P1090941Our previous washing machine was more than two decades old when it gave up the ghost. We replaced it with a relatively high-end eco-friendly high-tech Samsung model just over three years ago. Better to pay more for a name brand and to buy the larger, fancier model, which should hold up better over the long run, we reasoned. But the machine is already kaput, just a couple of months after the warranty expired. Planned obsolescence?

IMG_4713
Expensive for something that’s disposable.

We called a technician, who said it was probably the electronic card, which is not fixable. We could buy a new card, but it would cost as much as a new machine. He said the manufacturer coated the card in resin so that repairmen can’t, say, fix a loose connection—you have to replace the entire card. These machines are computers these days, the technician said. You can’t just open them up and fix what’s broken. You have to replace the whole thing.

I am doubly disgusted because it’s the vaunted environmentally friendly model. I call BS.

P1090943
This kind of window, tall and skinny, is a meurtrière, or (female) murderer.

Yesterday afternoon, I encountered some protesters waving banners. Mostly I saw the imposing vans of the CRS, the most serious unit of law enforcement, which were parked in front of the préfecture, a preferred spot for those venting their anger at government. The protesters were outnumbered by shoppers (the biannual soldes–sales–just started) and were overwhelmingly older. A sea of gray hair. A few chants, some whistles blown. Mostly a party. Later, the cafés were full of protesters having an early apéro, in high spirits. 

The protests are over a change to the French retirement system. I mentioned before that there are a bunch of special categories that allow people to retire much earlier. President Macron wants to eliminate them. He also wants to make a system of points, because unlike in the past, future workers are likely to change jobs numerous times and points would not only make calculating retirement more uniform across different types of work but also would make it easier to get credit for all time worked.

P1090933
Photos are not welcomed by protestors nor by police, so you are getting photos of old stuff–la Cité–since we’re talking about old stuff.

I sympathize with this. I have had 16 jobs at 14 employers (twice I was laid off and then hired back when something opened up; in once case my original job was automated out of existence). I’ve spent the last 15-ish years running my own business; before that I spent 11 years at the same employer. Prior to that, four years at one job. Before that, a couple of years at most at each place, mostly part time, two or three jobs at once. It was a preview of what many workers do today, piecing together a living from a collage of part-time jobs. I’ll get a pension only from the place I worked for 11 years. Sure, I contributed to U.S. Social Security at those other jobs, and that will help, if it still exists when I retire. And I’ll get something for my 15 years of contributions to the French system, though at the moment it stands at a grand total of €2,000….per year. At all those early jobs, either I didn’t qualify for the retirement programs because I was part-time or I didn’t stay long enough to be “vested,” under the pre-401(k) programs.P1090928So the point system would help all those people who similarly are changing jobs or working part-time and not getting credit toward retirement. But all those who had special exemptions would lose them, and no VIP ever wants to give up his right to cut to the front of the line.

There’s another angle, which I’ve only started to hear addressed in the news. The other part of pension reform requires people to work longer. The official age now is 62, with a bunch of exceptions. This age will go up progressively over time, until, for those born in 1965, it will be 64. There are more details, but that’s what the strikes are about and things keep changing, so we’ll not wade into the weeds just yet.P1090921“Âge pivot,” “régle d’or,” “bonus-malus” and points aside, the bigger issue is that it’s all fine and dandy to say that if we live longer we need to work longer…but work where? Just try to find a job after age 45. And it gets worse with age. Job postings for “senior” positions ask for advanced degrees and five to seven years of experience. Senior after five years? It seems to be code for “older workers need not apply.” Especially when nearly all job applications start with an online form. Plenty of older candidates just drop off earlier experience, but if you’ve spent a decade at a job, how do you shorten it to that five-to-seven-year window? Meanwhile, employers can simply filter for only candidates with the correct number of years of experience. That isn’t age discriminiation, is it? Nothing was said about age. It’s just an unbiased algorithm. (I hope you hear the sarcasm dripping here.)P1090747Increasingly, friends and acquaintances on both sides of the Atlantic are confiding their worries about whether they’ll be able to stay employed until they can reach retirement age. I certainly know many, many talented, hard-working people who have been laid off in recent years, in their mid-50s. These are mostly in the U.S., and the U.S. comes up often in conversations with French friends as the nightmare scenario—the older people working in Amazon warehouses because they don’t have a pension and can’t get a job anywhere else. Or the greeters at Wal-Mart. 

P1090916
That says 1673. Retirement was not an issue then.

Now there’s more talk about how to keep French workers trained or retrained, even after age 50. Clearly there will have to be a mind shift. Older workers might not be on top of the latest technology because after you’ve switched and upgraded and switched and upgraded, at a certain point you just want the damn stuff to work and not require new ways to get to the same old stuff. Older people are slower, younger ones complain, and studies show that may be the case, but they tend to have better strategies that allow them to outperform their faster and younger co-workers. Overall, productivity and reliability are more consistent in older workers.P1090912Separately, I almost literally ran into a lady yesterday while I was out jogging. She informed me she is 89 years old (immediately–it was “Bonjour! I’m 89!”). Just adorable. Tiny. Walking nice and straight. We chatted a while and I told her she was my role model–being healthy and active for a whole life. My 30-day challenge is going along bumpily. I still haven’t dared a cartwheel, and I meditated but once, but otherwise I am more or less sticking with it. Some days are better than others. I never manage to do all the things. Not yet anyway. BTW, two people gave me very similar advice about meditation: just lie still and breathe. Let the mind shut down. It will get easier over time. My first (and best) yoga teacher used to have us do this, in the “corpse” position, without all the New Age blah blah. Just quiet. It was very soothing and afterward I felt at first disoriented, being so incredibly relaxed, but then reinvigorated.

Please do share your thoughts about planned obsolescence of appliances and humans, as well as your stories about progress on your own New Year’s resolutions.P1090744

49 thoughts on “Planned Obsolescence

  1. Planned obsolescence is obscene and should be illegal. I believe this is the case in France and that the EU is also pursuing a policy in this direction. How galling to invest in an eco label machine only to have it conk out a couple of years later! As for the current fracas over the retirement age, I fear it is the tip of the iceberg. Surely people over 60 (including moi!) can continue to play a valuable role in society, and be paid to do so? The idea that you should put your feet up and ‘rest’ at 62 is ludicrous. But the job market, the employment contracts and the whole way people perceive work in this country needs to be reformed, and that is beyond the scope of the current government’s mandate.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are right–it isn’t just the retirement law that needs to change but much more. The thing is, people have a set idea that getting people to retire frees up jobs for younger ones, whereas that just isn’t the case–jobs beget more jobs, and retirement is just planned obsolescence or sanctioned unemployment for people of a certain age. It doesn’t create jobs at all.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Whelp, when it comes to washing machines, I’m Hoping Speed Queen’s slogan, “They don’t make them like they used to. We do,” is true. This is the only brand that can be dismantled and put back together, so it’s popular in Philadelphia. There were two models: one with analog knobs and an upgraded model with a digital panel and a warranty. Not that I would have ever chosen the digital panel but the salesman told me the analog one doesn’t need a warranty because it doesn’t break.

    When it comes to other appliances, I think I’ll always get them 10 years old on Craigslist, unless someday I have a bigger kitchen and get a 60-year-old range that weighs 500 pounds and has no electronic parts except for the clock.

    For obsolescence in people, my parents both went through that. My parents both got job offers that were insulting and now they have my dad’s consulting and whatever my mom can get from piano lessons, but they both made it to 65, so they’re not going to die.

    And strict work experience criteria don’t just hit older people. I had a few years under my belt at what shaped up to be a dead end job, and at that point I was overqualified for anything entry level but underqualified for anything requiring experience that wasn’t exactly like what I had already been doing.

    And as for my current resolutions, I did eventually get a much better job, but the commute is awful. I have to drive end to end across Philadelphia on one of the longer sides, often on local roads. All the suburban jobs are just far enough away from the trains that you can’t use them. I’m now working on getting to bed earlier. Like, getting to bed at my Latin American husband’s dinner time. This is a big sacrifice, but last year’s solution was to freeze my gym membership and now I can only get into about half my clothes. We’re also almost done setting up a functional home office so I’m planning to tell the company that I’ll be using it about half time from now on. Ironically, the commute leaves me too fatigued and burnt out to feel like finishing my own ticket to freedom.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Do you have a train/bike option? (that would also help on the exercise issue)
      You are right that across the board employers increasingly see employees as cost centers and not as investments that bring returns. It used to be only manual workers who were treated like interchangeable widgets but knowledge workers are feeling it too.

      Like

      1. My office is 10 miles from the nearest subway station, and I’d have to ride the subway line pretty much end to end through Center City. There are express tracks but express trains only run in peak directions a few times per day.

        My office is 3.5 miles from the nearest regional rail station. But those trains tend to run every 30 minutes at best, and hourly if I’m past 5:30, so I’d have to plan around the scheduled regional rail train and also the maximum wait time for the subway in the mornings.

        And I’d have to ride my bike on former country roads that are only about 22 feet wide – 2 car lanes and nothing else – that now carry relatively heavy and fast-moving traffic. I have a friend who is used to “taking the lane” in the city. She carries a U lock in her panier so she can grab it and swing it it at people’s cars when they get too close. But even if I get used to being like that (my lack of free time has already made me unconcerned with etiquette but I do still fear being maimed) it will take about as long as driving does.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. What a mess. I hope you can work from home a few days a week. It isn’t possible for every job, but probably a lot of jobs could be done that way and it would save tons of emissions and time.

          Like

          1. My company would be fine with me working from home a few days a week, and parts of days when I come into the office, and I often go shopping near work to wait out rush hour. It means a lot of planning.

            Everything about my office’s location is stupid – except that it’s right next to a tiny little airport in a very fancy area and they couldn’t get very fancy people to live here. But 4 miles over is a great little mill town with surprisingly pretty Victorian houses in what I guess was the managers’ neighborhood, and they’re less than half the price of the McMansions nearby even though they’re all the same school district. I showed this to Tito and he made it clear that commuting is my job.

            Liked by 1 person

                  1. The size isn’t the worst part. It’s the scroll-cut clapboards, the cornices with built-in gutters, the terra cotta tile siding on the front, the stained glass… I’d wind up blowing through a renovation loan on the restoration without getting it finished enough for a mortgage.

                    Liked by 2 people

  3. First about planned obsolescence. We faced the same crisis a year ago: the breakdown of our 20+ year-old washer and dryer set—on the morning before Christmas Eve, with a houseful of visiting family (including a baby) expected within hours.

    We called ahead that we needed help stat, then dashed to our trusty appliance dealer. I had determined that we would select a sleeker modern set and have it by mid afternoon. In our discussion with the lead salesperson, my husband kept pushing for information on durability, style and appearance be damned. Long story short: we bought a commercial set, mechanical, as opposed to operated by computer. It’s downright ugly, but it functions efficiently and has come with a 10-year warranty. A key factor was that it could be installed that very afternoon.

    We haven’t looked back. Luckily our laundry room is closed off from public view. The appliances get the job done handily but with annoying lights and buzzers to alert us when their respective cycles are complete.

    As for employment and human obsolescence, I’m sure age discrimination exists in the US, but the unemployment rate is so low these days that employers find it difficult to staff positions. Because the retirement age is higher for full social security (66 to 67, depending on birth date) people in their 40s are in their prime of work life, but into the 50s have more difficulty finding new work.

    Both my husband and I held long term jobs, more common in my role as a college prof. I don’t think our retired lives are without concern that things could turn upside down in a flash. I would be dismayed if I were on the cusp of retirement and the state or country pulled the rug out from under us.

    All the same, I think, barring health issues or great wealth, to retire at 60 is premature and if it’s on the public dole, it’s irresponsible. Those of us who can work contribute to the public good and economic stability, and yes by working we support those who have real need and contribute to our children’s future.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are lucky–in the golden age of professorship. It’s one of the areas where employers are hiring people to teach one or two classes and paying next to nothing, with no tenure track, etc.
      The thing about hiring is that people are taking jobs below their skills, because they are desperate. Maybe now people are able to change up into better jobs, but it seems like a lot of former middle managers are now in low-level jobs just to buy groceries.
      Your tip about industrial machines is interesting. I eventually had to catch up with a trip to a laundromat, and all the machines there were highly computerized. I hate to buy things online but maybe that’s the only way to get a real mechanical washer that isn’t loaded down by delicate sensors and computer boards.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I cannot believe your new washer only worked for 3 years! Our current washer is 111 years old, it did leak this week because of a seal. We called our home warranty and they sent someone to fix it. Recently we had our plumber who was here installing a sink look at our water heater, he said that even though it is old we should not replace it unless we have a problem because the new ones are so cheap they only last 5 years. Built in obsolesce is something that I am sure many did not plan for in retirement, who would think that they would need to replace so many things on a fixed income? As for jobs, I tell everyone I know that if they have a job they are blessed! Especially the older you get! It is sad that age and experience are counted for nothing in this day and age. IT reminds me of a class that I had in college in which the entire grade was based on one paper in which you argued for or against euthanizing “old people” when they reached a certain age because they did or did not offer something to society, the economy and more.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think of my mentor, well one of them, who was quite a bit older and no matter what happened he had the historical context and could talk about previous instances of unintended consequences. That kind of thing is invaluable.

      Like

  5. I think we all agree on both your tales. I always had well paid jobs although, with one exception, I only stayed around two years (those were the golden years with a -buyer-s – market…. sorry have to come back when my keyboard has decided to be on the same page as I am. It-s playing crazy….

    Liked by 1 person

  6. A friend of mine, who works for a large French power tool manufacturer, assures me that planned obsolence doesn’t exist as a policy. However, he says there is a real difference in the specifications for a domestic appliance and a commercial/professional one. This is because a compromise has to be made in terms of the price householders/DIYers are prepared to pay compared to the lifespan and likely usage of the appliance or tool.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s for sure. Someone who is doing weekend bricolage/repairs isn’t going to spend a fortune on power tools. But I think there is a bit of planned obsolescence in some appliances, because they are impossible to repair.

      Like

  7. Alright, back to you – now I have EVERYTHING in German, which I most definitely do NOT want but for the time being I have at least the command of my keyboard ‘comme il faut’ (you see, even the ‘ are right again now.) but all the ‘settings stuff’ is in G too which I don’t understand half as well as in E….
    ANYWAY, as for appliances: When we moved to France, we bought the house under the understanding, that the seller would leave one of three fridges – except that they were all gone. All they left was a non functionning cooker, a broken oven, and two wardrobes we told them to take with them…. So we had to get a fridge illico presto and we went to the first appliance shop we came across (no beforehand studying went on, as that is what we normally would do!) who could deliver within two days. We had the fridge/freezer for less than 10 days when the command-panel gave in. We waited for THREE weeks in hot French summer weather for the electronic panel to be ordered, delivered and installed. Since then we live in peace, fridge-wise. For the washing machine it was the same, we arrived and had to get one immediately. I asked (same as for the fridge) for the most energy efficient one and was sold the huge 7kg washer. It works fine, thanks goodness. But seen the price tag I could believe it was a near industrial model.
    Jobs: Such a thorny subject. My own experience may be different to most people’s. I changed countries, jobs, and I was always well paid. The last PAID job I had was a variable part-timer (trouble shooter for an international company and helping out to all the big wigs when and where they needed help). I loved that job, I could say NO when I really couldn’t come in for a reason but they got so dependent on my being there (and demanding ‘me’ instead of other trouble-shooters, who also left or got ‘leaving’) that it became a bit of a struggle. Still, I was happy there until the corporation was taken over by an American mega brand and when it all changed from chocolate, coffee and other pleasant stuff to Nicotine etc. I couldn’t face the job any longer and left. Having a vast experience and three fluently spoken languages, I was never out of work.
    Yet, in the UK, I worked for free, for 8 years. Why? Because my ‘boss’ couldn’t pay me but I so loved the job, the company of intelligent and versatile people as well as the fantastically varied work, the contacts and what we did that I stayed on and on. However, I sadly felt it hard when it came to ‘declare’ all my former employments for my pension money in Switzerland.
    Same as you, I didn’t get a cent/penny of pension, neither for the 2 years in Canada, nor the 8 yrs in the UK. Coming back to Switzerland, I applied for jobs and all I heard was: You’re too highly qualified for this post (= too expensive), or ‘we should a chance to a younger person’. It came to the point that I begged a fantastic flower shop owner in the village of my dream if she would take me on. She said ‘Oh I would, but I can’t. I could only offer you CHF15.-/h and that would be an insult to you’. I said: No, I so love what you do, I’d come with pleasure, even for free (see, I was conditioned by my UK experience, working for fun not an income!). She then told me that, no, she had a moral commitment to a young girl of 17 who was to start her apprenticeship. Since then, right after my return from UK and all the years in France, I didn’t get employment.
    Hero Husband also struggled to get another job at over 50. But we DO also recognise the general problems in France. You just simply cannot run a country on a general 35h/wk job basis. And you can’t pension off people at only 50+. There are so many rules and reasons for this and others, but it’s an economic suicide to even try this long term. So, even if the present leader here is not universally loved, he is the only one ruthless and direct enough to get something done… I had a long comment prepared on this but then I touched a key and it all went from the site. So I stop here, as this is already another Guest Blog Post!!! Sorry.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This is really interesting and I wish you weren’t so far away. I disagree on the 35 hours–the French above all use their time efficiently (there are studies on this) and have decent work-life balance. Work-life balance shouldn’t just be for moms with kids but for all workers of all ages, without judgment about how employees spend their personal time (I had a bad boss who thought all single people should work 18 hours a day minimum because what else did they have to do?).
      The average age for starting a business is 41, and making your own job does indeed seem like the one way to combat age discrimination.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Re washing machines: A couple of years ago I thought to replace my sturdy Kenmore with something more up to date and energy efficient and so on. Because I have a Samsung refrigerator and like it, I looked at those. The salesmen (plural) in the big-box stores told me to avoid all of those, Samsung in particular as pieces of junk, and stick with the older machine. By now, the Kenmore is probably close to 20 — I may have a birthday party for it.
    And don’t even get me going on inequities of the US system, where you got nothing for years and years. For all that the current self-contributing system is supposedly the be-all, it’s of maximum benefit only for people who started working in the last twenty years or so.
    On a cheerier note, I have found that being able to tune out via a few minutes of sitting meditation helps cope with airport delays, appliance salesmen, even political speeches.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I can only congratulate you to your positive standpoint. It’s an opinion I can’t share.
    The sad truth is; where I live (just outside of Paris), literally ALL the parents have to work at LEAST one job but many of them have two, because they just can’t make enough dough to live on. Also, our region is terrifyingly expensive and life’s quality is sub-standard. Quite of few of our French friends are now at a point where they will sell and move to a quieter area of this otherwise so beautiful country. One couple did that already and they live now a happier, quieter and healthier life in the greater Marseille region (can’t tell you the village as I’ve forgotten).
    I also had a ‘freeloader’ who worked as a teacher and I was ‘estomaquée’ at her having hardly any working material for her school kids plus a not very high pay. I was shocked that she took every opportunity to go on strike all the time but then I also understood that they really get taken advantage of and are badly treated by the ‘body’. It made me glad that I had no child in an elementary school. She had to work in a deprived ville where all the conditions were appalling, the kids, their parents and all the love and dedication she could give to those children, were badly ‘accepted’, things she bought got broken, quite unbelievable.
    I AM glad for you. But it’s not so everywhere.

    Like

    1. This region, Aude, has a very low cost of living, but it’s rare to find any job above the SMIC. Still, with that (with two such breadwinners in a household), people can get by here.
      Teachers don’t get paid when they strike. Nobody becomes a teacher to get rich. Talking to a young teacher over the weekend who works in a large city in the region, she said she doesn’t think she can make a career of it because it’s too hard–90% discipline, 10% teaching.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That is right – they (Government) should pay AND instruct teachers better and they would have dedicated employees. Said person who lived for free with us for 10 months worked so hard with so little, it surprises me that children are learning anything at all. That’s a sad situation.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. I feel your appliance pain. We purchased a washing machine 6 years ago when we bought our apartment -which is our part time residence. This summer when we ran our first load of the season some of our wash came out in shreds! We discovered that a few of the little plastic paddles in the drum had partially broken out and the metal flanges that held them in were snagging everything. The stores do not carry parts and there were none available via the internet that fit the machine so instead of being able to simply replace those we had to buy a new machine! To make matters worse we are in a medieval village with narrow streets, no adjacent parking and up a pedestrian impass. Even though we told the store that they sent it in a large truck. As you can imagine it ended up with clogged roads, honking horns and amused neighbors. This one had better last for a very long time!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, no. I can very well imagine trying to get something big and heavy delivered on a pedestrian street. Been there, done that. As I just commented to Cristina, those plastic parts might be cheaper to make and lighterweight, but they don’t last like metal.

      Like

  11. Samsung!!! Did you read my post a year or so ago called “Scamsung”? You’re lucky your washing machine didn’t explode! Samsung’s known of the defects in their machines but didn’t tell anyone for SIX YEARS!!! That’s just plain evil! Good for you for meditating, even if it was only once. Personally speaking, I would continue to think about the cartwheel. I’m working on being able to hold plank position for five minutes, like Cher does. So far I’m at three minutes and swearing. xoxox, Brenda

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Planned obsolescence is atrocious. It should be illegal. Truly. A circular economy needs to be established to force companies to recycle or fix old designs. It burns me up. Our entire system needs to change. For people and appliances. Humanity is failing on so many levels.

    We are currently going through another job shuffle for my husband and it is getting harder and harder to bounce back. He removed many years of experience from his CV for the reasons you mentioned.

    My parents will both lose their jobs in a couple of months and they are devastated, not only for the money but because they define themselves through their work.

    Suzanne
    http://www.suzannecarillo.com

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Best of luck to your husband and your parents. Many people define themselves by their work, especially if they have been doing something they love. It’s only natural. Work is more than a paycheck.
      As for a circular economy, it requires regulations. Consumer desires won’t do it because just look–what recourse is there after a machine is a disappointment? Get a new one. I am not going to wash all my laundry by hand (been there, done that in Africa in Peace Corps…huge time investment). So companies win by producing crappy quality.

      Like

  13. Oh yes, the appliance conundrum. Two years ago we replaced a 20-year old “compact” Maytag stacked washer-dryer with full-sized appliances when we remodeled. (We probably were spending as much *annually* for the last few years to keep the old one running as the new ones cost.) The new dryer had been getting more and more noisy, and earlier this week began rumbling at a jet-engine level. We got lucky…it was just lint that had built up in the fan. Apparently these dryers require annual maintenance. 😦

    As to the “human obsolescence” issue, it’s definitely a problem here. I’ve known a few people over 50 who have been “downsized” by their long-time employers and unable to find comparable work. I left my corporate job of 23+ years when the company did a “buy out” of senior employees. Fortunately I was able to be self-employed but many are not so lucky. And some in our government are trying to cut back on Social Security and other retirement benefits that we’ve paid into all these years.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Isn’t the term “planned obsolescence” more about something becoming obsolete, not breaking down? I think the term to use for the stories here should be planned failure. And its outrageous as we all know. When I moved into my current French house I kept the former owners’ washer and dryer, which were ten plus years old. They are still working, the Arthur Martin washer is very good, and the dryer is, well, a dryer and I don’t use it a lot. It will be my future choice to replace any appliance with a manually operated one, not an electronic one. Currently involved in an insurance claim battle with the installer of our less than one year old furnace which has had two new “motherboards”, total piece of junk.
    bonnie in provence

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Your logic is good but I didn’t invent the term—just going with the flow. Planned obsolescence is intentionally designing for a short lifespan, to require frequent replacement.
      Motherboards seem to be a common feature in planned obsolescence.

      Like

      1. Yes, I see that I was being a bit too literal. The term has been around during most of my adult life, but I think we used to use it as something that did not work as well as a new one, or that was no longer stylish, and less that it was made to deliberately break! Back in my storage garage in San Diego I have a 1941 Frigidaire that still works, and also a 1953 Crosley referigerator. They are pretty obsolete, but still work. Today at the brocante in Villeneuve les Avignon there was a man selling restored 1950s refrigerators, with new motors and new gas. Pretty tempting ……
        bonnie

        Liked by 1 person

  15. Finally got a job in my field of Biomedical Engineering (which is a branch of Hospital Engineering except we fix all the medical equipment in the hospital). Took me 3 years and I didn’t check the handicap box which got me an interview! I’m an amputee and and was unemployed for 3.5 years.
    That +my age, 49, had me really hurting. New job has been great by the way.
    Your washer… get a second opinion plz. Or find the model # then research the “card” or pcb, printed circuit board. I’ll bet you it isn’t that expensive AND I’ll give you tips how YOU can replace it. The pcb would also have a PN (part number) labeled on it.
    You may even find a video on YouTube on how to replace it with options where to buy it. **Before you take it apart plz unplug it first.
    Email if you have any questions or want some help with it.
    Fan of your french adventures…Chad

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad you found a new job that you like. Your field sounds like one where you would be snapped up quickly–skilled, technical, medical.
      Thank you for the washing machine tip. I will let you know how it works out.

      Like

    1. It’s grim. We need to work longer, but to, say, 67 or 70. After that, the mind may be willing but the body isn’t.
      I do think the French (and broader European) system of public pensions is the best, because even defined-benefits pensions can disappear if the employer goes out of business. The idea that everybody should be a financial investment whiz, however, is ludicrous.

      Like

  16. HAPPY NEW YEAR!
    OFF TO GET A HEART TEST once again……………
    SORRY about the washing machine!SO ANNOYING!
    IN ITALY our neighbor retired at like age 36 from teaching………RIDICULOUS!
    More later gotta go ……..>XX

    Liked by 1 person

  17. I am dreading having to get a new washer and dryer for just that reason – the stupid electronics that can’t be fixed. I have a 20 year old front-loading Frigidaire pair that still work, although the washer-cycles stick in the summer when it is humid, so I have to wait for a cooler day. I even have a thermostat in the basement, so I can tell if it will be okay. And recently the washer got water in the bottom when it shouldn’t, so now I turn the water off at the taps between loads and so far so good. The new washers are all bigger than they used to be and won’t fit well where I have them, so I will need a compact one, but they are more expensive and some require having to change the electric voltage. And they all have too many bells and whistles and cycles and aren’t reliable. It’s ridiculous and frustrating.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ugh! It sounds like as much work as doing it by hand (not really–I did laundry by hand when I lived in Africa, and that is truly a ton of work). What is disgraceful is that the fancy electronics are unreliable and short-lived. Expensive and unsustainable. Only the manufacturers are the winners, because we have to keep buying new replacements.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.