It strikes me that one can find a group of deplorables (to quote from Hillary’s unfortunate remarks during the campaign) just about anywhere.
Many TSA agents fit the description. So too do the sweet, kind and speedy workers at EVERY division of motor vehicles known to mankind. And then there are the small town cops who pull you over for a red light violation. Those latter-day Gestapo wanna-bes would bomb the sh*t out of Syria if given half a chance.
But the ultimate deplorables are the men, women and robots who package everything from razor blades and steak knives to scissors and fruit salad.
These people no doubt take great pride in the quality of their work. I really don’t know how the robots feel. Who would except for the robots themselves?
But, getting back to living, breathing packagers, I’ll bet it gets a tad tedious sealing, say, kale, eight hours a day, five days a week, year-after-year. One would think the mind would tend to wander from time to time.
Be that as it may, I’ve noticed a hate-filled, Alt Right movement among packagers who seem to take great delight in creating packages that are simply impossible to open.
Just yesterday, I employed every instrument in the office from a letter opener and scissors to a box cutter and screwdriver to pry open this seemingly benign fruit cup (see photo). No go. I was tempted to ask Lee Stechmann, our all-world office manager, to break out his 1970s-era, Dundler Mifflin certified paper cutter to slice the damn thing in half.
Instead, I eventually just tossed the fruit world’s answer to Superman’s Fortress of Steel into the garbage.
And I know for a fact there’s some guy silently chuckling in front of an assembly line in some Cedar Rapids manufacturing facility.
The truly bizarre thing about impossibly hard-to-open packaging is that there’s no image or reputation fallout whatsoever. Have you ever contemplated switching from, say, Gillette to Schick because the former’s packaging was sealed tighter than Fort Knox? Nope. And that’s probably because you know the damn Schick package is probably even harder to open.
So, I’d like to address a question to The Institute of Packaging Professionals and ask them a simple question: Why do you torment us?
I’d also like to address my friends at the Reputation Institute and ask them why bomb-proof packaging isn’t factored into the seven areas they examine to determine a global organization’s reputation.
I’ve sliced open many a fingertip and gouged my palm on more than one occasion trying to achieve the impossible. And, I know there must be millions of other Americans who’ve suffered the same plight.
In the meantime, if there are any packagers out there who, for reasons best known to them, subscribe to RepMan, I want you to know I know who are and I know what you’re doing.
And I will track down the right person at your trade association and threaten a grass roots program to stop your deplorable acts. Better yet, I’ll get my lobbyist buddies in DC (and I have quite a few) to introduce legislation to set a goal of replacing you with packaging-sensitive robots by 2025.
So stand down now before it’s too late. The job you save may be your own.