Sunday, February 12, 2017

Fix it?

I recently spent about two hours repairing a pole lamp made in China.  I have repaired many things made in China and every time I have spent much more time and materials than the value of the original item.  Somewhere I have a rant about some poor Chinese factory worker making $2 a day dreaming of me (who used to make more than $20 an hour) spending an afternoon repairing the results of his labor of two minutes. 

In this case the threaded thumb screw on the adjustable arm holding the reading lamp had stripped (due to the crappy pot metal the whole thing was made of) and was flopping around.  I’d never adjusted the damn thing in my life so I decided to epoxy it at the correct angle and be done with it.  Well, the lamp was plugged into a socket under my two ton sofa and I’m and old fart with bad shoulders (old people shouldn’t fall down) so I rigged up some supports and glued the joint with the lamp on its side on the floor.  That worked but when I stood it up and tried to tighten the base, the Chinese concrete down there instantly turned into loose sand.  AHA, time to unplug the damn thing and take it out to my shop.

The rest of the repairs in the shop were uneventful due to the fact that I had all the replacement parts needed from several crappy Chinese lamps that have self destructed in the past.  Plugging the lamp back in was almost as difficult as the repair job itself.  We finally got it done but now we’re both sneezing a lot due to the ten year old dust bunnies we disturbed under the sofa.  It does weight a lot.

The image of Chinese workers, underpaid (or not paid at all if they’re slave labor) slapping cheap products together in minutes being repaired by wealthy Americans is an interesting one.

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