Thursday, June 3, 2010

A More Personal Look at Corporations

Standing in the 20-or less aisle today in WallyWorld, I unloaded my Bayer and chocolate bars onto the small check-out counter.  These were in the cart

Our not-so-guilty pleasures were on sale in this awkward size.  Ever one for saving a dollar, I heaved them into the basket fairly easily.  Gravity was a big help.  When it came to having their bar codes scanned, I realized that the creator of this packaging had never actually paid for one in a grocery store.  

How, you wonder, did I come to this conclusion?  Read on, grasshopper.

There are no clearly marked numerical prices on anything except books and greeting cards anymore.  Everything has a bar code and the checker must scan it.  I include this information for those people who, like the apocryphal story told about our first Bush president (I know, I wanted it to be true, too) have no idea what a bar code looks like.  This obviously includes the designer of this packaging, who was given a list of items to be included in the design, but who had no idea to what use they were to be put.

To continue.  I had shlepped those heavy cartons off a high stack and lowered them into the basket by use of the handle (marked by the small purple arrow).

It seemed only logical that the bar code would be on the side facing UP so that the cashier could scan it and I could lift the box without having to move it.  

But, no no no, Dear Reader.  the bar code is on the bottom.  Not the side, so the wand could reach it.  Not the top.  On the bottom.

As the cashier came out from behind her work station, the woman in line (Query: do you wait ON line, or IN line?) behind me saw me shaking my head and said "Obviously designed by a man."

TBG calls me to task for these random sexist comments  (he takes offense on behalf of his gender, of whom he is a shining example) but in this case I took her point.  
Honestly, if the person who created this had ever purchased one this design would never have happened.
I met a unicorn today.  

Actually, there were two of them.  They rang my bell on time.  They were clean and made eye contact and had firm handshakes.  They let me say my piece and agreed with what I'd said and then they didn't bother me until the job was done.  They explained everything that they had done, and went back with me to check that it was perfect.  They brought me a replacement part for an item which was "too hard to push" and left me another if this one should fail.  The entire operation took less than an hour, and when they were finished I had a new phone carrier using my same phone number and internet connectivity that is much faster than what I'd had in the morning.  On top of it all, I will be saving about $1500 each year by making this change.

What?  Good service?  Helpful technicians?  Friendly well spoken young people?  Yes, indeed.  When I told the Little Cuter (my first caller after the switch) that Comcast was here and that they were wonderful, she announced that I had discovered a fanciful, unimaginable, never seen in real life creature -- "Tell them they are unicorns... with a shiny horn." 

I'm a fan.
On both coasts, Coke is soda.  In the mid-west, Coke is pop and a soda  has ice cream, syrup, whipped cream, nuts and a cherry.  This is important information to have prior to inviting a child in Chicago for a soda when you have exactly $2 in your wallet.