Monday, September 14, 2009
Something that I have been thinking about for quite a while. This place we have gotten ourselves into called, inferior products...and the acceptance of the same.
Many years ago, hmmm, 1976 as a matter of fact, I bought a circular saw at Sears. The saw was a Skil Brand saw. Skil made damned fine tools back then. At about the same time that I bought the saw, I also bought two hammers...a 16 oz, and a 20 oz hammer. Another purchase at Sears along about that time was an orbital saber saw...it was a Craftsman.
I can't remember who actually made Sears' tools, but you could definitely count on their durability. And, if something did go wrong, Sears would replace them, no questions asked.
So why am I relating all of this boring shit to you? I am going to tell you why.
An aside, not at all related...well, a little. There was an old self-anointed black preacher down where I hail from, who was once interviewed in the local rag and one question put to him was, "Reverend Jackson (his name was Gizmo Jackson...no idea what the Gizmo was about), what do you attribute to your personal success as a preacher there at the Church of the Open Door?" Jackson replied with, "well, I tell them what I'm going to tell them...I tell them...and then I tell them what I told them."
I am not quite that transparent...I prefer to sneak up on the point of the subject...in my clumsy way, that is. But I always thought it was a great speaking technique...Gizmo's, that is.
Back to what I was going to tell you. Out straightening up in the garage the other day...putting things in their place, oiling tools, general manly garage boy things, when it occurred to me that I still had that Skil Saw, and the hammers from eons ago. And they are still in great shape. I lost the saber saw to a thief in 1995...but, at the time of the thief, it was 20 years old and just as good as new (and yes, I am still pissed at that one...the bastard thief, I mean).
All of which leads me to this. Since 2001, I have purchased the following (some are tools, some are not)
2 Battery operated drills...one with the Skil label.
3 window unit air conditioners (pre-installation of a central unit)
2 toaster ovens
3 microwave units
4 automatic coffee makers (each a different brand)
5 DVD players
l washing machine
2 dish washers (built in)
5 portable DVD players
God knows how many cell phones...I have literally lost count on this sorry ass item!
2 CD disc cleaners
1 Dremel tool
3 point and shoot digital cameras
4 dining chairs in a 50's retro look, on line.
And numerous shit that I can't even recall what they were, but do recall their country of origin.
The list, as you can see from the last entry, is actually much longer.
What do all of these things have to do with Skil saws, and hammers, and walruses? Nothing. But the list items have two things in common:
1) They all failed withing two years of purchase.
2) They all were manufactured in China.
All have been replaced. The cameras with German only brands. But unfortunately, it is extremely difficult to replace many, many items with anything OTHER than China made. Motorola cell phones (still SUPPOSEDLY made in the U.S.) being one exception...but, yep...the Motorolas have some serious problems also.
The original Skil saw, and hammers, and scroll saw have nothing in common with the others. They still work! OK, can't attest to the scroll saw...but I would bet my mother, if she were alive, that it is still functioning...and...and, they were all made in the U.S...when U.S. manufacturers took pride in what they made. Their retailers reflected that pride.
So the real point of this post is...curiosity. Curious as to how many of you have noticed this, and how many have had the same failure rate as I.
And as an added bonus, a related article in this link is about the devil itself...the one who more than any other entity, put China on the capitalist map...Wal-Hell, aka Wal-Mart.
I for one will not set foot in the place...the beautiful clientele not withstanding.
Wal-Shit article here...a must read.