Data, persistence and my frying pan

I like cooking, and my Wiener Schnitzel is rather famous. When preparing Schnitzel, the most important tool is my favourite Teflon-coated frying pan. Admittedly, the Teflon coating itself is not really important to make Schnitzel, but it saves me from having to scrape everything else from the bottom of the pan. This makes my coated pan pretty much the only kitchen item that is permanently in a usable state, if you know what I mean.

One of the cool things about Teflon-coated frying pans is that they usually come with a warranty of at least five years. In my case, for each frying pan, after about three years, the following things happen: I notice that the Teflon coating is damaged, so I plan to return the pan to the household supply store where I had originally bought it. Now at least one of the following conditions arises: I cannot remember which store I bought the pan, and I cannot find the invoice.

Why do I need an invoice to return the pan in the first place? First of all, it serves as proof that the pan is from the store. Secondly, based on the date of the invoice, the store is able to determine if there is still warranty on the pan. But why do I need to bring the invoice? The store must have the same information on record, if only to create financial statements.

Retrieving the correct invoice is a daunting task, however. If the records are kept on paper, which is unlikely, browsing binders sequentially is pretty much the only way to find the correct invoice. If I don’t remember the exact date, nobody knows where to start and in my case, I usually do not even manage to remember the year, so that would mean a lot of pages to flip through.


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