“But where will you get your oebcuks?” screamed the ad on the public screen.
Hasen was sick and tired of that campaign. Yes, oebcuks were essential, a necessity. She even made her living from them but when you got right down to it one brand, one make, was pretty much the same as another. Barring the pretty patterns on the outside. The thing was, the ad wasn’t even for oebcuks, it was for the store. It might as well have demanded to know where’d you get your ration four squares or your thiamine pills from.
The workshop off the laneway at the back entrance of the transit station was waiting for her locked up tight as usual. She ordered her coffee from the hole in the wall on the corner, opened up the front, then collected her coffee. Opened up the back, booted up the systems and checked for messages. Checked her loaners were all in working order, double-checked when repairs had been promised for then set her alarm for fifteen minutes before each was due. No deliveries were coming today, so she got down to business.
The thing about oebcuks was that they were repairable, made to a specification with interchangeable parts. She replaced the o-rings in the one she was working on with better quality ones, even though that wasn’t the repair they were in for. She had enough in her margins for that. It would make one person that bit safer. That job finished and testing complete, she moved on to the next one.
The big companies wanted turnover so they made their oebcuks cheap and pretty, trusting their customers to replace rather than repair but down at the level Hasen serviced, the customer needed that cheap item to last. Couldn’t replace it when the colour was out of fashion. Couldn’t buy a new one when the filters carked it or the solenoids died. Sometimes Hasen thought that a few economic engineers and CEOs should get caught with their own base line product on a long weekend, with a ten percent battery life warning and a recharging error. Or the filters and restraints in one of their select communities should fail and they could personally test how their product performed when they had their adrenaline surging. Day dreams could be good.
Day dreams didn’t pay the bills though, so she got back to work. Oebcuks. You had to have them, you’d die without them.