Friday, October 18, 2013

The Dishwasher and the Anthropologist

Before moving, Mrs. T decided we needed a new dishwasher.  My bride is a great cook, but I do the dishes and knowing my opinion counted for nothing, I stayed home. Mrs. T returned  with news our new appliance would be delivered Monday.  Then she checked the reviews.  Her report less than helpful.  "Most everyone writing a review hated model 123 (ours) and wished they had purchased model 234.  How would anyone know?

Have you ever purchased a dishwasher?  It's a pig in a poke.  What's your criteria?  How do you chose, what makes a dishwasher good or bad?  Essentially there are 2 ways to pick.  First, you can match the other appliances in your kitchen, by brand, model or color, or depending upon your willingness to pay, pay 'till it hurts.

On Monday, bright and early, the delivery truck arrived. I asked the delivery guy if he wanted to make this stop easy or hard?  "Easy I guess" came his reply. "You brought the wrong dishwasher" I said, " Come back when you have the right one" which prompted a call from the store.  "We are so sorry for the mix up.  We damaged the dishwasher you purchased, will you please accept model 234 at the same cost?  We will deliver it tomorrow morning" We would and they did.

That night I spotted a listing on Craigslist.  "If you purchased a model 234 dishwasher and wish to participate in our study we will pay you.  Call if interested."  We called.

Two days later a video camera arrived with instructions to keep a video diary of how we used our dishwasher.  An in home interview would follow.  A video diary of a dishwasher in an unoccupied condo is not entertaining but we did our part. The interview was the best part of all.

Have you ever met an anthropologist?  A real life urban anthropologist arrived at our door, hired of course by the model 234 people, to study how "real" people use their dishwasher "in real life".   How cool is that? Unfortunately she didn't know about the frozen pepperoni pizza test.



LPC said...

That video is hysterical.

And in my job as head of User Experience for software, we did anthropology, but no pizzas were harmed in the attempt.

Anonymous said...

Just think: all the way across the United States of America from Mayberry, a similar [not the same] scenario happily [miserably] repeated itself at our house.

I, also a bride, who does dishes and everything else in the kitchen, gave a VERY short list to my husband who gallantly [is that a word?] went to fetch a dishwasher. [NOTE: that's a one hour trip to the city, and a one hour return trip back].

I made it so easy, "get this and this only," I specified.

Insteaddddddd, my beloved [an innocent, who takes things at perceived-face-value] and [who decided to use his OWN thinking skills once he'd left the driveway] returned with another than I'd specified.

Irrelevant that I'd pre-thought EVERYthing to keep him from being "sold" anything on any sales floor; indeed, I'd narrowed the field to one [which I'd already confirmed was available online], and I'd narrowed the stores to one.

Fast fwd: so here we have this [energey efficient!] dishwasher with no heating element, so each finished load of dishes AND the interior of the washer must be hand dryed, oh and the dw detergent does not dissolve during the cycle, oh and since he stopped at Sears Scratch and Dent Warehouse FIRST before going to the destination I'd specified, and since THAT is where he made this purchase, and since they don't take returns, and since neither do they give operation manuals with their USED product, which then puts this used product permanently in our kitchen forevermore, well.....well, despite all this, I adore him madly, but just sayin.

You did hit a nerve, Toad.

Honest to God Toad, I won't leave a comment for at least another 6 months. This is no way to welcome you back, I do apologize for my verbosity.


Toad said...

He is one brave SOB. Few men have that level of what? self confidence, senility..

I'd retire from dishes, and please don't stop commenting