Why don’t things work as intended?

Why don’t products we buy work as they are designed?

Food packaging

So many packages of food have a tear strip that is supposed to come off and reveal a resealable baggie (like the seams on a sandwich bag):

  • Often these strips won’t tear at all, even at the designated “tear here” location.
  • If they do tear, they rip so far away from the baggie seams that we still can’t open the bag, and we have to cut it with scissors anyway.
  • Or the strip tears too close to the seams and we wind up ripping the seams from the bag wall, and the bag won’t reseal. We have to tape it shut or use a twist tie from a load of bread.
  • Bags of chips are supposed to tear at a notch in their top, but we can’t apply proper force and wind up tearing the side of the bag 70% of the way down. Chips spill and we have to transfer the survivors into an empty bread or bagel bag.


  • Five percent of the time when we wake our phone up, the screen is too dim to use it. It’s not our setting; the phone just glitches. We have to sleep it and wake it back up. It’s a known issue but never gets fixed. It’s like Windows 95 all over again.
  • Went for a walk. Phone in pocket. Got home and the phone said it was locked for the next 23 minutes because we had tried too often to access it? We hadn’t tried at all. WTF?
  • Younger Child’s phone was out of storage so YC deleted 7,000 photos and got half the phone’s storage back, but it still said it was out of space. The phone said YC needed to update the phone OS to reclaim the freed up storage. But the phone wouldn’t update because of the glitch saying not enough storage was available. Had to reset to factory settings.
  • YC’s chromebook charger broke—the wires came out—so we got a used one online. Same thing happened to it six months later, so we tried to buy an OEM version but Lenovo doesn’t make them anymore. It’s a charger! Why can’t they make them work on multiple models? Bought another used one. Preemptively taped where the wires are going to break…
  • Our digital, front-loading washing machine displays time remaining on each cycle. When the rinse cycle starts, the timer says it will take x minutes, but it never does! For example, it stays on “12 minutes remaining” for 20 minutes or maybe for 3 minutes. Why??? When we think it’s finally going to end, it displays 1 minute remaining for at least 10 minutes!
  • Older Child puts pins in Google Maps. We use voice directions to drive to the pin, but Google moves the pin and navigate us to random spots! Sometimes we lose 15 minutes before we realize it. Just take us to the pin!!!

What are your peeves about stuff that doesn’t work as advertised?

3 thoughts on “Why don’t things work as intended?

  1. I have a similar problem to bags of chips with cornflakes, and have an assortment of stray cornflakes strewn all over my kitchen as a result.

    My laptop will sometimes randomly lose the ability to scroll until it’s put to sleep and woken up again.

    My phone connects to my car stereo via Bluetooth. For a long time, when I started the car, the playlist currently on the go on my phone would start automatically. That doesn’t happen anymore, although I haven’t changed anything.

    I’ve given up on Siri because sometimes it worked, but most of the time not.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I most definitely do, although I try to kick them to the edges of the floor to hang out until I sweep. I also step on assorted guinea pig detritus all the time; hay in particular manages to take over pretty much my whole home.

        Liked by 1 person

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