Monday, August 08, 2011

The Rough Patch

"You need to understand, owning a Vitamix is like having a relationship with a person." At least that's what the customer service lady said on the phone this morning when I called to tell her I was concerned about my machine.

I've had my Vitamix for about a month now. It was working like a dream until about a week ago when I tried to make a smoothie and the contents in the blender stopped moving. I was taken a little aback. "This isn't the Vitamix I know," I thought to myself, "what's wrong?" It eventually mixed everything just fine, but it didn't work as well as I thought it should.

And that's the problem. As with human relationships, unmet expectations freak us out a little bit. Everyone has a different reaction when things don't go as expected. Some (like one of my roommates) avoid the situation and leave it alone because they don't want to deal with another mishap. Others (like me) try to figure out what's going on by spending as much time with it as I can, testing different scenarios to see if it was just a one time behavioral blip. That's not how I handle personal relationships by the way in case you were wondering. But with the Vitamix, I was frustrated when I wasn't home with it throwing fruit and juice and ice in there to see what was up. And for some reason it was important that no one else was around. I needed alone time with the Vitamix so we could talk it out and see what the issue was.

I knew the Vitamix worked best when a certain order was observed: liquid first, dry ingredients, and then frozen ingredients and ice on top. I was so confused because the Vitamix is incredibly powerful. The motor is built to run forever, I couldn't have done anything wrong. I have a friend with a Vitamix who told me last week how she likes to test its strength so sometimes she'll throw something in there like an entire apple just to see what it will do. I don't have that kind of gall, but her machine still runs fine she says.

I decided it was time to turn to the Vitamix people for advice. This is what I learned: according to customer service, the Vitamix is built to blend on high, not low. So the motor wants to go from 1 to 10 in three seconds and then run on the highest speed possible. It wants to work hard. I wasn't always letting it work hard. Sometimes I thought that 6 or 8 was good enough, but apparently that taxes the blades.

So the Vitamix and I have exited the rough patch. It was such a dream for awhile that I expected perfection, and when I didn't get it I figured something must have gone awry. But I learned as long as I observe the appropriate order, and not hold it back from it's power potential we should get along just fine. Nothing is perfect -- not even the Vitamix. But it's pretty darn close.


Nasher said...

Then why have any settings other than 10?

Laura Lee said...

Pete, like most relationships, it's complicated. I'll explain to you on Google Talk.