have one wheelchair (for skinny people, my fat ass won’t come close to fitting in it) and NO electric carts. No places to sit anywhere in the store, so if my back cramps up while I’m shopping, I either have to stop and lean on the cart or sit on the floor till I quit hurting enough that I can continue to shop. Needless to say, I don’t shop there often (if DH wants anything from there, I usually send him in and I wait in the van till he’s done).

  2. Ikea Edinburgh has main entrance pretty much next to exit but in order to find anything you have to walk miles. Manual wheelchairs only (assuming you’ll have an escort) but I was able to ring ahead a book someone to assist me for a couple of hours with the shopping as I can’t manage a cart AND a walker. Could barely move when I got home but that’s why I don’t shop at Ikea very often.
    Ikea in England and Wales now offer online shopping with door to door delivery so you don’t have to traipse miles out of town to the actual showroom (very expensive by taxi if you don’t drive) but extending the service to Scotland has been postponed. *headdesk*.
    Deus Ex Macintosh’s last blog post..Gitmo Goes

  3. Yes, I never understood the Ikea Perth layout – it’s like they want to make life difficult for customers.
    Can someone please translate this pre-school level concept into words of half a syllable or less, suitable for forcible installation into the wizened, overprivileged cerebrum of every architect in the land?
    Bunnings. HUGE warehouses, but people enter and exit at the same door. And the accessible parking is right at the entrance/exit.
    It’s not difficult.

  4. vesta44:

    Handicapped parking spaces close to the entrance door, handicapped spaces close to the ext door, and those doors are about 100 feet apart. So when I go there, I park by the exit doors, and those are the doors through which I enter.

    If I’d known, I could have looked for different parking or something, but there was no way to know, no signposting. There were plenty of parking spaces which would have reduced my walk time significantly – if they were free. These plum parking spaces, between entrance and exit, were regular spaces, and all full. The disabled parking was plonked way off to the side.

    No places to sit anywhere in the store,

    This is the one thing which is ok about IKEA, but purely by accident, being a furniture store and all.
    DEM:

    Ikea in England and Wales now offer online shopping with door to door delivery

    There is some online shopping here, but there are plenty of items in the store which aren’t online at all (the cushions I bought, for example), and there is a minimum spend.
    Rachel: Yes, Bunnings isn’t bad, except for the lack of in-store seating.
    Remind me to have a rant about cellar-door wineries sometime.

  5. I did like the bit with the older chap being very concerned about whether your poor disabled self could afford the lamp you wanted. I had a college-based version, with a chap very helpfully opening all the doors so I could get through … right up to the special ed section (I was actually there to interview for a place on the International Baccalaureate and on my way to the LIFT but no matter…).
    Deus Ex Macintosh’s last blog post..Poverty, Chastity and Obedience: You’re nil for three

  6. My current fav on the hit parade of “We don’t really care about the crips” is contacting places to ask if they have accessible washrooms.
    *sigh*

  7. We took visiting family to Ikea in Adelaide on Sunday (no Ikea in New Zealand, so it’s interesting). The local one seems to be a bit better organised than the Perth store. The access parking is right by the store entrance, and like Perth, there’s a greeter and all that. The exit seems to be a bit closer to the access parking, ‘though I think it would be closer to 70m or so, rather than 50m. So, not as good as it needs to be.
    But what I really noticed was that in order to get my children out of the children’s play area, I had to walk them (and me) all the way through the market hall (that place with lots of smaller things, like lamps, and kitchen things) again. There was only one shortcut. There were no seats in the market hall, whereas at least in the main furniture display area, there are plenty of things to sit on. There were doors right by the children’s play area leading into the store foyer, but they were one way doors, so no matter what, you simply have to go on quite a long trek through the market hall, then through the pick-up area and past the checkouts to get your children out. That’s a lot of extra walking.

  8. Deborah: Just wanted to add that putting an entrance 50 m away doesn’t make a place accessible! One of the criteria for a placard is that walking more than 50 m can cause harm or exacerbate symptoms (or words to that effect). A person generally has to get both into and out of a store, as well as transacting their business inside. More than 50 m is very obviously a fuck-you to folks who need proximity parking, but putting disabled parking 50 m from an entrance is still making the place inaccessible to a lot of folks.

  9. Yes. So unless you go out the entrance, which upsets the door staff, there’s a long walk to the car park. But in any case, it’s a long walk from the checkouts to the car park, whether you are walking inside the store or outside.
    I guess the simple ‘fix’ would be to have staff available to go and get customers’ cars out of the access parking, and load their cars up. The longer term, and better fix, would be to put the exit and the entrance close together, so that PWD don’t have to rely on a staff member, often rather thin on the ground, being available.

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