Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Exercise in futility

I was irked. It was January 31, 2005, the arbitrary end date of my lose-ten-pounds diet. Had I reached my goal? There was no way to know.

My scale had stopped working. Several days before, it had started working only intermittently. Now I couldn't get any reading at all. It read "Lo" when I stepped on it, which I assumed meant the "lifetime battery" was low. Fuming, I got on the phone, dialed the number on the back of the scale, and pushed ones and twos until I got a person on the other end.

"Taylor Scales customer service. How may I help you?"

I cleared my throat. "Um, yes," I began. "I purchased a Taylor digital scale with a lifetime lithium battery about a year and a half ago."

"Yes," the woman replied, not encouragingly.

"Well," I continued, "the battery is dead. The screen reads 'Lo' when I step on it."

"The battery has a shelf life of one to two years," she said.

"But on the scale and the package it came in, it clearly says it's a lifetime battery," I protested.

"The battery has a shelf life of one to two years," she repeated.

"Apparently you didn't expect me to live very long?" I sputtered.

Silence. Then more silence.

I stammered, "Okay. Let's assume that a lifetime is one to two years. My problem is, the store where I bought the scale doesn't carry replacement batteries, because the batteries are supposed to be lifetime batteries."

"Any Radio Shack," the woman stated flatly.

"Is there anything you can do about the fact that my lifetime battery has expired in less than two years?"

"The battery has a shelf life of one to two years."

"But is there anything you can do..."

"Any Radio Shack."


I went to Radio Shack. Tomorrow I'll weigh myself and I'll see how I did.