Grandparenting – Day 4

Operating a 21st century appliances is not something that immediately springs to mind when considering grandparent duty. When I walked in for my first shift I knew how to turn on the tv and once someone told me where the remote was I proved adept at chilling the room to a cool 23. Everything else was something else. A trip up the Amazon in an open canoe would be easier than operating the washing machine for the first time while the clothes drier was akin to crossing the Sahara on crutches. But it’s the dishwasher that makes me feel as though I am orbiting the earth with the broken shackle from the space station trailing along behind. Forget handy little instruction books. So last century! This dishwasher is an extremely complicated, computerised appliance that comes with the attitude of a sixteen-year-old learner driver and a series of symbols similar to the hieroglyphics written on the walls of Egyptian tomb. I was possibly over-confident because I knew where to put the tablet and how to close the door, besides the symbols had water on them which lead me to believe I was only minutes from deciphering the code. Once again it was the teenager who gave the expensive appliance the well-practiced flick, push and sweep of the hand that made water flow and dishes clean. The next night was a different story. She’d gone to bed and with the only alternative washing everything by hand, I put on my new glasses, knelt on a cushion and peered at the panel. The operating options are written twice but it’s not that helpful if the only symbol you can identify is the on/off switch.  When my knees began locking up I decided to think like the 22 year old designer and see if I could imitate the flick, push and sweep of the hand. That’s how I discovered the three minute metal microplaned function keys that extend 2 mm out of  the machine so as not to destroy the aesthetic. It is my opinion Mr Smeg, if your buyers are young enough to find them and work out what they do they are probably of the generation who can’t cook and therefore don’t create dishes which is why I think you should make them VISIBLE so the rest of us can get on with trying to work out how to change the channel on the tv.Black dishwasher panel with Smeg written on it.


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