Get Your Hand Out of My Purse!

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The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the People.

The State chooses to ignore the intention of this amendment — to limit the power of the State; to prevent the State’s encroachments into our lives.

I deeply resent State intrusion into my life; into my home. I would turn away familial or neighborhood busybodies, but have no choice when the long arm of the law enters without so much as ringing the bell. I have no way to lock the State out and I am surprised that we are not required to have TSA or State-approved locks on our doors to provide authorities with easier access.

The law does not allow me to have a dog that bites. Lord knows that they do not want me to have a handgun for self-defense. So, I continue to be ideologically and financially raped in my own home and I have no protection; no recourse; no justice.

The latest State intrusion came disguised as a dishwasher. I am not fond of dishwashers but the next person to own my house may be, so I decided to replace the old one with a more modern appliance, since I am redoing the entire kitchen, anyway.

After the dishwasher, Betrayer that it has turned out to be, was delivered and installed, I decided to test it and make sure that it was working properly. After many days I did manage to get enough dishes for a load. (With the family out-of-town, popcorn makes a great meal and only dirties one bowl.) The machine made sloshing noises that sounded wimpy, to say the least, but I let it run the full cycle to give it a fair chance.

Once all was silent, I opened the door — to find soaking wet dishes. Patiently I toweled them dry, vowing that next time I would look more carefully at the array of buttons to be sure that I pushed those that I had paid extra to get: Hi-Temp Wash; Hi-Temp Rinse; Heat Dry.

A couple weeks went by and my stock of bowls was running low, so I ran another load, carefully pushing all of those buttons. At the end of the cycle…my smile was forced as I towel dried another load of soaking wet dishes, noting that they were 100 times wetter than if I had washed them by hand and left them to drip-dry in the old fashioned drainer.

I gave the dishwasher four more chances before the repairman arrived. After running through the cycles, and checking out the heating element, both of us were sure that something was wrong with the machine. The heating element only worked part of the time and sheets of water were sliding down the sides around soaking wet dishes even after the Heated Dry cycle.

The man checked the temperature on my hot water heater, found it to be 115 degrees, then phoned the manufacturer to discuss the problem. After a long inning in the “If You Wish X, Push Y” game, a technician came on the line. The problem was explained; then the tongue-lashing began. The serviceman held the phone so I could hear and it was obvious that I would end up being in the wrong, instead of the manufacturer!

“What is the temperature of her water heater?” “Is she using rinse agent?” “DID she read her manual?”

“Only 115 degrees!! If she had read her manual, she would have seen that we recommend 120!” “What? NO rinse agent?! If she had read her manual she would have seen that page with all the possible reasons for wet dishes! Number One is water temperature too low; Number Two is lack of rinse agent; Number Three is….”

The list was lengthy and every one of the options put the blame squarely back on me. Now I may not be a technological wiz, but I do know how to turn a knob to START and how to push those high tech buttons that read “Hi-Temp” wash, rinse and dry.

I refused to accept the blame without a fight and so I challenged the technician’s insistence that I was the problem.

“Why should I spend extra money to buy rinse agent?” I asked.

I was told that if I want the water to spread out and flow off my dishes more effectively, I have no choice.

“Why should I turn my water heater up when I don’t want hot-hot water in the rest of my house? I bought this dishwasher specifically for the hot water booster.”

I was told that the machine cannot make the water hot enough, to heat the dishes hot enough, to force the huge drops of water to run off and/or evaporate from the dishes and the interior of the dishwasher.

“Why won’t the heating element, for which I paid extra money and upon which I have put my hopes for pulling clean and dry dishes from the dishwasher, heat up and dry the dishes?”

I was told that the heating element cycles on and off, but never stays on long enough to dry dishes.

“Why?? Why won’t the heating element stay on long enough to do what I paid for it to do?”

I was informed that the element must turn on and off for…that is the only way the manufacturer can design dishwashers that function within the efficiency standards required by law.

“What the %#*&@?”

So…the manufacturer can only meet the requirements of the law if I buy and use rinse agent; if I turn my water heater up and provide hotter water to every faucet and water-using appliance in the house. I was furious at the thought of having a higher electric bill and paying for a product that I have never before needed. I was told that this is the era of new technology and that I need to relax and be able to accept change. Right.

The manufacturer gets to advertise its high efficiency products and I get to pay for the illusion.

The buttons that supposedly control the options for which I paid that extra money are basically non-functioning frills since even with my water heater providing water that is within five degrees of the recommended level, the dishwasher cannot get water hot enough to perform as advertised. All of that would have been clearly explained to me — if only I had read my manual.

The ethics of selling such compromised products to unaware buyers who do not receive the buyer’s manual until after a very heavy, but theoretically energy efficient, appliance has already been installed and plumbed into the water system? Non-existent!

I do not want to pay a higher electric bill so that the EPA can pretend that I am saving money by buying an efficient dishwasher that meets EPA standards. I do not want to buy rinse agent so the dishwasher can appear to offer “Heated Dry.” I do not want my local utility company to burn more fuel in order to make the additional electricity needed to make the dishwasher appear to have a “Hi-Temp” option. I do not approve of the increased shipping costs and fuel usage as trucks deliver bottles of rinse agent to the store nearest my home.

Where, exactly, do we find increased efficiency, and Energy Savings, with this product?? We don’t.

Go away, EPA! Get out of my kitchen! Get out of my life! And get your intrusive hands out of my purse!

Oh, the manual says that even if I do everything right, I will still have to towel dry plastic items. Thanks for…NOTHING!

Linda Schrock Taylor [send her mail] is an educational consultant, homeschooling mom, and public school special ed teacher. She is available for presentations, inservices, and workshops.

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