What Are Words For?


Words are critical. Words help me make a living. Words are one of my most favorite things. It pains me when there's a lack of words. Important words. Words like: "Note: rinsing the espresso machine will take approximately [time duration] and require approximately [number] of tank refills."

Yesterday the espresso robot told me it was time to decalcify. OK. I don't have any such solution on-hand, but I pushed the button to decalcify simply so the message would go away and I could move on with my life.

It went through its paces and then told me it was time to rinse the machine. I checked the manual and this is what it says: When the descaling cycle is completed, close the knob. Rinse out the tank and fill it with fresh drinking water. Press the button to confirm the rinse cycle. Open the knob. The machine will start rinsing. When the rinse cycle is completed, close the knob and load the circuit."

Nowhere does it say how long it will rinse, how much water it will use - nothing more than exactly what it says above. All the machine says while it's rinsing is "Machine is Rinsing." Informative.

I don't want to tell you how many times I refilled that tank and switched out Pyrex cups full of fresh water, or how long I stood there doing it, because I'm still feeling so stupid, I can't even describe how stupid I still feel.

And I can't tell you how long I did this because at one point I blacked out from blind rage and hopelessness that I would ever go back to living a normal life, a life not spent tending the insatiable water needs of a rinsing espresso machine.

I will tell you that I used up BC's water supply for the rest of this year and probably broke even on the cost of car insurance (we don't pay the water bill here ;). She may not be decalcified, but she's been rinsed better than any water-using machine ever invented since the dawn of man.

Would it have been SO difficult for the Saeco people to add one line of copy to the manual, telling me it might only take ONE TANK of water to rinse the machine? That I should just let the tank run out and that would be that? Would that have been so hard?

I still don't know if that's really how it works. When I've rinsed the machine before and the water tank runs out, it tells me to refill the tank so it can keep going - and it keeps going for quite a while until the machine tells you "Rinsing Complete."

There's absolutely no information in the manual that tells the user what to do or what to expect. How thoughtless and half-ass. It's more like whole ass. It's just a few words. Simple, clear, helpful words.

It could be a total coincidence, but today I didn't feel like having any coffee. I made a pot of tea. I have no taste for coffee at all. I don't know if it'll ever come back.