Obsolescence at Work

It’s too bad the sun didn’t stay out more than it was in, but at least it was warmer today than it has been for a handful. I mentioned earlier how much I’m really not ready for such cold days having arrived so early, and should it warm up again, we’ll have to start getting used to it once more. It seems every year there are those weeks heading into winter which are the most aggravating because our bodies haven’t grown used to it. Now if we grew winter pelts like many animals, it wouldn’t be so bad, but then what a mess we’d have cleaning up all our many hair balls. Oh Mercy! Can you imagine humans being shedders? Just think what it would be like having to deal with cleaning up after unclean people when after moving out of their homes or apartments. Too scary to think that not just dead skin cells but hair as well would have to be dealt with. There’s no question there would’ve been some sort of daily body-vac invented for such issues.

After my arrival at office, I busied myself with responding to emails that came in after hours, and then headed out to investigate a kitchen vent fan issue one of my clients was having in a rental he owns. The tenant knew I was coming and just happened to be standing at the door waiting for me. When I walked into the kitchen, he flipped the switch on it and all it did was buzz, so I said it would have to be taken down, and when saying I’d be right back with my little tool crib, he insisted on removing it himself, so of course I left him to have at it.

When he got it down and handed it to me, it was sticky-greasy so I asked if he had a plastic bag I could carry it in, and thankfully he did. Unfortunately I had to ask if I could wash the grease off my hands which he kindly allowed. Ugh! If there’s one thing I absolutely hate, is getting sticky grease on my hands to where even the thought of being forced to work in an auto repair shop sends chills up my spine even to this day.

Please don’t get me wrong, as I can handle getting just about anything on my hands, but dealing with grease is over the edge. I still have no clue why I don’t like it so much because coming from the farm, one always encounters grease, but even then, I was always sure to be wearing gloves so to keep from getting it on me. Grease with carbon in it is the absolute worst to get off one’s hands and out of clothing.

On the positive side of it all, I made sure my grease-less duties were done, and done well just so to prove I could carry my own weight without having a degree in working with oily mechanicals, and certainly to the gratitude of others because I often had a knack for twisting bolts off which made for all the more work for them. For the strangest reason, back in those days, I had hands and arms packing unusual torques for their size.

When I got back to my office with the guts of that vent fan, I’d already assumed the motor was burned out, so I went online looking for replacement parts. After about a half hour of searching, I decided to go back and investigate the motor on it. It looked OK, and after a good sniff of it, it didn’t appear to be burned out, so I carried it over to an outlet and plugged it in. It actually started running, thus dismissing it as being the motor, so I donned my rubber gloves, ran some warm water in a bucket, added a good helping of ammonia and Dawn, grabbed a 3M scrubber, and went to work cleaning it.

About an hour and half later, I had it looking pretty good so I rinsed it off, dried it, and then plugged it in again, and that time it started running all the sooner and faster, but silly me didn’t get it completely dried and thank goodness the fan blades were facing a wall instead of me because I was suddenly looking at a perfectly vertical line of splattering on that wall. I quickly unplugged it and went running for a soapy rag to get it off before that grease residue soaked into the paint.

I called the owner to let him know what happened, and then asked if he would call the tenant and inform him I’d be over there in the morning for installation. I’ll be taking a drop cord with me, just to see if it’s plug-in is bad in the assembly before I have him screw it back in because I can’t think of anything else it would be other than those blades being too caked on with grease. We’ll see what transpires in his kitchen tomorrow.

When speaking about that greasy exhaust fan, can you imagine how many people have new ones installed instead of giving them a good cleaning? The one I worked on has a motor about three times the size of the new ones, and its blades are polished aluminum instead of plastic. Isn’t it amazing how many mechanical components are now being made out of plastic in these times? It’s no wonder everything new doesn’t seem to last very long at all, and yes, it’s another example of China’s planned obsolescence at work.

I’d been thinking about a dear friend of mine of late which was my queue to give her a call just to see how she’s been doing. Today’s chat was a very good one because we ended up on subjects which most in our general public fear talking about due to being scared to death they’ll soon be considered apostates of various tribal beliefs.

We also talked about how thoughtless and disregarding a number of our residents are by not following our China-virus protocols. The both of us have seen people walking around in stores which have visibly posted signage on their doors insisting on the wearing of masks. What really angers me, is when seeing a young mother with two or three children running around in a groceteria without masks which is a great way for a virus to be quickly spread, and after reading today about this mutated, and all the more deadly strain of it that’s hit Europe, we’d all better be even more careful. I’m still very unhappy with our governor for not mandating the wearing of masks when in public.

Tonight’s one-liner is: Growing old is no more than a bad habit which a busy person has no time to form.

Joe Chodur

About the Author | Joe Chodur

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