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Monday, September 21, 2009

Does This Bustle Make My Butt Look Fat? or This Sounds Crabbier Than It Is!

Years and years ago – when the Earth was young and the primordial soup of the day was a broth and not the rich creams that are more and more prevalent – my lousy cell phone held a charge that lasted more than two days.

My son, the wise and beneficent, reminds me that a replacement battery can be purchased. And while I realize that this is true, it also makes me wonder why my first cell phone – which resembled in no way the tin-can-and-string rig that I’m sure The Boy envisions – held a charge for a full week for the first seven of the eight years I had it.

To further raise my practical hackles – and I believe there may be an amusing way to combine those two words, somewhere – the opportunity to “re-up”, as it were, on my mobile contract, rears its binding head every two years. I can buy a new battery on what is now considered an older cell phone, or, I can renew my contract and get a brand new one that will last, oh, two years.

Oddly enough, it just so happens that my cell phone is almost two years old.

Convenient, no?

The term, I believe, is “planned obsolescence”, the idea that items, such as cell phones, have been designed to work well only as long as the manufacturer wants them to work well, after which you will find it necessary to purchase a new one, either outright or by renewing a contract.

Ladies and gentlemen, is it time that we follow this example and incorporate this into our daily lives?

For instance: me. I’m a helluva worker. Go ahead. Ask me! I’ll tell you: Yep, I’m a helluva worker. And this work ethic, handed down from generations of people who do their best, particularly when being paid for it? It extends well past any probationary period.

But what if it didn’t? What if, after the hiring, after the probation, once I’m completely and utterly a part of the company, I suddenly stopped being as responsive unless promised something in exchange, another day off or a free lunch every Friday? How would they like them apples?

The short answer is that they wouldn’t. They wouldn’t like them apples. But me?

Who doesn’t like apples?


The Jules said...

I always attempt to get by on my bare minimums. That way, everyone is pleasantly surprised and appreciative when I put some effort in.

It's like rewarding the naughty kids at school just for turning up.

In the same way, I assume any technology I have will be crap and not work, so I'm chuffed when it does what it's supposed to. Which isn't often.

CatLadyLarew said...

I firmly believe you should accept the free phone with each renewal of your contract. Isn't that what planned obsolescence is all about? Why conserve our natural resources when there are throwaways available at no charge?
Besides... if your battery runs out, that just means people can't call you and annoy you.

Under the Influence said...

My cell phone company keeps offering me a new phone. They don't understand I like MY phone and they no longer carry one similar to it that I can "upgrade" to. They just don't get it.

Pearl said...

Jules, having just learned the meaning of the word "chuffed" I was very excited to see you use it in a sentence. :-)

CatLady, exactly! :-) Thing is, I kinda LIKE having NOT to update every time I turn around. I just want to make a !@# phone call!

UTI, I agree. All the phone really needs to do is make calls. I don't mind texting, but I could certainly call, and I don't really need the camera aspect. Will they just get off my back regarding the constant updating?

powdergirl said...

I live in a fruit growing region, so I love apples : )

"Planned obsolescence", thats a term I can get my teeth into. I think that the auto manufacturers subscribe to this plan as well.

I think they have guy that sits around each dealership all day checking for expired warranties and when he see's your ride come up unwarrantied, he pulls a little switch and your f**king wheels fal off, causing you to also blow a head gasket in more ways than one.

And that my friend, is just as crabby as it sounds!

powdergirl said...

Oh, and my sons new phone, known around here as "my ever tightening leash on the teen-ager" can actually fly jets. This will save me a lot of money in the long run as I won't have to send him to aviator school as he wishes out loud all day everyday.

Suzanne said...


the iNDefatigable mjenks said...

I think you're onto something. This "planned obsolescence" has been plaguing the auto industry for years now.

My last car was a Ford. It was living up to its famous acronyms (Found on Road Dead and/or Fix Or Repair Daily) quite well. Finally, my mechanic, whom I heart, said, "Yeah, that's the problem with Ford. They're engineered to die at around 120,000".

I've heard this about other cars, as well. And we wonder why they were in not so good situations earlier in the year.

Anonymous said...

Good point. I guess our inbuilt obsolescence is death...

Douglas said...

Some things to consider:

1. All products begin to break down immediately after purchase but are designed to not show problems until at least one day (but less than a week) after the warranty expires.

2. The purchase of an extended warranty, automatically resets the timer of the product covered.

3. If you do more than expected at work, that amount will become your "expected output".

4, All electronic devices are obsolete as soon as they become available for sale.

5. Life is not fair. Get over it.

Kr√ęg said...

I recommend living life without a cell phone.

ellen abbott said...

Back before Husband was mine, he worked at a steel plant drilling holes into drill bits (that would later be soldered closed) he was chugging right along til the other workers on his shift informed him that if he did that then not only would the managers expect it from him all the time, but they would expect it from the other workers as well. In other words...slow down.

the fly in the web said...

When I buy an electrical appliance, I note the date of the guarantee expiry on the wall calendar so I can buy another one the week before it falls due.

A Mom on Spin said...

And what about toasters???

I used my MIL's 1950's era toaster until just last year when it finally bit the dust.

I dare you to find a toaster today that lasts more than 2 years. . .

mapstew said...

Apples give me heartburn.

Mobiles (cell phones) give me a pain somewhere else!


justsomethoughts... said...

planned obsolescence sounds like the time in life where one decides to retire.

@eloh said...

Edisons light bulb is still burning....ain't no money to be made there!

'cuz I'm the mommy, that's why! said...

Douglas makes some excellent points.
I have to say, the notion of "planned obsolescence" is a little creepy when you put it into the context of life. A little too "Bicentenniel Man" for me. That said, I expect my cell phone to die in approximately 14 months, 19 days, and 17 hours.

Anonymous said...

Why Pearl if you engaged in such activities we would assume you had merely joined the AFL-CIO!


Hi from jack in nevada, pull icky's hair for me...oops he doesnt have an now does he?