This is a recurring thought I keep having, and it stems from something my grandfather told me many years ago. He said, “nobody fixes anything anymore” He was a pragmatic man who looked with wisdom on our changing world and seemed to speak volumes using three or four words,(I think I am his opposite).
I recall there was nary a thing he couldn’t fix. Of course he was a member of “The Greatest Generation” and new what it was to do without, unlike us today in so many ways. Our idea of sacrifice today is cutting back on our “Dunkins” by ordering a decaf instead of the usual! In his time he saw the demise of the repair shop, for example televisions, radios, and shoes, just to name a few. For all intents and purposes small appliances, ovens and refrigerators can be added to this growing list.
I shave with an electric razor, something my grandfather I am sure didn’t do! But I digress, the other day I decided it was getting time to replace the cutting heads (because they were getting dull and you can’t just whip out a whet stone and give them a fresh edge). I went to the nearest department store to purchase a new cutting head and found myself standing in front of a broad array too numerous to recount, of shaving amenities. After finally locating the proper size, shape and model number for my shaver, I was about to take said product off the shelf, my arm extended, fingers grasping the card stock, when my eyes scanned past the price label. I am not sure how long I stood there, it felt like at least an hour as my brain at first paused, and then stopped for a beat, incredulity swept across my being as the realization began to sink into and eventually pierced the shock wave of disbelief that had overtaken my psyche.
I could sense myself repeating in a whisper thirty-one dollars and ninety-nine cents over and over again! How is this possible I am asking myself, surely there must be some kind of mistake. My eyes frantically searched the display to find out what the real price was because certainly it must have been placed on the wrong peg. I am rifling through the shaving heads behind the front one to see if perhaps the rest of the product on that peg is actually the gold-plated variety.
Still trembling with disbelief, I grab the product and head to the first store clerk I can find, and with an edge on my tone just short of someone going mad, I explain that I found a mistake on this product and there must be someone who can help me to rectify the situation. The girl looked at me with innocence and replied she would be happy to help me and started off on a trot to the department I had just come from, intent on righting this wrong and alleviating the burden, of yet another soon to be happy customer. She promptly returned and said here you go sir your HQ8088 shaver head will be charged the correct price at the register. So the price I saw was wrong I thought in relief as I nodded and thanked her, asking what is the correct price? She smiled and said that model is thirty-one dollars and ninety-nine cents.
I grimaced and felt my stance change as I prepared to dig in for battle. Trying desperately to maintain civility, I breathed out my answer for this obvious oversight on her part and explained, look Miss, I bought this shaver here just over a year ago and I know you probably don’t use this style razor yourself, but when I purchased this razor it cost me thirty-two dollars and twenty-nine cents plus tax. So forgive me if I question the veracity of your statement of cost, as I find it difficult to see how this small piece of my shaver somehow only costs 30 cents less than the entire shaver! I guess my tenor was increasing as my explanation catapulted to completion, because she had now placed a noticeable distance between us and was casting furtive glances in the direction of the Customer Service booth.
The Customer Service manager came to her rescue and asked is everything all right here? “Miss” began to explain the situation so far and the hackles on the back of my neck began to go down as I shamefully realized that my tirade had begun to intimidate her, and really, she was just the messenger. I interrupted and apologized if I had somehow caused an offense. I was about to go into full detail about the entire incident when my grandfathers words popped into my head, I smiled apologetically, it has taken me a bit of time here but I see now the error of my logic. Forgive me for taking up so much of your time. I returned to the shaver department and made my purchase and returned home.
The next morning as I prepared for another day I felt somehow defeated as my old shaver hit the bottom of the waste basket.