Sorry. I’m still on my kick about things that don’t work.
Last week I was harping on the fact that my cell phone wasn’t working right (it still isn’t). This week I’m going to expand my reach to other things that don’t work right. Like Teflon cookware. Either Evelyn and I are torturing our pans or the non-stick surface simply doesn’t last. We have a large frying pan with an orangey-colored coating that was supposed to withstand metal utensils, hammers, and probably nuclear attack. However, at this stage of its life in our family, it’s about as “non-stick” as those old-time cast iron pans. I have to scrub really hard to get cooked-on food off its surface. Is it too much to ask that they make non-stick cookware that lasts?
Or an iron. A few years ago it was time to replace our steam iron, so I bought a Sunbeam (name recognition) that was labeled “Professional.” It touted several features, including the fact that it would not leave water spots on clothes. (It left water spots on my clothes.) And, you know how sometimes, when you tilt the iron back to set it on its heel and it sends a blast of steam out? This one specifically claimed it would not do that. (It did.)
I got so irked at the iron that I sent a letter to the president of the company to complain about it. He apparently couldn’t give a tinker’s damn, because I never heard back from him. It wasn’t the cheapest iron on the shelf, so I had placed some trust in the fact that it would perform better than my old one. I was truly disappointed that it didn’t, or that it didn’t fulfill the claims on its carton.
So I got rid of that iron and went full-tilt into a Hamilton-Beach Durathon model. It too made the same claims as the Sunbeam, but since it was a tad pricey and a name that’s been around a while, I had confidence that I would have better luck with this one. My confidence was ill-founded. This one also leaves water spots on my clothes. I give up. I guess irons are meant to leave water spots on clothing. But is it too much to ask that they make one that doesn’t? Why can’t they make an iron that works the way irons are supposed to work?
And, of course, that demonic cell phone. Since the last adventure with my Motorola (i.e., replacing the AT&T SIM card with a T-Mobile one at the suggestion of the tech at Consumer Cellular), the phone has advanced from totally unreliable to only partially unreliable. The problem is that the phone itself decides when it will work and when it won’t. I can look at it now and see that all systems are “go.” I can then look at it five minutes later and see that the signal and data have taken a coffee break. And, as expected, it fails during the times of most critical need.
I can’t have this! I don’t care that the towers send spotty signals. I don’t care about whose SIM card works better than another’s. I don’t care about switching to Wifi when the phone’s provider is faltering. What I care about is reliability! Is it too much to ask that a phone work the way it’s supposed to? Or to expect a phone company to provide consistent service everywhere? This is the 21st century, folks! Fifty years ago they expected us to be flying hover-craft instead of driving cars by now, and we can’t even make Alexander Graham Bell’s invention work reliably 150 years after it was patented!
Look, I realize that anything made by human hands will fail. To expect more than that is to expect perfection, and that’s not going to happen because only God is perfect. But the things I’m talking about are systemic problems that should not happen under normal circumstances. A non-stick pan cannot be expected to retain its “non-stickiness” if it’s mistreated somehow (like actually whacking it with a hammer. Give me a break). And an iron may eventually wear out after many years. But it should still live up to its claims when it’s new. And a cell phone – such a critical part of contemporary life – needs to work reliably. No excuses other than acts of God that damage towers or render them temporarily non-functional (such as a power outage, for example).
Things that work the way they’re supposed to: is that too much to ask?