Friday, February 1, 2013

Disposable society

Yes, I am a rambler, I also like to reflect.  Sometimes I wonder how much of what we reflect on is perceived as better than the reality of what it was.

Ever notice how things don't last as long as they used to?  Take for instance a clothes drier.  The old knob, olive green or mustard yellow clothes drier with the wood grain control panel.  It is 4o years old, but still works, right?  The 6 year old touch/button panel digital jobber starts to stick when you press a button, but it's ok because in another year a better more efficient one will be on your list.  

My 4 1/2 year old front load washer has had it's bellows replaced twice!  I did it once, because the first time, it was under warranty and the tech told me it is about a $400 repair!  

My Fridge is 8 years old, but about 4 years ago  it started getting VERY noisy.  Don't even want to speculate how long it's gonna last.

The dishwasher is 6 years old, but has been completely dead for over a year!  It started a couple of years ago, where it would work intermittently.  Extremely noisy, can't turn it on, turns on but only runs half the cycle, that sort of thing.  Very frustrating.
I work in the service department of an HVAC company (not a tech), and used to field call from old timers that would be very angry with their system.  The call would go like this:

customer:  "my brand new system you guys installed, has gone kaput"

me:  "I see here we installed this system in 2006, is that correct?"

customer:  "well, yes..."

me:  " ok, well it is out of warranty, but some parts may be covered"

customer:  "how long do these things last?  My other system was 30 years old when you replaced it, and it was still working!"

me:  "well 12-15 years is the life expectancy.  Not to say it will die, but that's when we see repairs start to snowball."

What has it all come to?  We don't repair the old tube TV or radio.  It has become cheaper and "smarter", to replace them.  Anybody ever stop to think about what that is doing to the landfills?  We all need to think about why "new" is "better".
Anyway, enough rambling for today, tomorrow is just a short sleep away...

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