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Sunday, 11 July 2010

Dear Catastrophe Waitress

Expense, expense and more expense, as if I don't have enough to worry about.

The dishwasher's gone AWOL. It's one of those intelligent sort - senses the water and the dirtiness of your cutlery. It lost its marbles a while back. Put on a rinse and five days later it would complain and spit out the dishwater tablet. (See my earlier blog "Are domestic appliances sentient" for more info).

Anyway we got really pissed off having to wash the plates before the  bloody thing would dain to perform. So a few weeks back we secretly went to a local electrical retailer. I slipped in unnoticed and in a low voice enquired about a replacement. I was shown two models: the price difference was £150 and I couldn't see what was so smart about the expensive model so I ordered the cheaper one.

It's the same make as the renegade, but trained. Anyway, last Monday the guys arrived to take out the old model and replace it with a brand spanking new one. In no time they'd cut the life support of the psychotic Bosch (damn: advertising and no credit from Google) shipped it out and connected the new Bosch.

I liked the simple controls on the new model. I thought that was progress. "This is more straight forward to use than your last model  - which was top of the range. What with the water sensor, digital readout and programmable sequencing." I listened as the very helpful technician rabbited on. WYours is the base model - no problem there mind you. It's just well basic".

Lovely, I thought, just what I need. Something uncomplicated like those granny mobile phones with huge number keys and no features. "Once you switch it on you have 10 secs to choose the programme". Just a well there's only 4 otherwise I'd be timed out trying to choose.

Having given them a two hour parking permit; they'd been and gone in 30 minutes and I was left face to face with our new dishwasher ( and four pounds of documentation). First, I had to register on line "Right Away" to get my two years' Guarantee. All I needed was the model and serial number and go to and register "Right Away". Which I did. 2hrs later having given them every piece of information I knew about me. I was registered. You don't know how great that feels.

Dishwashers are fairly simple things. Water comes in, gets heated, pushed through a spray and pumped out. Nothing too complex. It's old technology, like washing machines and cars. Most of the gremlins have been sorted so you can expect your white good to last 10 years or more. Except... they will fiddle. Not with the basics but with the electronics. So, there's something which measures the opaqueness of the water and will adjust the wash to ensure "best wash". You can download software up dates to your dishwasher or washing machine; and god help us they can be operated from your computer or TV.

Our old dish washer, bless her heart was fine at "splish sploshing", it's just that her complex electronic brain tended to get bored with such menial tasks as washing dishes so went off and solved partial differential equations with four unknowns. Our new idiot is fine. It'll do what it's told to do: wash dishes.

Now our fridge freezer is 14 years old and showing her age. Auto defrosting is a lost art and the last time I defrosted the freezer, I was taking ice core samples that stretched back to the last ice age. So something had to be done.

The new model I have my eye is a beaut. It's not just  frost free, non defrost, it has a fan which blows cold air over everything! Just like in the supermarket. It has an anti- bacteria "skin", ultra sensitive freeze and fast freeze controls and led and all, along with extra illumination ( a bright light).

Hell, I might even be able to download an update. How cool is that!


Selina Kingston said...

I'm afraid I have to take issue with "dishwashers are fairly simple things". No they are not! Mine isn't. It's so temperamental that I only use it when we have guests over. On normal days, I use the other dishwasher hubby !!! (Now that IS simple - tee hee hee!!)

Barry Coidan said...

Dear Selina, have you thought of trading in your hubby for a more up to date version. The latest iDad is quite neat and you can retro fit if you feel nostalgic for the old pipe and slippers.

Yours Dear Prudence