Thursday, January 14, 2010

Inanimate Rebellion

Remember when the controls on the electronic items we owned were basically a knob that said "on" or "off"? Sometimes those knobs might get wiggly and require you to bang them back in. And that was pretty much all the maintenance required.

Despite having warned my inanimate objects that this was so not the time for any of them to give me grief, we awoke this week to a refrigerator whose thermostat was reading 72 and heading up. Miracle of miracle I got a repair person in within a few hours. But that was the end of the miracles. As he was adjusting something or another in the fridge he made the comment that he hates the computerized appliances. Why? Because the first thing that will break in these appliances is the computer. And then he said the un-magic words: we'll try this and see if it helps. If it doesn't, I'll have to replace the motor for the computer section.

Yup, you guessed it: his fix didn't work and he had to come back and replace all the computerized controls and the special motor that runs them. I asked him why, if the companies know that the computer controls won't last as long as the fridge is supposed to last, they don't develop computer controls that can stand up to the use a fridge gets. He laughed and said: "You know how much money these companies make manufacturing replacement parts?" Right about now "on" and "off" and a little knob are looking really good to me.


efrex said...

I'm supposed to be too young to make this reference, but Stan Freberg has a great routine featuring Thomas Edison and an initially unnamed "General" discussing "planned obsolescence" ... nothing new under the sun (The general's last name turns out to be "Electric," naturally).

Anonymously said...

There is no yom tov coming up this week--how dare your fridge break! But since it broke anyway could you please ask it to stop encouraging my dryer to join it.

On and off? What a unique idea. Works for me.

Mystery Woman said...

I don't know.... I tried the little knob and "on" and "off" for my washing machine. My repairman promised that no extra options means nothing to break. Didn't work. The machine dies in less than 3 years...sooner than any machine I've had before.