Like everyone, I too suffered a small glitch. A doctor could easily patch me up, or rather, in my case a technician or even a handyman.

You see, the circuitry in my touch screen packed up, rendering me unable to do my job. The handyman of the house, Mrs Chong, checked me out and decided that all I needed was a new control panel.

But the distributor did not have one and claimed they had to order it from the manufacturer in Korea. ‘And it is a six month wait,’ he said. The man in Customer Service—and that was a misnomer, if ever there was one—did not reckon with Mrs Chong.

She contacted her friend in Korea who tried and failed to purchase a control panel from the manufacturer’s, you guessed it, Customer Service. Apparently, they don’t supply spares for old models. How dare they label me old!

Mrs Chong’s friend, a resourceful woman, enquired about purchasing a control panel for the latest model.

‘Warranty covers that,’ said the sweet young thing in Customer Service. ‘Therefore, we don’t sell spares to the public.’

Their underlying suggestion – dump the old and buy new.

Yes, good corporate citizens. Stuff Mother Earth!

*** Copyright @ Eric Alagan, 2018 ***



  1. With you on this Eric. We really don’t care, as long as it suits us and as long as nobody is looking. All the wonderful cyclathons and charity dinners for saving the Earth appear to be gestures of the guilty.

    1. Dear Ankur,

      Your comment gave me a chuckle – thank you, I needed that this morning 🙂

      “…gestures of the guilty…” – very well said, dear friend.


  2. I love your comical take on this sad situation, Eric. It reminds me of about every two years, iPhones go on the blink and need to be upgraded. Well, what if I liked that model and don’t want to upgrade? Then all the updates slow the old model down. It’s crazy, but I don’t see any improvement either. I think Technology and Mother Earth are going to have a showdown soon. Or maybe I missed it! 😀
    Enjoy the rest of your week!

    1. Hello Lauren,

      I’m with you in this one too – just when I had figured out how to use many of the features in my cellphone (which usually takes two years) it dies on me. And the upgrades are nothing to crow about. And who moved that Delete button – LOL!

      All good wishes,

  3. If only we could hear what machines thought of us. The throw away world is here to stay as I don’t think we’re training the technicians to repair such easy to replace items. A sad tale, but amusing how you told it.

  4. Dear Eric,

    Yes, the disposable society is alive and well. Who cares about Mother Earth? A tiny problem with one of your myriad of gadgets? No problem! Just bring it to the recycling center or, better yet, save the trip and toss it in the trash.

    Your computer, printer, iPhone, not fast enough? Well, get down to your local box store and purchase another one! What are you waiting for? Just rid yourself of your old, tired, slow machines. The sinkhole for slow machinery is bottomless Go ahead, throw it into those burn pits, like our government is still doing in Iraq. Screw the health of our folk in uniform. Gotta burn that stuff up, and send the surplus to our police around the country. After all, who doesn’t want a militarized police state?

    Eric, recently my 2012 Nissan Frontier just stopped working, right at an intersection. It wasn’t the battery but the ‘engine control module.’ Sounds like something from Star Trek. The dealer told me there was only one–one!–left in the entire country, and I could have it for the paltry sum of $1,200. What was I to do?

    But it’s the technology now. Years ago, if something failed in your car, you could replace that part. Now, with all the minicomputers hooked up here and there, it costs an exorbitant amount to get your vehicle serviced. It’s a hell of a racket.

    Anyway, great and poignant post, my friend.

    Take care, and warm wishes your way,
    Paul 🙂

    1. Dear Paul,

      Always welcome your comments.

      The trend in automobile maintenance is ‘repair by replacement’ – fast turnarounds and great for the manufacturers and service centres. But stuff the consumer and environment. You are right – it is a racket.

      Peace, dear Paul,
      Eric 🙂

  5. Your writing gave this common problem a humorous twist, and I like Mrs. Chong. My PC must be in sink with yours for it also went on the blitz – needed a new battery. We waited several weeks for one through Amazon from China before someone, helpfully told us that they didn’t have such an old model after all. Our resourceful Mrs. Chong eventually found one in California (made in China) and got it to us thereby saving both the planet and my sanity.

    1. Dear Jane,

      I love how your comment rolled with the punches from the post – nice to start the day with a chuckle 🙂

      Thanks to China, we might yet contribute to saving the world and our sanity 🙂

      Have a great week ahead,

  6. It’s all about money and commercialism. Come up with small changes and you can eliminate the old. Gone are the days where your parents tell you to use your things sparingly and maintain it well so you can pass to your younger siblings or help the family save money, or why throw when it is still functioning. Technology advancement is good but why not include saving earth as the criteria. Seriously we just want the gadget to work for the basic function . We don’t need a cinema on our handheld, but I think that is now a basic.

    Not to mention with new gadgets, people abuse and hurt others with them. Such a sorry state we are in.

    1. Hello Windy,

      It sure looks like that, does it not? Other than giving lip service for been a “good corporate citizen” and throwing around cliches such as “sustainability” most big business and SMEs do little else.


  7. Same with a car, if you purchased every individual part from the manufacturer and assembled the vehicle yourself it would cost you ten times the amount you’d pay for a new car. 🙂

    1. Hello Ian,

      That’s true, isn’t it.

      I have a friend in NZ who has all the equipment to assemble micro-light aircraft. What a joy – and how I wish I could do that. And apparently, these models are specially made for DIY enthusiasts.

      All good wishes for the week ahead,

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