Friday, December 20, 2013

Falling Apart in a Parking Lot

I have always been amazed at the outcomes of group settings. You hear about it all the time when 40 people watch someone get robbed, or you decide to get an iPhone because everyone else has those little tech boxes of infinite wisdom and coolness.

What is even more interesting is to see how you personally choose to deal with these situations. The agony of going against the grain can usually be enough to keep you on the sidelines. Heaven forbid someone stares at you. You can always notice these situations at huge public places like the grocery store or mall.

The holidays in general can be one huge conglomeration of these pack mentality instances, and a huge test of either being part of the action or a member of the crowd.

Recently at IKEA this whole do what everyone else does idea was put to the test. I am convinced that if you need to learn any thing at any point in time about life you merely need to go to IKEA. Within those furniture covered walls is a playground for human interaction. Aside from the randomness that you can purchase, it literally satisfies tastes from troll doll shower curtains, to amoeba shaped mirrors, and even vegetable throw pillows.

Every someone or something is sure to provide you with an experience that you know is only possible at IKEA. I'm talking about you meatball macaroni in the cafe.

So of course my last trip there was no exception. I wasn't even in the front door when all hell broke loose. I was walking in with my cart when a rogue cart filled with Tupperware and loofahs goes flying by. Behind is a man flailing one  arm in distress, balancing a lamp and place mats in the other one. The cart is literally emulating a Frisbee as it shoots kitchen organizers from all angles.  And everyone around is staring in awe. My moral conscious was reaching serious lows as I watched three cars proceed to flatten some Swedish version of Rubbermaid. As he scrambled to grab what little remained at that point, the wind picked up and blew those place mats like napkins across the lot. 

This was clearly the last straw. You could see the distressed man just trying to get a little organization in his life was quickly losing faith as he lost distance on the cart. I watched everyone continue to walk by and the cars demolish half the purchase and couldn't believe no one stepped in. I had a few fly away place mats land near me and quickly tried to grab what survived for the man, but he was too far gone as he sprinted to his car with about 1/4 of what he originally had.

No one deserves to have their life fall apart in a parking lot. Had there been less people watching, maybe someone would have decided to stop before flattening an entire cart full.

So moral of the story is, when helping others in public distress....

  • Their humiliation is greater than yours.
  • Everyone deserves excessive amounts of organizational kitchen ware.
  • You can be the one to step up...
  • ...because your neighbor probably isn't.
  • It will probably be you next, aka cramming a whole room's worth of decoration into a Toyota Camry {fail}
  • Flailing arms, and vortex like carts are no sympathy tactic.
  • If you feel like you should help then you probably should.
Best of luck at your next IKEA adventure!