Packaging…a Rant

I’ve read that the fastest growing demographic is old poops (and I say that with love for I am one). We are also (mostly) still up and about and spending money. We also have fingers and hands that don’t work as well as they did…oh, let’s say…forty freakin’ years ago. So why make it so damnable difficult for us to open packages…packages of crap we’ve bought.

I first noticed a problem while I was at Liberty Airport waiting for a flight to Seattle to visit my daughter who was living there at the time. I had back pain but nothing to take and I didn’t want to spend five hours in agony in a plane seat. I went to the local book and sundry place and purchased a nice little box of ibuprofen, just enough for the trip there and to save for the trip back. I opened the cardboard box with no problems. For the life of me (and my back) I couldn’t open the damn thing. I even tried to pry it open with my teeth.                                                                                                            package3                                                                                                 Picture: WebMD

Oddly the directions said to use a pair of scissors. So here is the conundrum: I couldn’t have scissors. I’d just gone through security. No scissors when going on a plane. I finally used a sharp fingernail to poke through the thick paper and took the pills. But I was pissed.

And yes, I remember the Tylenol deaths and how OTC med companies became paranoid about their packaging.

Let’s move forward a few years and my hands now show the beginnings of arthritis. I have a difficult time with those little aluminum coverings over some milk and creamer cartons. I usually end up poking them with a knife. Cracker wrappers, cereal bags, or any kind of bags…sometimes I pull and pull and finally get a knife or scissors (since I’m not in an airport).

But the king of difficult packaging is the Awful Clam Shell. It’s so bad that The Atlantic even wrote an article about it:                                                    

So, if you have a company that must package your product, please remember the oldsters out there who no longer have the strength and dexterity of the young. We spend money, too.

Dear Packaging People: Fix it! Love, Mitzi




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