Knowing Your Job From The Other Side!!

In this cause and effect world we live in, virtually everyone’s job interacts with another human being. Sometimes, however, as the receiver, it’s very obvious to you, that the person on the other end, has zero concept of the effect they have on your life. I always try to put myself in the other person’s shoes and understand how my actions affect them, but some just don’t!

Back in another life, when I was still working at WABC and commuting five days a week via the Long Island Rail Road from Mineola to Penn Station, I had a theory that nobody should be able to get a job as a conductor on the LIRR until they’d served a certain amount of time as a passenger. That theory was born from years of experience, and the realization that while most conductors did a good job of doing their job without overly affecting you as the passenger, some of them seemed to do whatever they could to annoy you! Be it doing horrible WC Field’s impressions on the PA as you were sleepily heading into the city, or waiting to collect tickets on the way home, till after most regular riders had closed their eyes for a brief “I’m done with work” nap!

So, today my rant is directed at the guys and gals from Wise, Lays, Utz, and Herrs and all the other folks that stock the chip aisle in our local grocery stores. Now, I am well aware that shelf real estate in your local grocery, be it a huge Wegmans or a small Mom and Pop neighborhood store, is a scarce commodity, and that to be effective, shelves must be fully stocked. Chips, however, unlike cookies, crackers, cereal, and other fragile items, are not manufactured in boxes or even inside plastic sleeves. They are packed at the factory in a plastic bag, (except Pringles) with their only cushioning element being air!

I am so tired of on the extreme occasion when a bag of chips enters our house, to open it, and discover that beyond 8 or 10 nice chips, the rest are broken pieces! And it is so obvious why that’s the case, if you have ever walked down the chip aisle in the store when one of the above mentioned folks are “packing” the shelves! As I said before, I know that shelf real estate is a scarce commodity, and to get the most packages of chips in their allotted space, they push, push, and push, but then the results for the poor consumer is a bag with mostly broken chips! Lots of fun with a dip…just saying!

I know it’s not a first world problem, and in this age of Covid and the associated issues, probably means next to nothing to most, but that rare bag of chips in our house is a real treat….until you open the bag! Back when we ate anything and everything, we’d taken to buying our chips at Costco. Not because the bag was the size of a small child (that was however an added incentive), but for the fact that they loaded, shipped, and displayed the chips for sale in a very well designed and bolstered carton. When you bought one of those bags, fully 90+ % of the chips were beautiful and whole. Come on guys….nobody wants to eat a handful of potato chip pieces!

Okay…rant over… please return to your regularly scheduled programing!

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