Why quality seems to be job last

Stuff keeps breaking.

If it was after three or four years, I could live with it. We’re talking three to four months.

And it’s getting real old.

The Maytag washer has only one water hose connected to it, because that’s the only one that works. Halfway through the cycle, you have to start it over again, in order to get your clothes clean.

Remember when Maytag used to count for something. Now it counts for naughty words.

About the computer. The first Gateway desktop bombed after three months. After waiting six months for a new one to arrive, it stopped working. Next time, I won’t listen to Omar when he tries to sell me something from his truck.

It’s happened with our Toyota Sienna, rated one of the best minivans out there for years. It’s a comfortable ride, the engine has worked great. But don’t count on the seats to operate correctly. If you count to five, one of the power sources on the dash will come out on its own. The radio flashes like it’s possessed. Plastic falls off for no reason.


We take care of our stuff. Honest, we do. The cars get the oil changed every three months. I run the latest and best computer security on all our devices. Everything is on a regular maintenance schedule.

That’s because you don’t have a protection plan, the clerk tells me at Best Buy. Why don’t I just hand them my debit card? It’s essentially the same thing.

All this is what happens as more companies continue in the race for the bottom.

From Seth Godin: “There’s always the opportunity to cut a corner, sacrifice lifestyle quality and suck it up as we race to grab a little more market share.”

But the problem with that thinking, Seth says, “is that you might win.”

My good friend Dennis said it this way: “The problem with asking people to do more with less is that you actually end up getting less with less.”

Seth seems to agree. He said it this way.

“The race to the top makes more sense to me. The race to the top is focused on design and respect and dignity and guts and innovation and sustainability and yes, generosity when it might be easier to be selfish.”

Count me in. As soon as I get my washer fixed.