Why Is It …

That telemarketer after telemarketer can get my cellphone number, but I can’t get the cellphone numbers of acquaintances and friends who’ve dropped their landlines without physically meeting them or emailing them [which presents me with a problem in trying to reconnect with people who’ve moved out of state and who just assume that everyone knows where they’ve gone]?

That the apparently non-functioning air-conditioning system/furnace/ plumbing works as soon as the repairman arrives to fix it?

That so many people confuse “newness” with excellence?

That grown children, despite living in different states and in four different time zones, either don’t call on holidays, or those that do call all call in the same twenty minute stretch, usually just before we’re about to sit down for dinner?

That every piece of equipment or furniture that needs to be assembled always seems to have directions that omit or misdescribe one key step, thus requiring a certain amount of trial and error and/or backtracking and reassembly?

That the time-frame for planned obsolescence of software and computer equipment and peripherals gets shorter every year?

That stores always run out of the shaving cream that I use and overstock every other kind? [And ditto for several other products!]

That when shirt manufacturers have sales, they’re already out of my size in the shirts I prefer, even though very few men wear the colors of shirts that I wear for appearances?

That orange, avocado green, dull dark red, harvest orange, and deep brown periodically re-emerge as the “new” home décor colors? [Despite the fact that they’re then instantly old and dated.]

That professionals who demand solid work and excellence are so often marginalized as being old fogeys or old school dinosaurs?

That whenever my wife finds products that she really likes, half of them are discontinued within a year or two?

That so many first-published novelists are described as “genuinely new,” “an important new voice,” “astonishing first novel,” and the like?

That so many people think that a text message is an adequate substitute for either a voice conversation or sitting down and talking to someone in person?

9 thoughts on “Why Is It …”

  1. JakeB says:

    That’s what you get for living in the White Tower.

  2. Wayne Kernochan says:

    Because we are old, and according to marketers and social trend-setters, not worthy of better design and out of step.

    Btw, I just read “How Schools Work,” by Arne Duncan, Obama’s Education Secretary. I think that it would be of interest to you, both in terms of how the students you see in college these days came to be that way, and what can be done about it. Plus, it’s not ponderous 🙂

  3. R. Hamilton says:

    I can’t speak to air conditioning systems, but I recall that the further I had to go to look at a cranky computer, the likelier it was that it would be working fine once I got there. Very annoying also for the person trying to fix it. Of course, I’ve threatened a few truly stubborn computers with defenestration…and I think they talk to each other.

  4. Lourain Pennington says:

    Research has shown (sounds properly pompous, doesn’t it?) that people remember negative events/facts selectively over positive ones.

    1. Absolutely! And I’m no exception.

    1. Lourain says:

      Next time, please include a warning, “Possible choking hazard.”

  5. DArcherd says:

    And I would add, “Why is it as soon as my wife and I find a restaurant we both like, it goes out of business shortly thereafter?”

    1. Derek says:

      When we find a place we like, for some reason, within a year the quality of the food drops significantly.

      Going out of business would be one thing, but a consistently good meal at a restaurant seems to be asking too much.

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