Raoul’s 2 Cents
Five years ago we bought a shiny stainless steel Whirlpool gas range. It looked robust and sparkled under the store lights. The design was solid and we thought it would last forever. Unfortunately, we were dazzled by the shell. Yesterday I had to put my handyman cap on because, after cooking our dinner, the knob of the gas range wouldn’t turn to the OFF position. I had to shut down the main gas valve, dig into my dusty toolbox and proceed to repair the appliance.
Ever since I was a child, like many curious kids, I would open up radios, TV sets, car engines, brakes, Christmas lights, computers (lots of these) … sometimes they needed fixing and other times I just wanted to see how they worked. When the internet was just starting, I was curios to see how that worked and this led me to programming as well. I’m confident that I can fix any basic logical mechanical or electrical gizmo. My parents “forced me” to fix stuff because they recognized I had that aptitude. I thought then that it was unfair that they singled me out to repair while my other siblings continued to play with their toys. In hindsight I appreciate what they did. I learned a skill. Because of them, I believe I will survive if I were ever stuck in a deserted island.
INSIDE THE BEAST
Removing the low-quality parts (the screws, springs, patented parts) of that stainless cooking monster, I realized how easily the manufacturer could have spent a few more dollars to make their product last longer. I figured that their real business model was making a ton of money through maintenance. For instance, when I got to the innards of the defective switch and considered buying a new switch online, that simple patented part cost around $60. Shock!! Even a regular screw cost $5 in their “official” website. That same screw purchased at a hardware store would have only cost 10 cents at the most. And don’t forget the real killer — $300 for labor! My advice to you (if you ever decide to repair your appliance): don’t buy from the crooked manufacturer and its subsidiaries. Youtube is full of “How to fix things” videos and in EBAY there are people selling the same parts for less than half the cost. Just make sure you research the exact part number for your particular model.
I was so mad. I wasn’t going to spend a small fortune and wait 3 days for shipping for any part. I got creative and tinkered with that stove for a few hours and I got it done. Thanks to my early training. Praise God!
It’s obvious — there are SALESMEN and there are CRAFTSMEN. There are manufacturers who invest/focus on the sparkle in order to sell. And there are craftsmen who go after quality rather than profit. One succeeds temporarily while the other starts a legacy. People used to laugh at Japanese products in the 50s but Japanese products have matured in quality and have been outselling American products since the 70s. We’ve all been unappreciated but let’s be patient and take pride in what we do. Let’s be craftsmen!
“You can tell the passion of the HEART by the craftsmanship of the HAND.”
— Raoul Pascual
Joke of the Week
Thanks to Don of Kelowna, B.C. for sending this joke.
Video of the Week
Where’s My Donkey?
Sent by Naomi of North Hollywood,CA
When was the last time you forgot where you left your donkey? I thought so. Here’s a good tip.WATCH VIDEO
From Don’s collection of puns
Heavy Thought of the Week
Sent by Tom of Pasadena, CA
Thanks to Don of Kelowna, B.C. who shared this.