Panasonic, a firm more noted for entertainment devices in the UK is also a manufacturer of so-called “white goods” in the USA, and has proudly announced a new domestic iron with a unique elliptical shaped soleplate to “help busy consumers iron quicker”.
Now I am not going to claim that ironing is fun, but neither is it such a horror that shaving a couple of minutes off each session is likely to affect my shopping preferences.
The main thing though was the claim that the improved iron is aimed at “busy consumers”, who are presumably so incredibly strapped for time that even a couple of minutes is worth saving. In my experience, anyone who leads a life that busy is going to be a senior executive in a company – and probably pays someone else to do the ironing.
If we mere mortals are so busy that saving maybe 5-10 minutes per week is actually noticeable, then I humbly suggest that something is wrong with the work/life balance. I am a bit of a workaholic myself, although at the moment that is more due to necessity than desire, but even I, who often works 12+ hours per day can’t be that fussed about shaving a few minutes off my ironing.
Actually, I find ironing a mildly therapeutic diversion from the hustle and bustle of life and is a good way to stop thinking about work for a short while. Not to say that I want to do any more than I absolutely need to!
This brings me onto another aspect, and that is recycling. I sometimes read, usually in the likes of The Economist, deeply academic types who try to put a value on the time that we spend sorting our rubbish at homes vs the cost of automatic sorting by the local council on our behalf. These learned types point out that automatic sorting is better value for money as it costs less per ton of rubbish than the average hourly wage if you tot up the time spent in each kitchen sorting waste.
However, although academically correct, it is totally irrelevant to real life, as most people don’t look at the micro-seconds spent putting rubbish in Bin A instead of Bin B and then worry about how much time they are wasting in that activity.
If you can save me half an hour per day, then I will be interested.
However the moment I am living the sort of life where shaving a couple of minutes off a chore is actually interesting to me – then I am leading the wrong sort of lifestyle.