Let’s just say your microwave breaks and even though it’s probably just a little fuse, you don’t want to shell out the 100+ bucks to have a pro come in to take a look at it. You don’t think you use it that much anyway except to check out your hair in its door before leaving the house and to use the timer to tell the kids, “two more minutes!” before time to leave for school.
After a few days in a microwave-less state, you and your husband decide it might be better to start over with a new microwave, rather than pay for repairs, so you take time off work to buy a new one.
You have done your research. You are armed with product reviews and Consumer Reports that basically all say the same thing. Over-the-stove microwaves are, in general, crap, and will most likely break the day after the warranty wears out. You will then be forced to shell out hundreds of dollars to get one fixed, when a brand new countertop model would probably only set you back about 80 bucks.
Sooooo, depressing info in hand, you hit Sears on a weekday morning and see what’s available. At first you start looking for the best price and key features you like, but after a while you just ask whichever one is available to fill the gaping hole above your stove by Thanksgiving Day. Ding! Ding! Ding! You’ve got a winner. For only $692 you now have a new microwave that will be installed on Friday.
You leave Sears and realize that $692 is almost 2 weeks salary at your important new high-powered job. Your husband, thinking he’s making you feel better, says, “Don’t worry, I’ll just put in a couple of extra hours at work this week to pay for it.” Somewhat deflated, you slink off to work.
Now your old microwave sits at the curb ready to be picked up with all of the computer monitors, printers, TV’s, digital cameras and other detritus of our wasteful, throw-away society.
You feel dirty and more than a little guilty as you wonder whether your new gadget has a popcorn button.