I’m all about efficiency. If there is a better, easier, quicker or cheaper way to go, count me in. If I can shave a few seconds time off my routine I’m all over it. Last week I got a $120 speeding ticket—definitely not the most economical way to go—so quicker wasn’t better or cheaper, which I duly noted on my Improve My Performance list.
Few things bother me more than ineptness, unnecessary repetition and simple incompetence. Simply put, if you can improve a situation, do—if you can’t, don’t. I guess that’s why I’m always hollering at politicians. They never go in a straight line from A to B. It’s round and round the mulberry bush and not with a pair of pruners in hand. Drives me nuts.
And politicians aren’t the only ones imposing their dogma. It’s probably an inefficient waste of blood pressure when I get my dander up over little things like the power going out causing the numbers on the microwave to flash on and off. It’s not that I don’t appreciate the blinking reminder to reset the time. That's a useful feature. What bugs me is when it asks for a.m. or p.m. Now I understand the fundamental importance of setting a.m. or p.m. on an alarm clock. Duh. But what difference does it make on a microwave? You open the door, the light goes on. You push a button, the glass plate turns. It’s the same gig 24/7. Do the manufacturers think I’m too stupid to tell if it’s dark or light outside? What difference does it make?
I feel the same frustration for those newfangled water-conserving toilets. Designed to use less water, they frequently require two flushes instead of one. This is an occurrence common but not limited to the male species of toilet users.
And what about the artificially popular front loading washing machines? True, they use less water and less soap. But it takes twice as long to wash a batch of clothes that only get half as clean, no matter what the brochure claims. Subsequently, if you don’t love the stinky smell associated with front loaders (because they don’t have enough water power to flush all the dampness out of the drain hose) you have to buy expensive Washing Machine Cleaners and then run a couple of empty wash cycles.
Today I asked an appliance repairman if he could recommend a great dishwasher as a possible alternative to fixing my old one. He flat out told me he couldn’t. He said that because of government regulations they now make dishwashers so efficient that they don’t use enough water to really get the dishes clean like the older machines did. But the good news is, they’re as quiet as a child that’s up to no good. Yay! But again, it takes twice as long.
Ok, I’m really starting to get my rant on. Who are these power-hungry idiots mandating inefficiency in the name of efficiency?
Because I’m on the clock, I’ll offer just one more. It’s those automatic paper towel dispensers in public restrooms. I love not having to touch anything more than absolutely necessary but can you please give me enough towel to do the job? This time I blame the business owner for being chintzy, er… economical. These machines often distribute enough paper towel to dry a Barbie doll’s hands, which in turn requires you to use it multiple times. Unsurprisingly, everyone uses more than is actually needed.
So here’s an interesting notion: Efficiency is Proficiency. That’s a concept even politicians should grasp.
We need to give manufacturers the leeway to build a better mousetrap without forcing so many regulations that efficiency becomes inefficient. We the people are smart enough to figure it out.