Friday, July 07, 2006

The Honest Sales Assistant

Yesterday Bert and I went to Ballymena to buy a replacement dishwasher. While Bert trotted off to the bank to pay in some cheques I went to a local shop where they always provide good service. I have to say that I found the price of their dishwashers a bit breath taking at first. There were machines costing in excess of £300 and I’d told Bert we’d be paying less than £200. So when the sales assistant approached me to ask if he could help I asked him if he had any less expensive dishwashers. He led me over to another part of the shop and showed me a much cheaper machine. I’d never heard of the make but it looked all right to me.

So why is this machine so much cheaper than the others?

Because it’s manufactured in the third world using cheap materials from China.

Oh.

This machine was made by people who aren’t getting a proper wage for their work. People who work in unsafe conditions. People who are, in fact, children!

So is it any good?

There’s not a thing wrong with it.

Even so you’ve put me off a bit. I don’t like the idea of buying a dishwasher that was made by badly treated children. Should you be telling me this?

I’ll not be telling you lies. I have the man above to answer to when I die!

Would you buy this dishwasher?

A dishwasher! I don’t think so. People have no need of dishwashers at all. After all how did our grandmothers manage? What’s wrong with washing dishes in the sink? People have no need of half the stuff they have these days! When Armageddon comes….

Thankfully at this point Bert joined us and I managed to change the subject. We did not buy the very unethical dishwasher. We bought another one instead. Ten pounds more but at least I can sleep at night. ;)

5 comments:

ganching said...

Well done Nelly!

Sandra said...

Glad to hear you have such a well-developed social conscience.

Here, I was in Ballymena yesterday! I would have stood you a cup of tea and a bun if I had fallen in with you.

Adam said...

Ugh, don't like dishwashers, they're handy enough but the make the glass really yucky

Caroline said...

It's hard to get things totally in perspective as far as child labour goes. We are inclined to apply the same ethics as if those developing nations have the same luxury of choice as we do. I don't advocate slave labour by any means nor child labour either but children working isn't always a bad thing. Say for instance that a child in a developing nation can work, learn a skill and get paid for it at the same time, how is that so different to sending them to an academic institution? What if working for a pitance is a better option than going hungry?

I think it's more likely that the 'honest' sales man (is there such a thing?) got a better commission with the more expensive machine.

Nelly said...

Adam - I agree about glasses. I always wash my spectacles in the sink.

Caroline - Personally I think he was just a religious nut. In B'mena they take every opportunity for a bit of preachin' and prayin'. And bear in mind he had no enthusiasm for dishwashers at all.

I agree about child labour tho'. It's not all bad.