Today's writing: rage haiku about my dishwasher

I am a fan of a strongly worded letter. This is one I've wanted to write a long time, to the CEO of GE, a company that does its best to avoid paying taxes and also seems to do its best to design dishwashers designed to be replaced shortly after purchase.


Jeff Immelt
CEO, General Electric
General Electric Company
3135 Easton Turnpike, Fairfield, CT 06828
(203) 373-2211


Dear Mr. Immelt:

I am writing to you just before 6 AM on a Tuesday. I am one of your customers—probably a pretty typical one. A married mom of two kids with a job and other responsibilities. I get up by 5 AM to make sure everything gets taken care of. Unloading the dishwasher is almost always my first chore. About the early hour or the workload, I have no complaints.

About my GE dishwasher, I could write a medium-sized volume of rage haiku, especially since I just spent forty-five minutes dismantling the spray arms to do my best at removing the small particles of food that get lodged there every single day.  These are designed cheaply and in such a way that they can’t actually be cleaned.

Let me share just a few of the rage haikus I have composed this morning, thinking of you and your executives who have probably NEVER loaded or unloaded a dishwasher, and who probably rarely handle a dirty dish after you’ve passed it for someone else to manage:

It is moronic

To design a dishwasher

That traps particles


What makes it all worse

Is that I can’t take apart

The stupid spray arms


I replaced them once

I also had a pro try

It cost me a ton


And it didn’t work

Excuse me while I censor

A stream of foul words


One shred of pasta

Means the flow of water stops

Dishes don’t get washed


Here’s a dishwasher

That can’t clean a dirty dish

Clean dishes only


I am not so dumb

As to buy one from GE

You don’t test your stuff


It’s hard to imagine a lousier product. A dishwasher that can only clean dishes that have been rinsed of every particle--especially the small ones, which will block the spray arms--is like a car that can only get you ten percent of the total distance you’re trying to drive. It’s like a book with only the first chapter. It’s a telephone without an earpiece or number pad. In short, it’s a waste of all the labor and materials that went into it, which is a foul thing to contemplate in a planet on the edge of ruin.

Here’s the thing, Mr. Immelt. This wasn’t an inexpensive purchase. A similar one at Sears is about $750, and I seem to recall this particular one cost a bit more than that. Since I’ve bought it just a few years ago, I’ve put $300 into fixing it, which makes about twenty-five cents for each time I’ve wanted to take a sledgehammer to this box of frustration and woe.

Its model number is PDW8280N005, if you’re curious. You might consider how many people own this particular monstrosity, which seems designed to fail. That’s how many families have mornings like mine and dream of the day the dishwasher is pulled out like a rotten tooth and replaced with something more effective. Like hamsters with tiny skates made of sponges.

Yours truly,