By Elene Wagner
I had to purchase a new adding machine because the old one (30 plus years) would no longer feed the paper. The new one is much smaller and has more functions that you can imagine. (Yes, I could have purchased one the size of the first, but that was out of my price range). All I really need is to add, subtract, multiply, do percentages once in a while and have a tape to check. You know old bookkeepers-they want that tape to double check their figures. How else do you catch those errors?
So, now I have this tiny (and I do mean tiny) machine that has keys I’ll never use, the ones I will use in different places, the ON button in one place and the OFF button located in yet another place on the machine and a manual only the writer could possibly understand. Whoopee!!! Do I like change? Well – depends.
Now we come to the question of what to do with the old machine. It still correctly performs the functions I want: add, subtract, etc., but without the tape that enables me to double check my figures. It doesn’t seem fair to just throw it out. It has faithfully performed the tasks I’ve asked of it for many years, and it originally belonged to my husband who passed away in ’96. So, what’s going on here? Is it because it was Jay’s? Actually, I’ve probably used it longer that he did. Am I being sentimental about this machine because he was the one who purchased it and was the primary user for at least the first 17 years?
One could say it’s just a machine. True, but it’s made of energy just as all things on the planet are made of energy. How do I honor this piece of equipment that was there for at least 34 years doing what Jay and I needed it to do? Throwing it in the dumpster just doesn’t seem right.
It’s nice to have all these questions which allow me to hang on for a while yet. The next person may say it’s just a Unisonic XL-1257 adding machine, but it’s been part of my life for the past 34 plus years and I think it deserves better than the land fill.