“Shittyness Will Not Be Tolerated”

Most businesses make much of “striving for excellence.” Here at Cunningham Applied Tech, we’re happy just to “abolish shittyness”.

American shoppers are quite accustomed to buying junky stuff. They haven’t much choice, having long ago decided that (quantifiable) price matters much more than (hard to quantify) quality. We at the Hovel hafe at bringing home crap that is, even when new, full of shortcomings.

We recoil.

Flaws in design aggravate tje in-house engineer, even as they make me smile.

It’s comforting to know that Others, especially Manufacturers, are as Inept as I am.

But life is a little tougher for the Engineer. Nothing ever seems to be done “right”.

And so our tool-wielding wizard disappears into his atelier with the offending item for ‘mollification[‘(sic).

In a matter of minutes (or hours) the Stuff returns to service VASTLY IMPROVED.

We get a little buzz of satisfaction each time we use it for the remainder of the life of the item.

I.e. ‘forever

A soap dish is a perfect example. The old one was a plastic dish that was regularly knocked onto the tile floor. Jarring.

It lacked the necessary draining screen so the soap dissolved… (is there collusion between soap makers and soap dish makers?)

And finally the thing melted when we were drying it a little too near the wood stove.

I can always tell when the mollifying process is underway. I hear sounds resembling a rodent’s gnawing …it’s the engineer abolishing one shitty little thing after another on the other side of the living room wall.

A couple hours of filing, grinding and tin-snipping slip past (to She the Destroyer, this is a long time. To the Fixer, it’s a just heartbeat).

Result: a new, better soap dish. Fabb’d from a hoard of stainless steel deli equipment I’d brought home the previous winter.

Excess water dribbles back into the sink now.
Soap remains aloof, above mere “puddles”… also lasts longer.

It’s permanent….won’t melt when drying on the cast iron stove.

Another example.

A clunky but much-beloved coffee cup broke ten years ago, and since CC knew how I loved both Portmeirion pottery and cyclamens, he fixed it in the usual mixed-media mate-mollifying way.

As for the ever-singed bakelite pot handle? Away with it, in its place a stout iron spring, and a welded loop of metal that allows the pot to be suspended until completely dry.

Meanwhile on the packrat front, all this gleaning means a certain amount of culling must happen.

To make room for the blender (which has to live next to the old blender–until I can COMPARE QUALITY) I must relocate a lovely line of jars full of beans.

“I wouldn’t touch those things anyway. Too old.” Charlie mutters.

“Has-beans!” I say, faux-brightly, dreading the thought of jeettisoning six types of heirloom beans.
“I guess they have seen better days” I concede.

“You mean better decades“.

~ by jacquiephelan on April 23, 2008.

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