Today I am not going to delve into any heavy-heavy nursing issues, or talk about cholera (though you may see an update later). There is only so much this nurse can give, and my brain is tired. Instead, I am going to rant about a crockpot. The one we bought a couple of weeks ago.
It’s a Hamilton Beach Model # 33723C. Why, o why, you might ask, did buy a crockpot, the curse of church suppers and mid-week dinners? Well, because, frying eggs taxes Mister Man’s culinary skills, I loathe having to cook after getting home from a busy day of playing charge-nursey, and yes, I am cursed by the occasional church supper.
We didn’t intend to buy it. We were at Zellers. For my American readers Zellers is a low-rent department store that really wants to be the Canadian version of Target but usually ends up looking like a slightly tacky Walmart. Anyway, we had to get something at Zellers — some fancy lightbulb evidently something exclusively available at Zellers — and when we went through the check-out the girl there said “You have enough Club Z points for sixty dollar gift certificate!” (It took us twenty years of shopping to accumulate enough points, incidentally.) Oddly, just that morning I had said to the husband, “We should by a crockpot.” Some things are meant to be.
Anyway, it’s not goumet cooking, but I am reasonably satisfied with it. Stew and soup and such are credible. It makes a tolerable bœuf à la bourguignonne, believe it not. Pot roast not so much, or maybe I’m not doing it right: it’s strangely flavourless. Midweek stew and church potlucks, that about sums it up.
None of which is the real reason for this post. The point is that after two weeks of using the crockpot maybe five times, the little writing on the temperature control dial, which tells me “High”, “Low”, “Warm”, and “Off” have worn off completely. It’s not like I’m using some weird concoction of bleach, ammonia and oven cleaner to wipe the thing down. Yet the happy sticker on the side, which tells me I have bought a lovely Hamilton Beach Crockpot with Travel Case in the event I forget, remains stubbornly stuck on despite repeated assaults. It’s not that I need to know where “High” is. It’s the principal of the thing. Why should something which I paid fifty bucks for develop a defect after two weeks? So yesterday, I emailed the company:
About two weeks ago I bought a crockpot at Zellers, the fancy one with the travel case. I am very pleased with it, except, the markings on the temperature dial have already worn of. Ironically, I cannot get the promotional sticker on the side of the pot off. Can you please send me another dial, and instructions how to replace it? Also, how do I remove the sticker?
I have not received a reply, perhaps because of my faintly sarcastic tone. (I am constitutional unable to write to anyone in authority without being faintly or obviously sarcastic.) But then I remembered something about the concept of “quality control.” Most people believe “quality control” means making something the best way possible. It actually means making something to the cheapest, most minimal quality standard possible that will sell to an ignorant and apathetic public. Hamilton Beach obviously strongly believes in quality control. The company also knows it can save ten cents a unit on dial labelling because few people will complain about such a triviality, and if they do bitch, they can be safely ignored, because we won’t do anything about it. (Customer service essentially has the same definition as quality control. Bell Canada has elevated customer service to an art, for example.)
So I feel cheap and used. By a corporation. I know, take a number, and stand in line.