Doing Our Part to Help the Economy

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No, this isn’t it. I don’t think this one has
electronic controls.

Buying a washing machine. Our Whirlpool Calypso, a lemon of a machine if ever one were built (which I’d brought back from the dead at least three times), finally nutated itself into an inert hunk of metal. Armed with printouts from the latest Consumer Reports online—which we logged into from home, using my public library card, nifty—we headed to Sears. There, we looked at everything, and settled at last on a nice-looking Samsung high-efficiency top loader (our space is awfully tight for a front loader), and awaited delivery. Today, it came.

The minute it was installed, we knew we’d chosen the wrong machine. It’s simply too big for our little pantry/laundry-room. I don’t think we’d fully realized just how much the average washer had ballooned in size in the last ten or fifteen years. Nevertheless, the Sears guys said we had thirty days to return it, and we could use it in the meantime. So we went ahead and ran a few loads. (After leveling it, which the installers failed to do correctly.)

This was the top-rated machine from Consumer Reports, and yet it was amazing how quickly it revealed annoying design deficiencies. It’s all electronic, which you’re pretty much stuck with, if you want a high-efficiency machine. But the designers didn’t think to add a button for “cancel and drain,” so I had to wait out the water-only test run. Once you’ve pressed Start, you can’t change anything, not even the water temperature selection. When it’s done, it plays an electronic song that goes on for a surprisingly long time. Irritating the first time, and downhill after that.

And so, tomorrow, we get to go out and do it all over again. This time, with the benefit of experience, I hope. 

Postscript: After looking at a lot of other machines, we (the editorial “we”) decided to do some creative carpentry, and make the Samsung fit in our space. We got over the UI design deficiencies pretty quickly, and decided that we liked it after all.  Actually, we all love the glass lid, so we can peer in and watch the clothes go swish, swish. Reminds me of when we had a big aquarium, which served double duty as “cat TV.”  We are easily amused.

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