And now it's the fridge.
Our previous one broke down irretrievably just over a month ago, after 15 years of trouble-free service. We bought a new one on January 21. This morning, that new one is dead as a dodo. I sit around waiting for the company technician to turn up, a wait I'm getting sort of used to. When he does come, he tells me a fuse on its "circuit" has blown, and instead of replacing just the fuse, the whole "circuit" has to be replaced. Two days that will take.
I tell him that this never happened with the previous fridge. "But that one didn't have a circuit", he tells me as if speaking to a child, as if the presence of this "circuit" is somehow a benefit to me.
An earlier wait, only a few weeks ago, was for the washing machine company technician. Our decade-plus-old washing machine had also finally broken down irretrievably. Impressed with its years of hassle-free service, we bought the same brand. The second wash load we bunged into it -- the second load -- caused the machine to vibrate so much it bopped all over the room and woke up the neighbours with its racket. The technician came and made some adjustments. On its fifth wash load -- the fifth -- after that, it stopped in the middle of the wash cycle and would not be persuaded to go on. The technician came and blamed, you guessed it, the "circuit". Luckily, he was cynical enough not to pretend that the presence of this "circuit" was somehow beneficial to me.
Anyway, he recommended that we tell the company to replace this 7-wash-load-old machine. It took them three weeks -- weeks filled with more bopping and inexplicable halts -- but they did replace it.
Meanwhile, an electrical switch and socket in our bathroom suddenly started emitting smoke a few days ago. I had replaced them from a previous such episode only about six months ago, and I did it again now, once more stunned at the cost of these devices that last only months. Meanwhile, two other switches elsewhere in the house stopped working. This is a continuing saga with our switches. For nearly thirty years since this flat was built, not one switch needed to be replaced. But in the four years since a few failed and we replaced them, we've had to replace those replacements, and those replacements, etc, again and again. I'd say at least two dozen replacements in four years.
You with long memories will remember that I wrote on this theme here, a little over a year ago. I mentioned switches, my washing machine, and a shaving brush. Note especially what the washing machine technician had to say then about new machines from his company.
When I wrote that article, I got an email message from a reader, quoted below verbatim:
"Whats'the matter with you, have you heard or not heard of SURVIVOR BIAS with regard to machinery? You are only remembering the machinery which is lasting from the past? What about that which failed from the past? Look at Great Wall in China, how it has survived? Dos it mean ancient wall-building technologies was better than now? Or does it mean all faulty walls are falling down and we have forgotten those? This is called SURVIVOR Bias. You are idiot if you think past was better than present becos of your stoopid washing machine and switches."
The man may be right, who knows. But Survivor Bias or not, I am getting used to waiting.