All the Bells and Whistles

Not that long ago, I decided it was finally time for a full-scale replacement of our old appliances. Since we were in the process of some home renovations, I felt new, modern-looking units would help update the look of our house which had been constructed in the 1980’s.

So out went the age-worn kitchen and laundry appliances, and in came my beautiful, stream-lined stainless steel apparatus. The new utensils literally have all the bells and whistles! For instance, the wall oven makes a cute, little sound when the warming cycle is done and the required temperature is reached. The microwave beeps on regular intervals to remind someone that an enclosed item awaits removal, and the dishwasher sounds a few delightful notes when dirty items are inserted and again when a cleaning cycle is complete. Meanwhile the washer and dryer actually play little tunes when I select a cycle and an enjoyable little jingle when it is done.

Additionally, my clothes washer has a load leveller so that never again will that machine bounce dangerously to one side because I failed to evenly distribute a load. Likewise, I will no longer risk personal injury trying to muscle the contraption into compliance.

Not only are my new tools pleasing to the ear, but they are also visually appealing. Gleaming stainless steel gives my kitchen an industrial, high-end appearance where I can pretend that I am some cooking guru. I was in culinary heaven, that is, until the first glitch occurred. My beautiful, gleaming fridge sustained its first ugly scratch. Who knew that those cute, little fridge magnets could inflict such damage?

Then shortly after that misstep, my microwave started beeping indiscriminately and for no apparent reason. I tried adjusting every setting and thought the problem was solved, only to have that annoying beeping sound resume in the middle of the night.

Following that, the refrigerator developed a leak (from some unknown area) and from time to time I would find myself standing in a puddle of water when I went to open the fridge door. Another issue came up with the installation of the new oversized washer and dryer when they would not sit flush against the wall. And, try as I might, my new oven refuses to brown the bread or buns to my liking. Plus, if I use the oven’s timer when baking, the oven shuts off when the programmed time is done, even if the baking is not. Suddenly, I was missing my old, reliable contraptions!

We have since managed to repair the microwave which had a faulty computer board, and the fridge, which had a malfunctioning cooling system. We have figured out a way to reposition the washer and dryer, but those maneuvers require the skills of a carpenter. However, my oven continues to turn out pale, unappetizing baked goods (even though they taste fine). To date, the dishwasher has not given us any grief, but I hesitate to say that out loud in case I jinx it.

Modern technology is wonderful and has provided us with many labour-saving devices, but it has also created a myriad of new problems. I know I sound like my parents when I say, “They sure don’t make things like they use to.”






2 thoughts on “All the Bells and Whistles

  1. That’s actually true. They don’t make things like they used to. Consumer advocates advise not replacing old major appliances if they still work.
    Also warranties are much shorter now because appliances are made to be replaced within about 5 years.

    1. Well, that certainly explains the issues that so many people are having with their appliances. But I do appreciate my load leveller in the washing machine. Do you remember the spin machine that we had at Mohyla? There was a wringer washer and then we’d put our clothes in the spinner device. That thing would bounce around like a broken top if you didn’t load it correctly! Lol.

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