IKEA – the death of custom desks.

Our old desks have served us well, they server as a cat lounge, they are a gallery of kid art, and mine has coffee cup stains that have become like an old reliable friend during the past covid year. I won’t lie though, I have looked at IKEA desks online and seeing all the good ideas for desks. I found myself pining away for a new desk.

Lagkapten / Alex desk – from IKEA – Unavailable.

After a couple of weeks of that, I decided we were going to make a trip of it and travel 5 hrs round trip to the closest IKEA store and by hook or crook we were going to have new desks. I informed the wife well in advance, so we can place the trip on the family calendar. I felt good; we had a plan; we had a date. Kids asked to go shopping, sure no problem, everybody gets something.

The day before the trip, we change the oil in the mini-van, have the tires checked, that kind of stuff. It has been over a year since the mini-van has made a trip this distance and we wanted to be safe. Get home I unload the good will items that we forgot to drop off, stowed the back seats and measured to make sure there was room for the desks tops I wanted. We are ready, all set. What could go wrong, I’ll have new desks before the weekend is over. I was feeling good. I was ready. I wasn’t even worried about the assembly that was how much I wanted these new desks.

Over dinner my loving wife asks “Have you made sure the desks you wanted are in stock ?”

I scoff and smirk while saying, “It’s IKEA they have it, surely.” A raised eyebrow followed by the unconvinced “ok” – filled me with doubt, and it would be a wasted trip if they didn’t have what we needed.

Taking her advice, I casually hope on the internet and begin looking for items we would need to build us one of those IKEA desks you see on Pinterest and everywhere else on the internet. I started this thinking it would only take a 30 minutes at the most to verify everything was in stock.

Let me tell you I was wrong, it took hours. Why, you ask? Simple the IKEA’s supply chain is in complete shambles right now. Tumbleweeds are blowing through those enormous warehouses across the country. When everything I wanted wasn’t in stock at my closest IKEA, I looked at another one that would add a couple of hours to the drive but reasoned it would be worth it if they had what we needed.

Nope, they were out of stock as well. So was every other IKEA I looked at across the nation. I sat stunned. This was unexpected. After I numbness wore off, my curiosity got the best of me and I had to find out when it started ? A quick search on google and BAM! There it was. For the past year there are posts on reddit, forums, Facebook with people mentioning how items just weren’t there. Nightmare scenarios of resorting to third-party applications and ready to drop everything once it dinged that stock had been replenished, not unlike trying to get dinner reservations at Disney. There it was, the apocalypse laid out before me to read.

I am surprised that IKEA is struggling to keep its stores stocked; it has been a year and they should have had time to adjust to the new reality that our Global pandemic world has dropped on us. It looks like they haven’t, and who knows when they will. I’m sure manufacturing the items is difficult, if not impossible until the workers get vaccinated. I understand that there was most likely an increased demand over the past year as everyone shifted to a Work From Home model if they could. Kids needed desks for school, but that surge shouldn’t be affecting us today.

I canceled our trip to IKEA, alternate plans were made so the kids could still have their shopping day. We hit three malls, and walked away with Heely’s, shirts, sweaters, pants, Japanese soft drinks and manga.

I also discovered another causality of COVID – Starbucks is no longer in any malls. When the F did that happen? A latte, or London Fog is the fuel I use to get me through these mall trips and here it was gone. With to little caffeine I soldiered through it, caffeine deprived. It was a trip for the two youngest, after all, and they were happy with their new stuff. I look forward to swinging through a local coffee shop to get the good stuff on the way home, which is what we did.

As far as desks go I’m not sure what we are going to do, these old desks will have to keep soldiering on until we find something to replace them, which is alright they have memories etched into their wood so they will do just fine for now.

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