Thousands of engineering and technical employees from major appliance manufacturers including Whirlpool, Frigidaire, and Kenmore walked off the job Wednesday. Members of the National Union of Dishwasher Engineers (NUDE) went on strike to protest disrespectful behavior shown by appliance consumers.
The strike is the result of tensions building for years from what NUDE considers willful ignorance by consumers of the features and benefits carefully built into modern dishwashers.
“Everytime someone puts a drinking glass on the bottom rack or stacks bowls on top of each other in the dishwasher, it is like spitting in the face of every Dishwasher Engineer and we aren’t going to take it anymore,” said Charles Dilfferding, NUDE’s executive director, in announcing the strike. “We will stun the world. Our strike will sting our abusers like the high psi of our CLEAN-Jet water delivery hose systems.”
NUDE engineers maintain that people refuse to load dishes correctly and fail to comply with the detailed instructions in the user manuals which clearly inform customers how to achieve a highly efficient wash cycle depending on the mix of dishes and the level of soil. The engineers complain that they spend years finely honing engineering skills in school, studying water flow dynamics, electrical, and mechanical engineering design. The engineers’ view is that they have created near-perfect placement to efficiently clean dishes, yet customers around the world continue to load them with absolute disregard for all of that expertise and attention to detail.
Customers Janet and William Fuld admit they did not read the user manual when they bought their new appliance. “I put it somewhere,” William said referring to the instruction booklet.
Another customer, Claire R. Johnson admitted defiantly that she just presses the button that says ‘Normal Wash’ and the “damn dishes get clean enough.” From across the picket line, one NUDE engineer shouted, “I bet you don’t even have the G-d damned common courtesy to fill the integrated JETDRY rinse aid resevoir.” Johnson appeared quite unfamiliar with the reference.
Unsuccessful Mediation by Local Project Manager
While not a NUDE member, Project Manager Morris Bumberger, PMP, works with the frustrated engineers. Bumberger tried to prevent the walk-out by serving as a mediator between the engineers and the customers. Bumberger told the media, “Engineers have a reputation for being binary, self-assured, maybe even a bit stubborn. They have good hearts, they just struggle to communicate with normal people.” Naturally, Bumberger created a spreadsheet with numerous pivot tables to help bridge the communication divide, though it appears his email went largely unread by both sides. The WebEx meeting he hosted also suffered technical problems which prevented him from sharing his screen.
For the time being, a path to resolution is unclear and not promising. In a parting shot, one engineer who wished to remain anonymous threatened to “bring the world back to a time when they have to scrub the residue from their asparagus water off of their drinking glasses…by hand.”
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