The Bic Society

August 11, 2018

Recently I was chatting to friends about rice cookers, as you do, they were telling me about the time they were cooking dinner when they were first dating, he had said, you can do the rice, she was Canadian Vietnamese, ok, where's the rice cooker, what's a rice cooker, and it went on. It reminded me of the time when I was sent to FairPrice to buy a new rice cooker, the lovely auntie started explaining to me how many cups of water vs how many cups of rice etc etc, all while I was trying to explain to the auntie that said rice cooker was going to be put into the kitchen and there was a high probability that I would never see it again. 

 

I digress, so a throwaway comment at the end of the couples story was along the lines of "that rice cooker lasted for years, shame the company didn't . The rice cooker that the lady's mum had had lasted about 30 year, but, the company that had made it went out of business, probably because what they made lasted a generation, and there was no one need to buy another one. 

 

Sad, isn't it, a company that intentionally makes products that don't last 2-3 years has just hit a valuation of $1t and a company that makes a decent robust product goes bust. 

 

My aunt bought me a toaster for £10 when I first moved into my apartment. The first time I tried to use it caught fire and after an initial panic of nearly throwing the washing up bowl water at it I remembered to just pull the plug, the fire went out. I chucked the toaster in the trash, didn't try and take it back, for £10 it wasn't worth it, so whoever makes the toaster got £10 for a substandard product and no complaint. I know you could probably say £10 for a toaster is cheap and what did I expect, but it could have at least lasted a couple of sets.

 

How many products are like this now? how many things are made to last just long enough to keep the customer away from complaints department? "but it only lasted 6 months" "well that's a long time sir" "but it has a life time guarantee" "yes sir, but the products life time, not yours sir".

 

Something had to be done.

 

Sooooooo i'm not sure when I stopped throwing things away and started fixing things. But it was probably about the time the kids starting going to international school. It didn't start of as a crusade, it probably just started off with me trying to salvage pictures from another bloody phone that had gone kaput with no notice.

 

I found a man, I don't know where I found this man, but I found him, or my wife did, not getting into that argument. 

 

So far he has fixed countless iphones, my MacBook Pro from 2007, he salvaged my wife's MacBook Air after I managed to download a virus while attempting to get the English subtitles for the 2000 television adaptation of Les Miserables , has there ever been a more highbrow way of getting a virus? other than sleeping with a member of the royal family I suppose. He replaced the speaker on my iPad, a friend had their iPhone fixed after apple had told her that it wasn't possible, because they obviously just wanted to sell her another one.

 

So now I use him to buy products, he refurbishes perfectly fine products that advertising has told society is obsolete, I grew up playing the Commodore 64, thinking that not downloading the latest IOS operating system because my phone doesn't support it is going to effect my life in anyway is ridiculous. 

 

So I've started, I've had shoes fixed, shorts fixed, the door hinges on the kitchen cabinets fixed and my cats fixed.

 

I've stopped just throwing things away because they aren't quite perfect, I just fix them.

 

It's the way forward.

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