Abt-titude Check

Dearest Rachel –

As promised, I went to this appliance showroom this morning to figure out what to get for the to-be remodeled kitchen and laundry room.

And I took pictures.

Dad parked right next to this… display? Well, no, it’s apparently a fully functioning rainwater harvesting system. This thing holds up to 10,000 gallons of water, which supplies their irrigation system (which makes it sound like they’re growing crops on the roof or something). Be that as it may, it appears to be one way that they’re trying to be a little bit green.
And speaking of green: your dad would’ve been impressed by this piece of work. It looks like the sort of thing he would’ve done, in fact. The placard touts the fact that ComEd offers to haul away old fridges from people (which run up to $150 every year in energy costs on them) and recycle them. Granted, not all of them are converted into art projects, but… here you go.

When we got inside, dad went to the main desk, and asked for Joe K, the representative that generally works with Detail on their projects. Turns out, he was on vacation, and supposedly had assigned our case to an associate, but that person wasn’t available either. And in any event, Lisa from Detail wasn’t here yet either.

So Dad had a sit down, while we waited for Lisa to turn up. I didn’t expect the place to have so many things other than appliances; I may be back here for family room furniture at some point later on. To be sure, I’m not sure Daniel would necessarily want to sleep on a couch like that, but it certainly does look comfortable. Maybe by then, we have redone his room, and he’ll be more content to sleep up there.

While dad sat and waited, I went to take a look around, since Erin had spoken so highly of the place, and everything in it. Quite honestly, some parts of it looked more like a mall than an appliance store.

Such as this atrium with the fountain in the middle. That would later tell me a story about how, shortly after this showroom opened, local prom season was confronted with a torrential rain. At least one high school’s organizers contacted Michael Abt about having the kids come to the showroom to have their pictures taken in front of this fountain. Many of them came, accompanied by parents. You can’t buy publicity like that. Oh, and I did I mention that those four screens behind the fountain rotate like a slow-motion propeller? Because they do.

One of the things that caught my attention (not that it was something that I can do with our house) were the home theater set ups. One of them was a full size, I’ll say 20 x 30 foot room with surround sound and a multi panel movie screen dominating the back wall, with plush leather seating for a dozen or so people. The price tag? Just a hair below half a million dollars. Well, when price is no object, this is the place to go.

I mentioned how Michael Abt contributed to the local community with his showroom, but this one display in the atrium indicates that he had a more global focus as well. As you know, the Olympics have a ridiculous amount of corporate sponsorship, and apparently, Samsung’s contributions allowed them to select runners for the torch relay from Athens to London in 2012, and Mr. Abt was chosen by Samsung as a representative.
On the lighter side, Erin had mentioned on Friday about a contraption they had here that would supposedly allow you to build a bubble around yourself. Personally, I thought that’s what the Internet and social media was for.
I didn’t have much luck with it, as the soap didn’t stick to the ring that I was supposed to raise around myself. I had hoped to take a picture through the soap film to show that I had succeeded, but after three times of pretty much nothing, I decided I knew when to throw in the soapy towel.
One of the weirdest things about this show room was the fact that they had things here that had nothing to do with appliances. That’s a candy store, and apparently a high-end one at that, to the right, and those kids are playing with the largest Lite Brite panel I’ve ever seen. No wonder Erin was enchanted with this place.
And I probably would be remiss if I didn’t mention the giant fish tank, complete with a scuba diver cleaning off some of the coral reefs in there.

Even as I was taking that last photo, my phone began to ring; Dad was calling me from elsewhere in the showroom, as Lisa had arrived, and it was time to get down to business.

Lisa had suggested that it would take something like two hours to go over everything; deciding on brands and sizes and colors and all. But it turned out to be a lot less involved than that. A lot of it had to do with the fact that we’d lived with what had come with the house for so long (well, they are called durable goods, after all), that I wasn’t all that picky about what I was purchasing. That, and the fact that I wasn’t making any desperate attempt to find the absolutely most economical assortment of appliances made it easy, since then, it was just a matter of deferring to the ‘experts’: Lisa and the associate, a fellow named Peter.

For the kitchen, he recommended GE – which gnawed a bit in the back of my head, since it’s one of the few investments we have that hasn’t been doing well from the moment we were aware that it was in the portfolio. Then again, the fact that a company is poorly managed isn’t necessarily a reflection of the quality of the goods they make or sell; consider Sears, with their Craftsman tools (which they’ve since spun off – at least those will still be made after the ship goes down) and Kenmore appliances – not that that brand name ever came up here, I should point out.

The associate pointed out that most manufacturers offered bundles, or package deals, that encouraged purchasing multiple items; and since I was in the market for everything, that was a perfect arrangement. So, we ordered a GE Profile model of refrigerator, dishwasher, overhead microwave, and oven. The oven might strike you as interesting, as it’s like the one at your folks’ place, with the smaller over on top and a larger one beneath. This way, if Daniel and I want to make a pizza, we’ll not have to run the full-size one to do it. And should we decide to hold next year’s Thanksgiving at our place, we can fix casseroles in the one at one temperature, and the bird below at another. Granted, Peter warned me that retrieving the bird would be a dead lift, but I’m sure I could handle the exercise.

As for the washing machine and dryer, it seems there aren’t any American models to compare with the Korean manufacturers. And while Samsung may have gotten Mr. Abt his place on the Olympic relay, Peter steered us toward LG instead; in particular, a dryer where the door opens the usual sideways manner, and from the top, so one can throw in something that may have been forgotten without spilling the contents already in the machine.

The whole process, including the wandering around, took barely an hour, and we were done. So everything is on order, just before all the price increases take effect, for all that’s worth. It’ll be nice to see what it all looks like once it’s in; pity that you’re missing out.

Still, I wish I could see what your place up there looks like. Wonder if you even need appliance up there…

Published by randy@letters-to-rachel.memorial

I am Rachel's husband. Was. I'm still trying to deal with it. I probably always will be.

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