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My Guarantee To You


Fri, Dec 7th, 2001
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Monday, December 3, 2001

I just got up off the kitchen floor. Our five-year-old dishwasher needed my attention. About two weeks ago it started running water out its door. Maybe it was trying to tell us that the kitchen floor needed scrubbing. It didnít take me long to figure out that the thin rubber gasket between the tub and the door was old and shrunken. That was where the leak was occurring.

Incredible as it may seem, my wife found the book that came with the dishwasher. The guarantee on the back cover told me that the dishwasher was guaranteed not to leak for twenty years. When I called the store to order the part, I mentioned the guarantee that I had just read. The parts man had to call me back. Guess what? The gasket was not covered under the guarantee. I ended up sending him twenty-nine dollars for a piece of rubber that should have cost about fifty cents. What could I do? Worst case scenario was to wash dishes by hand for the rest of my life. Thatís a pretty bad scenario, as scenarios go.

This experience made me think of similar guarantees that come with all this equipment that we surround ourselves with. I have always heard that guarantees give and then they take away. If I had to write a guarantee in plain language for something I made and sold to someone else, I think it would read as follows: I hereby guarantee this (furniture, appliance, gewgaw, do-dad, etc.) against any and all defects in materials or workmanship for as long as you own it. Thatís it. Simple enough and it covers everything.

But, what I really mean would be in the fine print down below. It would be interpreted as follows: If you were silly enough to buy this piece of future landfill based on the promises in the written guarantee, this is what you are really in for. In the manufacturerís opinion, there is nothing wrong with this thing and there will never be anything wrong with it. Perfect craftsmen made it from perfect materials. The guarantee is void if you use this item for its intended purpose. If this is an electrical device, the guarantee is void if you plug it in. If this device is designed to hold water, the guarantee is void if you put water in it. Because you bought this thing, if something actually does go wrong with this item, it is your fault and the guarantee is void.

This is all a bit wicked of me to talk like this. Sometimes a guarantee is good. Sometimes the guarantee is even better than that. Our oldest son bought himself .....
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Amid the Clutter

Fri, Dec 7th, 2001
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Monday, December 10, 2001

I have three computers on my desk. I pretend that the sheer number of microchips and high-tech gear humming in proximity to me are directly proportional to the important role I play in putting out a paper every week. ..... 
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Fri, Dec 7th, 2001
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Fri, Dec 7th, 2001
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Submit a Letter to the Editorhere

Fri, Dec 7th, 2001
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To the Editor,
Monday, December 10, 2001

To the Editor,

I am writing in response to two letters in the November 26, 2001 Journal.

I would like to commend Gabe Dybing on calling Mr. Panko to task on his views of organi ..... 
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Vernon H. Vigeland

Fri, Dec 7th, 2001
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Vernon H. Vigeland, 77, of LaCrosse, Wis., formerly of Mabel, Minn. died March 12, 2001 at the Green Lea Manor Nursing Home in Mabel where he had resided for only a week.

Vernon was born September 5, 1923 in Preble Township, Fillmore County, M ..... 
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Gladys Judith Swain

Fri, Dec 7th, 2001
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Gladys Judith Swain, 93, of Rushford, a homemaker, died March 7, 2001 at her home.

Gladys Judith Williams was born May 15, 1907, on the Humble farm at Highland Prairie, moved to North Dakota with her family when she was 3 months old and retu ..... 
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