Sunday, February 03, 2008

Rant against "good enough"

Warning, this is a rant. Sorry, I don't do this too often but when it seems right I have to speak up.

What has happened to us? It seems America has become accepting of inferior quality.

Recently, I purchased a new Frigidaire refrigerator from Loews, one of our nations large box stores. This purchase was intended to replace a 30 plus year old fridge that, while still running strong, showed it age with many scratches and dents. I thought a bright shiny stainless steel look would be just right.

To my surprise the new fridge ran louder than my old machine! But wait, there’s more. The fit and finish of this new cooler was not even close to my three-decade box. Sharp, unfinished edges, glue (or insulation) coming out from the seams and handles that didn’t line up were just some of the new “features.”

Dissatisfied, I called the store and requested a replacement (they have a 30 day replacement warranty). Today the replacement machine arrived and I noticed very little improvement. The noise level is nearly the same, although the clunking sound when the compressor starts is thankfully absent. The fit and finish is actually worse on machine #2 than on #1.

Over and over people tell me same thing: “They don’t build them like they use to.”

Why? Why has craftsmanship been replaced with mediocrity? Why do we put up with such nonsense? We should DEMAND better! Better from business, from each other and better from us. We deserve it.

Last week a friend who studied a lot of the “gurus” of business and marketing told me one of the things he learned – when dealing with the public, good enough is good enough. WHAT? Is that really what we’ve come to in this country? Is that were we want to be, what we want to be known for, how we want to be remembered? I don’t think so.

There are times I really do feel like the odd man out. I still do my own picture editing and processing. I design every album spread by hand, without templates or third party designers. I do this because it’s a better quality product. My albums are designed to tell a story from beginning to end. They are not just parking lots for pictures. If no one else notices, I do, and that’s enough for me.

Uh oh, gotta go, my new fridge is making a weird popping noise…

Postscript: I have to say kudos to all the folks at Loews I've dealt with, they have all been helpful, courteous and professional. This rant is not about any individual or even Loews itself. The store is not building these things, they're just sell them.

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