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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Dentist and Why I Hate Packaging Engineers

Today was Gavin's first trip to the dentist.  Now, me, I hate the dentist.  In fact, I don't know that hate is a strong enough word.  I loathe and despise the dentist.  In fact, I would rather have my toes run over by a semi-truck six times a day than go to the dentist for a cleaning.  So, given my disdain, I was prepared for Gavin to have an awful, terrible time.  I prepared us both by promising him a "surprise" if he was a really good boy at the dentist.  Of course, as fate would have it, this turned out to bite me in the ass.  But, we'll get to that later.

As it turns out, Gavin was GREAT at the dentist.  So great that he almost fell asleep at one point.  He did have a cavity, unfortunately.  Yes, he's THREE, and he already has a cavity.  It seems he's getting the best of both Mom and Dad, including Andy's pasty white skin and my horrible teeth.  I can only imagine how the filling will go, but maybe he'll surprise me with good behavior again?

Early in the day, Gavin broke one of his Buzz Light Year action figures (whom he fondly calls Buzz Light so it sounds like he's saying Bud Light - awesome).  I figured that, if he was good, I would take him to Meijer afterward and get him a new one (I mean, we only have five Buzz Lights....).  And, he was good, so a new Buzz Light it was . . .

Now, let me explain how I imagined this in my head:  We go to Meijer.  We head to the toy department.  We find a new Buzz Light Year for, oh, $5.99 or maybe even $9.99 (if it has "karate chop action").  It would be roughly 6 - 8 inches in size, and everyone is happy.

Upon arriving in the Toy Story section at Meijer (yes, an entire Toy Story section), I discover that there is only ONE Buzz Light Year action figure in stock.  It's not $5.99; it's not even $9.99.  At this point, I would've even splurged for $14.99, but no.  No, they didn't have any of those Buzz Lights.  The only Buzz Light they have is $34.99, and it's enormous - like, half the size of my three-year-old enormous.  Of course, Gavin is beyond excited.  How can I say "no" to him?  He was great at the dentist, and really good at the ENT yesterday, . . . so, I cough up the money and buy him this ridiculous toy.  (I know what you're thinking, and yes, he's spoiled.  I'm not in denial here.)

 Old Buzz (tiny) and new Buzz

As I'm putting Gavin in his car seat after we leave the store, he asks me, "Mommy, can you open Buzz Light in the car?"  Sure, honey, I can open Buzz Light in the car.  Or so I thought.

Who are these people that design the packaging for kid's toys?  I mean, do you have children?  Do you know what it's like to have an incredibly excited three-year-child that just wants to play with his new toy but you can't get the damn packaging open?  I hate these people.  I'm sorry, but it's true.  I'm sure they're nice; I'm sure they're smart, but have they even tried to OPEN one of the packages they designed?  I get that it needs to look good; I get that kids need to see the toy, but it's a TOY.  Kids would want a toy even if there was only a teeny, tiny picture of the toy on the front of the box.  Hell, if it just said "toy," they'd want it.

It literally took me 15 minutes to get the package open and the action figure out of the box.  I bled in three places, I had to utilize my Swiss Army Knife, and I was sweaty by the time I was done.  Yes, Buzz Light was so difficult to get out of the box that I actually started sweating at one point.  The whole time I was trying to get the toy out of the package, I was dreaming up sadistic ways to torture the people who designed this package.  And, by torture, I mean sticking them in a room with 100 sugar-filled three-year-olds who are promised their favorite toy, and all they have to do is open the package for each kid. . . in 15 seconds or less, or they get zapped with a taser and EVERY kid has a temper tantrum on cue.

So, to all those packaging engineers out there, . . . oh, I probably shouldn't say that.  I'll just go have a beer.


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