Bleeping White Goods and Pointless Messages

After a particularly hard week flitting between Edinburgh and Glasgow I finally managed to put my feet up and have a well deserved glass of red wine. It was a precious moment, savouring the flavour and feeling the stress of the week begin to subside. A moment like that that should not be disturbed by anything and anyone.

Then suddenly my oncoming calmness is interrupted by an urgent beeping noise coming from the kitchen. It is high pitched and makes my spine shiver and my skin crawl. I have another sip of wine to try and offset the intrusion, but a few seconds later my spine quivers to the sound of another set of urgent beeps.

What is it? Yes, it is the dishwasher!

A dishwasher that came with a built in irritating ‘feature’ that makes it beep incessantly at the end of its cycle until you go and empty it. So the only way to enjoy my wine and to chill out completely is to get up and go and take all the pots and pans out of the machine. Finally it shuts up and leaves me in peace.

What brainstorming session in some dishwasher manufacturer created such an abomination of an idea? Are you listening white goods manufacturer? It is annoying, unnecessary and most galling of all, cannot be turned off.

Why not? If I don’t want cold callers on the phone I subscribe to the Telephone Preference Service. If I don’t want junk emails I tick the “don’t send me junk emails” box. If I don’t want “Pop Ups” I turn on my Pop Up Blocker. But I cannot opt out of this mindless dishwasher noise.

It’s not just in the kitchen. Day in day out we are surrounded by often pointless messages and reminders. At Waverley Station, on a rainy day, the electronic lady’s voice tells me every minute or so that because it is raining, the platforms may be “wet and slippery”. Talk about pointing out the bleeding obvious.

In Sainsbury the self-service checkout counters shout out a constant stream of phrases, “Choose Payment Type”; “Have you swiped your Nectar Card?”;”Quantity Needed!” – why can we not have the option to turn this off? I know what I am doing okay!

In buildings, lifts constantly tell us that the doors are either opening or closing. Isn’t that what lift doors are supposed to do?

Whilst these nattering electronic voices undoubtedly help some people, for the majority they just become a background irritant. We are surrounded constantly by a never ending barrage of information and instructions and BEEPS.

Would you like some ear plugs with your red wine?

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