If It Ain't Broke...Don't Fix It
by Donald Mehl 3/26/2008 / Humor
Almost everyone at one time or another has experienced annoying little everyday frustrations involving new products, product changes, confusing labels, inadequate instructions, and misleading advertising. At times we must seriously question whether or not the designers, engineers, and marketing gurus ever test their products before they send them out to the store shelves. I think they just sit around in a padded room somewhere dreaming up stuff that will irritate people. An exhausting day to them must be when they almost collapse and die from laughter.
Based on my personal experience with such things, the following is a partial listing of various products, labels, advertising, and instructions that cause me to seek relief by reaching for the aspirin and antacid tablets. My brief comments are also included to enhance your understanding.
"New and Improved"
Consumers should see those words as a huge red flag that screams out - demanding a second look at the product. What's new about it...and what if anything has been improved? The old one was good, so why did it need to be changed? More often than not, "New and Improved" just simply means "Different and Worse"...and it's likely to be more expensive.
"Sock Size 6-12"
We must all shop for new socks occasionally a little chore that sounds simple enough. We go into the store, locate the clothing department, and find socks hanging on a rack. Since my shoe size is eleven, I confidently make a selection from the tag marked, "Sock Size 6-12". The fit and comfort is great right out of the package, but after the socks have been laundered a couple of times, they shrink down to the small end of the size range size 6. At that point a power winch is needed to pull them onto my size 11 feet. Caution: Wearing those skin-tight things carries a high risk of developing ingrown toe nails.
After a new box has been opened, we are then faced with the difficult task of locating the leading edge of the plastic wrap, which is tightly wound around the tube. Once that has been accomplished, a desired length of the plastic can be pulled from the roll. Then with a quick, firm, sweeping motion, the plan is to sever the piece from the roll using the built-in cutting edge on the box. Most of the time, however, the cutting edge doesn't work as intended. Often the plastic wrap will rip, stretch, or stick to itself - forming a useless crumpled mess suitable only for the garbage can. On those rare occasions when the cutting edge does work properly, the plastic wrap will quite often strike back by quickly and viciously attacking your arm an obvious design flaw causing the attempt to package your limb for the refrigerator.
"Same Great Taste"
This is a good one! The fact is that when those words appear on a package, one doesn't have to be a rocket scientist to know the product is different in some way. So...if it's different, it can't be the same. It doesn't say it's any better just that it's the same. But it's not the same, and that's not good. Note: Refer to the previous "New and Improved" paragraph for more information.
"To Open Gently Lift Flap"
Often when attempting to gently lift the flap as instructed, nothing will happen. However, in our determination to open the box, we decide to apply a little more lifting force to the flap. That's usually when we discover that the tensile strength of the glue holding the lid is much greater than the shear strength of the flap material. In non-technical terms, that simply means the flap becomes hopelessly wrecked, and sometimes totally disengaged from the box. In either case the flap, or portions thereof, is rendered useless - and can never be used to hold the box lid shut as intended.
"To open Press Here"
We've all seen those instructions. The "press here" words are usually surrounded by, or placed near, shallow dash marks embossed into a box top or other type of container. Often when pressure is applied "here", the result will be a collapsed and malformed package instead of producing a cleanly separated opening through which the product is accessed. At that point, a little homegrown ingenuity is needed to successfully enter the box. A few stabs with a scissor or steak knife will usually do the trick.
"Heavy Clear Plastic Bubble Packaging"
You had better fire up the chain saw for this one. That stuff can be so thick and tough that nothing else would penetrate the package. Trucks could roll over them without leaving a dent. It's almost as if the product was only intended for viewing through the heavy, clear plastic and never used. My grandmother, who through years of hard work, could split firewood and break dried ears of field corn with her bare hands. But if she were here today, she would need to hire a wrestling team wielding crowbars to open those packages. Life was much simpler in her day...in so many ways.
Although only a few of the many items causing confusion and frustration have been listed, humor can frequently be found in all of them. Much of the time when man tries to mess with something good, the end result is usually less than intended and often a disaster.
There is, however, one product that has endured and withstood the test of time. It's perfect in every way, and the package is very easy to open. The label clearly shown on the outside of the package reads, "Holy Bible". The message inside can be understood by all, and has eternal rewards for those who choose to believe.
Its contents are books, sixty-six of them all written separately, but together they form one Book - God's Holy inspired Word. The Bible doesn't just contain the Word of God it IS the Word of God for all of humanity. Over forty writers chosen by God penned the words of the Bible during a time period of over 1500 years. The writers were each led by the Holy Spirit as God breathed the Scripture into them. Although they each had different backgrounds, different personalities, different communication skills, and were located in several different geographic areas, there is a continuity, a flow, and a central message from beginning to end that could only have come from God.
Just as it is with man's pitiful and often hilarious attempts to mess with or improve the previously mentioned products, labeling, instructions, etc., men have also tried to re-invent God's Word. That is often done by omitting Scriptures, ignoring Scriptures, re-wording Scriptures, and adding to the Scriptures all done to change or minimize the Truth of God's Word because they choose to not believe what it really says.
However, God said His Word is Truth, it's perfect, it's trustworthy, and it's guaranteed. God never changes, He is the same yesterday, today and forever...and He cannot lie. We have God's sure promise that He will pronounce judgment on all who attempt to change His written Word.
Rev. 22:18,19 NKJV
For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.
Don't mess with God's Word! His message is not broken, it never will be broken...and therefore, will never need to be fixed!
During retirement, my prayer is that I might serve the Lord by sharing the Gospel through my writing. As the Lord leads, my work will inform, challenge and encourage. I also enjoy Biblical theme woodcarving, Bible studies and Christian music. Watch, pray and keep looking up!