If It Ain’t Broke …

There is a saying on this side of the pond, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”.  Now, while I admit that there are exceptions to this, for the most part I find it to be sage advice.  A few examples …

Tide Pods

Recently Proctor and Gamble, the makers of Tide laundry detergent, decided to re-design the lids to their Tide Pods product.  There was nothing wrong with the old lid.  I buy the 150 count container once a month, and have never once had a complaint about the lid … until two months ago.  Used to be, the lid had a little indentation in which to place your thumb, then simply pop the hinged top up, grab a pod and give the lid a little push to close it again.  Simple and can be done with one hand, since the other hand is typically otherwise occupied.

But then … some bozo over at P&G with too much time in his hands said to no one in particular, “Hey, I got an idea … let’s make the lids on Tide Pods impossible to open!”  And somebody else with a budget bigger than their brains thought it was a wonderful idea, and it took off from there.  Hundreds of thousands of dollars in r&d costs later, the idea was good to go.  P&G spent a few more hundreds of thousands to re-tool their assembly line in order to manufacture …Tide pods

A child-proof lid!  Whoa … I did not realize that so many children were into eating laundry detergent!  And wait, is it too much trouble for parents of small children to place their pods on a shelf above the washing machine so that the tots cannot reach it?  I know, I hear you shaking your heads and saying, “What the heck is she prattling about now – what’s the big deal?”

Well, let me tell you the big deal, friends!  The lid is made such that one must either have very large, strong hands, else use two hands, and even then it is difficult to open.  The two “press here” spots are about six inches apart and are very difficult to press in. They are obviously made for someone of Paul Bunyan’s stature, but I have small, arthritic hands and I cannot open this! My solution has been to use a sharp knife to break the lid off completely, throw the lid away and leave the pods on the rack shelf next to the washer/dryer uncovered.  It is the only way!

Toaster Scrambles

Toaster Scrambles, made by Pillsbury, are one of the few processed foods that I even buy, for I am a firm believer that ‘made from scratch’ is tastier, more economical and healthier.  But, when it comes to breakfast, if I cannot grab something quick, simple & tasty, I just skip the meal altogether and wait for supper (I don’t do lunch … ever!).  So, I keep a few such things around, coffee-flavoured yogurt, granola, instant oatmeal and toaster scrambles.  I like these …


But then, Pillsbury decided to change it around a bit.  They added potatoes.


WHY???  To cut the cost of the product, of course!  Potatoes are cheaper than eggs, cheese, bacon or sausage, so if they added potatoes, they could cut back on the more expensive ingredients.  They also cut back on the flavour, and now I honestly cannot tell the difference in taste between the pastry itself and the cardboard box it comes in!  I’m going back to my banana-walnut oatmeal with a dollop of peanut-butter.

I actually sent Pillsbury an email telling them that I was disgusted with the new product and would not buy them again.  I received a canned response thanking me for taking the time to write.

Faucet aerators

Recently the maintenance crew where I live came along and, without so much as asking if I would like new faucet aerators, installed them in all three bathroom sinks and the kitchen, as well as new shower heads in the two upstairs baths.  These devices are supposedly ‘new and improved’ and will save on water.  Sigh.  The old ones worked fine, in fact, about a year ago I had replaced all the bathroom sink aerators, and I replace the one in the kitchen from time-to-time.  No, I am not a plumber by trade, but I know my way around the workings of faucets, drains and toilets.  Feel free to call me anytime … I make house calls.

So, after the maintenance dudes did all this, I went to the sink, turned the water on, and wondered what that was coming out of the spigot … a stream of bird pee, perhaps?  I held my hands under it and within about 30 seconds, they were actually wet enough to apply soap!  Before, I could fill my kitchen sink in about a minute, but with this new and improved aerator, it took fully 5 minutes!!!  Now, how the sam hell is this saving water?  On to the shower … AAAAAARRRRRGGGGGHHH!!!  It took three times as long to wash my body, then about 2-3 minutes to get my hair wet enough to apply shampoo, then another 2-3 minutes to get all the suds out.  I didn’t even bother with conditioner.

Even tooth-brushing was a challenge!

Suffice it to say that both shower heads and all four faucet aerators have now been replaced with ones that actually work.  Note, please, that I am all for conserving water, and I try very hard to do so, but when I spend 4 times longer in the shower, it did not save any water, and it did likely shorten my expected life span!

These were just three such cases that have set my teeth on edge lately, though I could no doubt think of many more, given time and space.  There is, of course, the opposite argument that is best stated in this cartoon …If it ain't broke

30 thoughts on “If It Ain’t Broke …

  1. Dear Jill,

    Procter& Gamble is a different company than Pillsbury. If you write to their CEO, your criticism will get noticed.

    Too many companies are going for the bottom line because their managers are too incompetent to be more creative in managing their companies. Based on what you’ve told me, I wouldn’t consider buying Pillsbury stock. A company that doesn’t take its customers input seriously is a predictor of a downturn.

    I used to work in sales for Procter& Gamble and I know 1st hand that they take feedback letters, seriously.

    Hugs, Gronda

    Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t think I knew you used to work for P&G! I would write to them, but we both know they aren’t going to change their new lid just to suit one old woman with arthritic hands who cannot open it. It just makes me mad all over again every time I have to get the knife to open a new one, but then … I also usually blame it on Donald Trump! 😀 The other thing about the Pillsbury toaster pastries I forgot to mention is that they also got smaller by close to 1/2 inch in both width and length. But no, they do not cost any less. Sigh. It is a big game to see how they can pull the wool over consumers’ eyes, like when a pound of coffee quietly went from 16 oz. to 13 oz., and the coffee companies patted themselves on the back for not raising prices. Same with sugar … a bag used to be 5 pounds, now it’s 4. Same price. Meanwhile, the wealthy are putting more money in their pockets at our expense, PLUS Donnie Trump gave them all those lovely tax cuts!!! Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. Sigh.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. There are many times when I should have a filter on my tongue. I apologize for sounding insensitive about your past visual challenges. I have only been a follower since early April and was unaware of your difficulties. On many blogs there are archives and I often go through these to long ago posts that catch my interest. I have not found this on your blog and even your “about” page confused me, as it doesn’t give information about you or the blog. Please do not consider this a criticism, it is simply my observation. I LOVE Filosofa’s Word! Thank-you! P.S. When I want the breakfast that I described, I go out to eat. I was spoiled while married to a great chef…that ended when he left to go find himself 35 years ago…apparently, the search goes on.

    Liked by 1 person

    • No no no no no!!! You do NOT owe an apology, and I didn’t take offense at all!!!! You had no way of knowing … I forget sometimes that you only recently joined my circle of friends, for it feels as if I’ve known you forever! I had increasing vision problems, mostly as a result of being a lifetime Type I diabetic. I was told that I would likely go completely blind, for there was irreparable damage to my eyes. I rarely share much of my personal problems on my blog, but had to share that one with readers, for I was having to do all my writing while holding a magnifying glass in front of the screen, so my posts were often error-filled and also I was not able to respond to all the comments as I like to do. But eventually, at the urging of several friends, I went to another ophthalmologist for a second opinion, and after a series of surgeries, I now see relatively well, and can even see colours!!! You most certainly do NOT need to feel bad for not knowing that! My about page needs some work, I suppose. And I never really considered putting archives on my page, for I try to keep it fairly uncluttered, but perhaps I should consider it. Meanwhile, I am thrilled that you love my blog, and truly happy to be friends with you and young Benjamin!

      In 35 years, he couldn’t ‘find himself’??? He must be a very small man! It’s his loss, for you are a lovely, beautiful woman!


  3. I must bring in the media whose watchful eye is ready to point out and exaggerate beyond belief the danger posed by all sorts of things formally taken to be harmless. It only wants one child to eat detergent and you would think it was a widespread practice among large numbers in the population. One person to drown makes a whole river unsafe , one smash and grab then any venture outside is highly dangerous.
    In the UK we have health and safety who are bent on spoiling the lives of our children ; certain swings , roundabouts and rides are fine from our parks where dad got his exercise watching his kids enjoy themselves.
    Is it any wonder that the hygiene is so ruthless that our immune systems have built up no resistance to common bacteria and allergies are increasing exponentially. Meanwhile in India twenty million defecate outside due to lack of toilets.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Quite so … and I must add … one act of terrorism by a Muslim makes they all people to be feared in the eyes of some. I agree … some of the simple pleasures from childhood are now reason for parents to have heart failure. Some days it seems as if reason and logic flew the coop long ago. Remember when they decided that grilling food on a charcoal grill, particularly ground beef, would cause cancer, but then a year or so later, they changed their mind. And eggs … at one point they said eggs were terrible, but now they’re fine. I’m still waiting for the day that they decide smoking is a healthy thing! 😉


  4. Yes, along with a few others, I must challenge your argument on horses pulling buggies, or even horses with saddles, carrying you to your destination. Lets see, fossil fuels vs. horse poo that can be used as fertilizer, broken engine parts vs. occasional new shoes, the cost of fluids, not including gas, versus the cost of water, the cost of gasoline vs the cost of grass, or oats, the cost of a garage vs. the cost of hay for a stall, the usability life of the buggy versus the useful life of a car. I’ll give you the cost of a mechanic vs the cost of a vet, but unless you have free parking at work, or in your condo, I’ll take the cost of a blacksmith anyday. Sorry, Jill, your argument holds no water. But a camel, instead of a horse, would!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Everything you say is true … well, mostly. Now, the horse manure is certainly a great fertilizer, but I read a few times that livestock ’emissions’ are responsible for some 18% of the world’s greenhouse gases, so there is still some pollution there. Granted, not as much as a Hummer, but still …

      And yes, I do park for free, but I suspect the landlord would balk if I installed a hitching post out front and tied my horse out there. Not to mention … where the heck would I store those hay bales? And do blacksmiths still exist even? But the biggest problem with your rebuttal is … have you tried riding a horse or driving a horse-buggy 75 miles per hour down the Interstate highway (or whatever the Canadian equivalent is)? You and horse would both be belly-up and cross-eyed in the first mile!

      So, while my argument may not hold water (great pun about the camel, by the way!), it is still valid. 😀


      • Your argument is valid if you posit cars, or other powered land vehicles. I was discussing returning to a time before cars were invented, or even trains, or steamships. Again I guess I took certain things for granted, which is one of my biggest communication problems. I connect dots others don’t even see, yet I expect them to connect the same dots, sight unseen. Often my mind works so fast I do not see all the steps to get from A to B.

        Do you remember maths exams in the senior high school years? You would be given a problem and you had to solve it, “step-by-step.”
        The first time I ever took such a test, I only saw one step, the answer. I received a zero, even though every answer was correct. All I put down was the answer.
        It took my teacher many hours to teach me that what I saw was the product of my mind doing all these steps at once. So, I humoured him. Next test, I put down every step I could think of. I think he wanted to strangle me, because I put in the steps between the ones he saw.
        And how I answered that first test is still how I write, looking at the results, not looking at what steps it takes to get there.
        My apologies.

        Liked by 1 person

        • No apologies needed … in fact, I’m not sure what you are apologizing for! Yes, I was the same in math … the functions happened in my head, and I could usually get the right answer with a minimum of work, but absolutely hated having to show how I got from point A to point B. I’m still largely that way. 😀


  5. I tried the Tide Pods because a free sample was attached to something…I wasn’t impressed enough to buy them. I do remember reading about children ingesting them and thought they must be very hungry indeed! One would think that adults would keep such things out of a child’s reach, but apparently not. In this day of lawsuits over anything and everything, perhaps P&G is just protecting their assets. Toaster Scrambles can not be of much nutritional value, you are well rid of them. Plain old toast slathered with butter and scrambled eggs with a side of crispy bacon, now that is true tasty nutrition! I would not mind a horse and buggy, but the driveway would get quite messy when they are parked and the garage is a bit small. Faucet aerators? Your ire, while well founded, is amusing! Thank-you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Quite honestly, I buy them for the convenience of not having to pour liquid into a cap and measure it. Remember, though, that until this spring, I was 75% blind, and I could not see the markings, and often poured the liquid somewhere other than the cap! So, for my convenience I switched to the pods and have to admit that grabbing one or two and tossing them in the machine is much simpler! I’m spoiled. 😉

      Yes, yes … I fully agree with you that some scrambled eggs, buttered brioche and broiled bacon, maybe a lovely bowl of fresh berries, would make a much more delectable breakfast. And I do such things for the family on Sunday. But for just myself on a weekend, the idea is quick, simple and no muss/no fuss. No dirty dishes or greasy stove. Ready in 2 minutes or less. See?



    • 😀 Well, I do a lot of laundry … 12-15 loads per week … but for most loads I use two pods, so that brings it down to an average of 2.5 loads a day, which is just about right.


  6. It’s the”technological imperative.” The designers have nothing to do but to dream up new ways to do things. They don’t ask “Why?” That word isn’t in their vocabulary!! Those who design cars are so caught up in the new electronic technology that they are designing toys for us to operate while we are driving — forgetting that we need to watch the road! Personally, I would prefer the horse and carriage!! Fun stuff.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I fully agree, especially on the cars! Each new model year has more bells and whistles, but no more efficient engine, safer brakes … it’s all about more gadgets to, as you said, distract the driver. Last time I rented a car, I had to pull off the highway just to change the station on the radio for it was so complex. Even ice cube trays are becoming high-tech!!! Sheesh!

      Liked by 1 person

      • True, and the world would be even more over-populated, for fewer people would have died in horse-and-buggy accidents than do in auto/truck/bus/plane accidents. 🙂 But, an upside is that we wouldn’t all be suffering from road rage, life would be more peaceful and laid-back. We might even take the time & trouble to actually talk and listen to each other! Hmmmm …. 🤔


  7. New and improved … for whom?

    Being a “senior,” I can remember when things you bought served the purpose for which they were intended … PLUS they lasted! Nowadays, you have to spend mucho $$$ to purchase just about anything (clothes, food, appliances, LAUNDRY SOAP, shoes, etc., etc., etc.) just to get something that works (or fits) at least somewhat similarly to the same item you purchased as little as five years ago! Not to mention things purchased 10-15 years ago!

    I recently ordered 3 pairs of capris online. Two pairs were rather expensive and one pair was a “bargain.” I couldn’t even get the “bargain” pair up to my waist! The other two pairs fit perfectly. *frustrated sigh*

    I hate to say it, but … I often long for “the good old days.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • I hear you! This is why I am still wearing the tennis shoes that I mentioned a few weeks back that have holes in toes and heels, for I dread shopping for new ones, and these are only a few years old! Things cost more, you get less for your money, and nothing seems to last as long. When I tell somebody that I remember when a gallon of gas was $0.33, or a pack of cigarettes a quarter, they look at me as if I am hallucinating! Face it, my friend … we are of a different world! I paid $50 for my first car, a used ’56 Chevy, and kept it for 5 years without a single problem!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I’ve been complaining for some time, about all of the products that now come in adult-proof containers. It seems that you need to find a child to open them.

    As for those Tide Pods — this seems like a marketing strategy. They have made it more challenging for teenagers, so we should expect an increase in the number of teenagers who take up this challenge and start doing whatever it is that they do with Tide Pods.


    Liked by 2 people

    • Ha ha … yes, I still periodically curse the person who put cyanide in Tylenol capsules way back when, which was what led to manufacturers adding those abominable ‘seals’ to product packaging. I have cut my fingers more than a few times, trying to use scissors to get those off!

      And as for the Tide Pods & teenagers … I think won’t touch that one with a ten-foot pole! 😀 😀 😀


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