Wednesday, May 28, 2014

How to Buy a Dishwasher in 4,000 Easy Steps

Okay, so it isn't really 4,000 steps, but it has turned out to be a long process. It began, as most purchases do, with convincing my husband that we needed a new dishwasher. Ours was not doing its job anymore and required all manner of tricks and strategies to get the dishes clean. Eventually, he did agree to bring a repairman to have a look at it. The repairman, without any prompting from me, reported that the poor thing was at the end of its life, and we should think about getting a new one. But it wasn't until Paul thought through the numbers that he agreed. You see, in order to get the dishes even somewhat clean, we had to run the rinse cycle first followed by the "heavy wash" cycle. The wasted water and energy convinced him that a new dishwasher would likely save us money in the long run. Victory! On to step two. 

I believe I have established in previous posts, that we are academics. We don't just run to the store and say, "I'll take that one" the way a normal person would. No, we do research. We collect evidence. We plan. We labor over the decision until we finally select the best value for our unique situation. This time, we did it all online. This turned out to be a mistake. I was at work when I received a message from Paul that the dishwasher he ordered didn't fit. It was too tall. He ordered a different one.

The next choice fit fine, but I was disappointed when I tried to use it. It was too small. I understand that we needed one that would fit in our small kitchen, but the old one was bigger than this! I would have to run the dishwasher at least twice a day, maybe three times. Moreover, the top rack doesn't come out all the way and is difficult to load. On to step, what is it now . . . five?

Paul did more research, but this time he insisted that we go to the showroom together to make the selection. If we both go, then the children have to come, too. On the way to the store, we were treated to a chorus of, "This is boring!" and "I don't want to go to a stupid dishwasher store!" and "What a waste of an afternoon!" I asked the children to try to think of a time when Daddy or I did something for their sake that we didn't really want to do. Couldn't they make this sacrifice for their family? Sulking followed. 

We went to a store in the Chicago suburbs that rates highly for both price and service. It's been around since 1936, and we have had good experiences with them in the past. Their store is a wonderland. I have never seen a showroom with as much action as theirs. At other stores, you'll see four or five salespersons hanging around waiting for bait. This place was packed with customers. And if you walk all the way through the showroom, you enter a lovely atrium with a HUGE dancing fountain. All around the atrium are little boutique-style shops featuring small appliances, kitchen displays, clocks, computers and tablets, and mattresses. They also had features to appeal to children--a close-up parlor magician, free fresh-baked cookies, a bubble maker that you can step into and find yourself inside a giant bubble. The kids weren't complaining anymore. They were delighted. 

So 4,000 steps later (or something like that) we selected a new dishwasher. It will be delivered on Friday. I hope this is the end of the story.

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