The looming black mammoth in my kitchen was dearly paid for. Not just with money, but with time and sanity.
We needed a new fridge... the last time we purchased one was eight years ago. It was a used fridge, and we got a bargain on it because it's coils were bent. For the last eight years a twisty tie from a bread package has kept it working. It was time to upgrade.
My wife wanted a black fridge, because we have a white dishwasher, a white microwave, a cream hood and a cream oven. I really can offer no insight into this requirement, but I didn't care. I wanted a side by side, with an icemaker. Seemed simple enough, a black side by side that makes ice. Of to the appliance store.
So we go to the fridge shop, and are identified in seconds by the joy-sucking leeches, that are commissioned salespeople.
Salesman #1 - aka “The Listener”
"Hello, can I help you?"
"Yes," I say, Patricia is giving me the evil eye at this point. Apparently her superior shopping sense had already identified this guy’s caliber. "We're looking for a fridge. We want a black one, side by side, that fits our budget."
Apparently I said, "Were both a couple of ripe suckers. Ignore our request completely and show us the most expensive models!"
He proceeds to parade us around to the industrial stainless steel fridges with LCD interface, soda fountains, voice recognition, and a satellite uplink. Who's looking for that in an icebox? Are we supposed to communicate with our fridge?
"Hal, I want some turkey"
"I'm sorry Peter, I can't do that"
"Hal, release the door"
Regardless we couldn't afford any of them. So this clown finishes off this less than stellar act, by saying, "I recommend this model. It's not black, not a side by side, and it only $500 more than your max. Let me know when you're ready."
Oh... Thank you!
We, being the undying optimists that we are, decide to try again. We probably got the one fella who didn't know what he was doing...
Salesman #2 - aka “The Talker”
This guy was unreal. I didn't know there was that much to talk about. He starts off with the evils of electric controls, and the anatomy of filters. Blah blah, slide out trays, blah blah, optional frozen pizza holder, how long can he go between breaths blah blah, spill proof doors, blah blah blah, a good fridge is a quiet fridge, take some of your own advice friend blah blah blah
Both babies are crying and we're doing the nod and shuffle. I think this should be a clear sign that we need to go. What do I need – signal flags? He didn't care, he was talking about his lesser-priced competitors, and how they ignored customers. I have to say, at this point I could do with a healthy portion of neglect. I didn't know what to do, we smiled, said thank you 37 times, and made a break for it. It was so comical it was almost hard to believe it really happened.
Anyway we went to a competitor, got a great price, and now have Mr. Jumbo Frigidare squeezed into a very tight spot. I will not begin to pontificate on the joys of filtered water at your beck and call, or the sheer bliss that is a spacious fridge. I will only say the joyful “Crack!” “Plop!” of automatic ice making is worth almost any sales pitch.