Monday, March 13, 2006

No Problemo

My experiences with Apple illustrate a situation that has become commonplace in the 21st century.

You go to a store and buy gadget X. You go home and try to get it working and it fails to turn on. Or it works for a week, then it dies.

You go back to the store, where a twentysomething with a goatee smiles idiotically and shrugs, saying, "No problemo."

No problemo?

Let's first start by informing the public that "problemo" is not a word in any language. The English word problem, meaning "a difficult question proposed for solution," comes from the Old French problème, which in turn comes from the Latin problema (from which Italian and Spanish get problema).

The Latin came from Greek problema (transliterated from the Greek alphabet), which itself derived from
proballein "to propose," from the combination of pro "forward" and ballein "to throw."

So we have tossed the kid a hot potato and he smugly proclaims it's no biggy, we can get it fixed or get another.

Wait a cotton-pickin' minute here!

You paid the store good money. If you used a credit card, they checked and got the payment authorized.

The money was good the instant they got it. They didn't go to a restaurant get told that, "Sorry, those dollars just aren't working." They didn't have to take those malfunctioning dollars to the U.S. Treasury where some young thing named Tracy said "No problemo!"

Nope. So why is it not a problem that you had to go back to the store to repair or replace the shoddy machine even though you bought it with perfectly good legal tender?

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