Put a Sock In It!
by Randy Cassingham
Some packaging really makes me ...well... cranky.
Take these two packages of socks, for instance, that I bought from the same store on the same day. Both are packages of six pairs, and both are the same size. One is easy to get into, the other is not.
Far from it.
They're two different national brands, as you can probably see even though I've made the photos fairly small. (Let's see if I can squeeze all of them comfortably around these ads!)
I did notice right away that the black socks were attached to the package by using one of those plastic double-ended "T" things, which are very commonly seen in the clothing industry these days. (Though why they have to put the "T" inside the seam so many times on shirts and pants drives me nuts: that means you can never get them out! I don't want chunks of the price tag stuck in my clothes until the end of time; I'm not Minnie Pearl, dammit!)
Anyway, yeah: I saw that on the front of the sock, and you can see the other end on the back of the package, as shown here. At least this way it's really easy to cut the thing to get the socks loose, right? Just turn the package over and cut it off -- no fear about accidentally cutting through the sock if you attack with scisors on the other end. Easy!
You might think so, but you'd be wrong -- which of course is why I'm cranky at this one.
Because the two ends that show -- front and back -- are not the two ends of the same "T" thing! There are two of them! One from the front to somewhere in the middle of the pack of socks, and a second one from the back to the middle! So once you get it all severed, you're only half-way done! And yes, now you have to stick the scissors into the sock, risking cutting it.
So much for easy.
Once I got them all apart, I was floored by something else: the black socks are huge! I mean, remember I got some white socks the same day? The labels show they're the same size ("6-12"), yet look at this:
These aren't calf socks, either -- they're "crew" socks, just like the white ones. I thought this was going to be the start of yet another cranky rant, but I tried them on -- and they fit fine. Whew!
Still, why is it that packaging has to be done only for the manufacturer's (or store's) convenience at the expense of the one who's making the whole machine run by throwing in the money? That would be us, the customers. Fruit of the Loom managed it with their socks (the white ones), which were not only easy to open but the plastic protected the clothing from dirt at the store (and in shipment). Wilson is by far from the only culprit in this, but how about it, manufacturers: can you make it easier to open packages so we don't end up being Cranky Customers?