Sunday, September 20, 2009

I know I am a traitor

I know I am a traitor to the consumer economy, particularly in light of the George W. Bush 9-11-2001 advocacy of mindless consumption as a patriotic act in times of national duress. I went to Office Max last night and bought a new fax machine which I then returned this afternoon. I am thankful that they had a liberal return policy to allow me to rectify my mistake. I couldn't stand the thing. It displaced everything on my desktop because it was so large. It didn't have the same features as my old one that was no longer working. It was cheap and much too expensive in that it wasn't what I wanted. And it required me to learn how to use the darned thing when I was already quite comfortable in the use of the old one.

So I got out some alcohol lens cleaning swipes that I use on my glasses and camera lenses and went to work on my old one which you can see in the photo above. I had tried this trick before. It wouldn't load paper properly. But this time, I turned the machine on its back and found a roller deep inside that I had never been able to reach before. I cleaned it and now it works. I saved $100.00. Using five cents worth of cleaning wipes I saved my old fax machine from a premature trip to the garbage can! I can now receive and send faxes at will and not worry that when I receive an order it might be lost.

But of even greater importance is that I found just a bit more satisfaction as a fixer rather than helpless consumer. To apply just a few moments of time in careful observation can save hours of time shopping, hours of time earning money thence wasted, and hours of time being frustrated by buying things I really didn't like in the first place. So before giving up on old stuff, be brave. Try to fix. You really can't make matters worse, so there are no risks and you may discover new and wonderful things about yourself.

So, I am a traitor to the consumer economy and an even greater one now that I've attempted to persuade you to join me. I'm very sorry if anyone was counting on me to bring them new jobs in the same sorry old way of doing business. But things are changing. We who make, cook, garden, sew, create and fix are the new masters of the universe.

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