Have our lost our ability to stand up for our warranty rights?

… and, the problem of underachievers and people who don’t pay attention in school/fail to apply themselves/fail to complete assignments goes back to… forever… essentially. Here is an interesting little exercise to try that will probably prove my point:

The next time that you are near an antiques/collectibles shop, ask if they sell vintage used postcards. If you do this, you will undoubtedly find what I have found multiple times, namely that there were a whole lot of people in the late 19th Century, early 20th Century, and even the mid-20th Century who were barely literate. Yes, the penmanship was almost always museum-worthy, but the spelling and grammar that you will see on postcards from “The Good Old Days” was frequently appallingly bad.

We have always had people who were not interested in learning, or in applying what they learned, or who are just plain lazy, but nowadays they are much more visible, thanks to the internet.

I believe that to be true.

I believe that to be true too. I would add to that the pile of paperwork we get at the last moment whenever we do a transaction, paperwork that we’re not given access to prior to the transaction, much of it in legalese. Add to that the low reading comprehension level common in this country and it’s a recipe for problems.

I bought an inexpensive flat screen TV set for our sunroom that we use about 8 months a year. I bought the set at Target. About six months after I bought the set, the picture became distorted and the sound had a high pitched buzz. I kept the manual and receipt. The set was still under warranty, but I would have to pay the shipping charges to an authorized repair station. The set would then be repaired and shipped back to me at the company’s expense. I finally decided to go ahead and call the company for authorization to ship it for repair. I had to give a number on the store receipt and the model and serial number of the set. After I gave the information, the service representative said that they would send a technician to my house and could he come within the next hour. The technician showed up 20 minutes later, put a new circuit board in the set and had it working in 10 minutes, then spent another half hour playing with our dog. The repair was free.


I was just discussing this topic with my brother, and he reminded me of an incident from many years ago.
His first civilian job when he came home from his service in Vietnam was as the Assistant Manager at a McCrory’s store (think of K-Mart, and you get the general idea), and the year was–I think–1973.

Of course, this was back in the days before computerized cash registers, and even hand-held calculators were somewhat rare, and were quite pricey. He told the woman who was in charge of the fabric department that there would be a 10% price reduction on all fabrics the following week. The woman gave him a blank stare, tinged with a bit of a “deer in the headlights look”. So, he asked her if she knew how to calculate that price reduction. She reacted as if he had asked her to explain The Theory of Relativity, so he gave her a quick, basic lesson in moving the decimal point in order to calculate that 10% off sale price.

He said something along the lines of… this fabric is .50 per yard, so if we move the decimal point one place to the left, and insert a zero right after the decimal point, that tells you to take off .05 per yard. Then he showed her the same type of process with a fabric that sold for 70 cents, and one that sold for .80 per yard. Then, he had her demonstrate on paper that she had grasped the concept, which she apparently had.

Before he left her department, he asked her, “So, do you have any questions, Mary?”
Yes, said Mary.
“What if they buy two yards?”

And, in case anyone is interested, this woman proudly displayed her 1940s-era graduation ring from St. Aloysius High School, so if anyone thinks that poorly educated people are a recent phenomenon, or that this phenomenon is limited to those who attended public schools, this is just one more example that neither of those assumptions is accurate.

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@VDCdriver I had a similar situation over 30 years ago at King’s discount store (something like Walmart, but has been gone for years). We needed a new mop head. Usually, the design changes, and I have to buy a whole new mop. However, I found one on the rack and it was the last one in stock. When I examined it, the package had been opened and the bolts and nuts were missing from the package. I reasoned that I could transfer the hardware from my worn out mop head to the new mop, so I put it in my shopping cart. I then reasoned that since the fasteners were missing, I should get a discount. I went to the service counter and requested.a.discount. The woman at the counter offered a 10% discount. I accepted that and she started.punching buttons into a calculator. She couldn’t come up with a price, so she got her supervisor. Her supervisor started punching buttons, but couldn’t figure it out. She called the manager. He punched some button and said,.“Let me show you gals how to calculate at 10% discount” He punched some more buttons into the calculator and said “Look, the retail price is $1.98. With a 10% discount, we should charge him $1”. He then looked at me asked, “Isn’t that right?”. “Oh, yes”, I replied.


Yeah I understand the illiterate have always been among us, and will always be, just like the poor, but still a black person that didn’t know who won the Civil War, or even that there was one? You still have to remember in those “old days”, lets say in the 1850s to 1940s, there were a lot of English language learners due to the immigrants, the railroads, and land rush. Also with the Depression it was quite common for kids to have to quit school after the 8th grade to work to help support the family. Around here the Norwegians put a high priority on education and one of the first things they did in the 1860s in addition to public schools was start a college.

I just think history as a subject has been shoved off to the side in favor of other subjects, not to mention the revisions of the history books. Maybe there wouldn’t be so many people in favor of socialism if they understood what happened in Europe or the millions killed by Stalin, not to even mention economic systems. But then we could really use a course in “rights” versus “responsibilities” and maybe there wouldn’t be so many protest marches.

I haven’t encountered anybody younger that about 45 that can count change back to me correctly in over 20 years.

Today when I hand real cash money to a kid behind the counter, they often look at me as if they don’t know what to DO with it… They almost pass out if the bill is $18.25 and I hand them a $20 and a quarter. The surprised look on their face when they punch it into the register and it returns $2.00 is priceless. A bit like playing “got your nose” with a toddler.

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I stopped at a Sonic drive-in some years ago and bought some fast food. The total was 7.42. I handed the car hop a 10 dollar bill and he handed me back an incorrect amount of change. I pointed this out to him

He immediately copped an attitude and started arguing the point with me. He couldn’t seem to grasp that the change should have been 2.58 cents. After a few minutes of back and forth while questioning his math skills, I started opening the car door while telling him that if he couldn’t count change I’d get the manager involved who hopefully could. He grumpily handed me the right amount after I repeated it yet again.

In my younger days I worked in a gas station for a time. We had one lady who came in all the time and would not buy X dollars worth of gas. She always wanted 5 gallons. She would then count her change and accuse me of shorting her a nickle. I had to spend time every trip explaining to her that was XX.9 cents per gallon and the .9 was something that she kept omitting.

Remind me again, please… Who was it who yelled–repeatedly–during the 2016 campaign, “I LOVE the poorly-educated!”.



Yeah, President Trump loves auto machanics…


… and he might just love auto mechanics


Oops…multitasking with the Derby isn’t working…


And here I thought all along that Dan Quail? was the last illiterate in the White House.

Blue Bell in the third? I don’t like horses though and the feeling is mutual. My wife is at a derby gathering and I asked here which horse her money was on. She’d never considered the true reason for horse races-gambling and drinking.

I think what he was referring to were those that are at the bottom of the heap and have been forgotten by the elites, but I could be wrong. If you go to church tomorrow, might want to keep in mind which group was the focus a couple thousand years ago. I didn’t bring it up though but I’m a firm believer in the pendulum. Like HRC said though that she made a mistake identifying herself as a capitalist because a lot of democrats are socialists. Maybe for 2020 she’ll identify herself as a socialist or even communist like Brennen to gather more votes. After all we can now identify ourselves as anything we want.

I expect the vast majority of Democrats would say they favor well-regulated capitalism rather than socialism. But mostly it seems to be more semantics than anything else. Doesn’t appear to be much substantive difference between the two main party leadership imho.

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You really believe that . . . ?!


So I have a conundrum. Difference occurring between sales team and reality technical support team. Needed an POE video camera to monitor a machine available to 6 locations, I need it to work under Ubuntu, no problem as long as you have an internet browser everything will work. So I get the camera, test it out under windows all is good, Ubuntu, add in for browser 404 fail, camera company tech support, sorry it only works on windows. So I will probably eat the $124 vs return shipping cost, and repurpose the camera or make it a RDP (remote desktop protocal) to a windows machine, PS 2 people in the last month have experienced a broken timing chain, 2012 Chevy Malibu, 90k miles, all maintenance done, and a 2007 Ford Pickup, 120k miles. Both are screw it betting a new vehicle as repairs are in the 3 to 5 thousand dollar range. Maybe chains are not so good after all?

The timing chain I understand but the first part is French or something foreign. Why can’t you just use windows, or maybe you explained it.

I’ve done about a million and a half miles on mostly GM and Acura. I’ve only had one chain failure and that was at 250K. The chain was still fine but the gear shredded. Maybe the new chains are cheaper or something but never had a broken one. The 3800s evidently were known for timing chain (gear) failures at about 150K.

Hmm. I’m under 45 and I can count change. But I am with JT here—we wouldn’t be here if everybody knew the answers. Also people may throw questions out on the internet before deciding what to do, because they want to know what questions to ask or if they don’t trust they’re going to be treated fairly, or they don’t want to sound dumb. I know I’ve asked google a lot of really elemental questions, but I can pull it together and act competent and informed in real life.


Ah, but you don’t work in retail, now do you @cdaquila? I applaud whomever taught you to count back change. You are a rare individual, as we all here know!