Recently, I needed a new fuel pump installed on my truck. Using a can of starter fluid, I was able to determine that this was in fact the cause of my troubles. Cost = $2. Typically, I try to do my own repairs, mainly because I am capable enough and to save labor costs. Occasionally, as in the case of a fuel pump stupidly designed into the fuel tank, I have to use a repair shop for the work. There was a time when a mechanic – one you knew by name from years using them – could diagnose a problem just by looking at your vehicle. Now, drivers shell out hundreds of dollars for a mechanic to hook up a diagnostic computer to do it. What happened when I took my vehicle to a mechanic? Even though I had told them the specific problem, they needlessly hooked it up to a computer to determine the problem. Cost = $95.
On Thanksgiving, I decided to participate in “Black Friday.” By participate, I mean drive (thanks to the new fuel pump) to a mall, park and observe the chaos. No serious shopping for me, though I did peruse the electronics for deals. Nothing caught my eye that was so necessary for me to have camped out for days – missing my turkey dinner – or wait in line for hours. As I aimlessly meandered through the dense crowds, I overheard an associate radio another at one store, “there’s no place to do returns for a couple of hours.” Presumably, the situation dictated that those registers be used for checking out customers, but would there really be an overabundance of them trying to return an item at midnight? Who is standing in line for hours to purchase something, only to turn around and stand in another to make a return? Guess people really do go loony on Black Friday. Or, just want more time interacting with others.
Now, it’s “Cyber Monday,” the catchy name given to the online version of frenzied consumerism. As impersonal as it may be, hidden by the veil of cyberspace, it is a day that can draw even the most anti-shopping person. For starters, unless a shared computer, finding a parking space is no problem. Second, no fuel is wasted driving store to store – averting, for a time, the necessity of a costly new fuel pump. Moreover, even with shipping costs, one can save money while checking yourself out. Without having to stand in line(s).
©2011 Steve Sagarra