Am I a raving lunatic?
No. I wouldn’t say lunatic exactly…
I just like things the way I like them. Back in high school when I was going through my
anorexic-goth-drinking-moving-out-at-17 finding myself phase, one of my counselors diagnosed me with a touch of OCD. (I’m not quite sure how one only acquires a touch & not full blown-I mean, it is OCD you know-but that’s what she said.) So I blame my nit-pickiness on that, my Mom (just because she’s passed doesn’t mean her faults disappeared, I’m slowly discovering) & the anxiety disorder I believe I’ve picked up from the last year (waking up repeatedly night after night, heart racing, filled with worry & dread? And that’s just for starters? Oh yea, that qualifies as something).
Sometimes it’s a good thing, and sometimes…when I have extra time…it can be annoying. Like today, for example. C is notorious for stealing my lighter (or anyone’s, really, that is laying around) so I try to keep some matches handy because unfortunately our finger tips don’t produce fire. Therefore I count on them to work when I go to use them. I prefer the strong, big, box matches (or the mini version) over those suck-ass flimsy paper matches. C came Home with 2 heaping handfuls of the sucky ones the other day, because CVS decided to quit selling cigarettes like douches. So now not only do I have suck-ass matches but I have a lot of ’em. Ugh.
A funny thing about me is that when I go to use something, I expect it to work. Whether it’s a washing machine, or fish tank, or game controller…or a match. We smoke outside (see-we do love our kids!) & it’s been cold recently, so I don’t particularly enjoy standing around shivering while trying to light a cigarette. (I know, I know: you’re all “Well then quit smoking dumb ass” & I’m all “But I can’t”) What makes this situation even worse is when the match won’t strike. What. The. Hell. Twisting it, turning it, trying different spots on the little runway: nothing. Meanwhile, all lighters in the land have been lighter-napped to C’s pocket & he’s not nearby. So you don’t keel over from boredom I’ll get on with it; suffice it to say I finally managed to get a little flame but had to hold it on the matchhead so I also got a little burn & then had to fight off the wind so it didn’t blow my little flame out. What a pain in my ass!
Needless to say it got me thinking about products and how much products have gone down in quality & up in expense; it got me thinking about how people could help this situation if they’d take the time to tell the companies. I’m not saying jump on the ‘puter & start sending stalker-ish hate emails to Old Navy or Del Monte…but if enough people have the same issues, the companies would notice & (hopefully) do something to improve. People have no idea how much power they really have, if we banded together.
But I digress. Back to matches. I’m figuring that the company figured out the least amount of striking strip that they could get away with using, and have the matches still work. More cost effective, right? But the thing is…it doesn’t work (I’ve tested this multiple times, I didn’t just have 1 failure, I had a failure every time) so, in my way of thinking, it makes the company look bad to me & I damn sure won’t buy/get their brand in the future.
But what if they don’t know?? So, I take the time to email the companies. Because I want better products. And I’m neurotic like that.
PS…still waiting to hear back from the Wright brand bacon masters. You know, the ones who charge $8 per pack but it was justifiable because it’s so effing delicious but the last few packs I’ve gotten have been FAT & I’m not paying out the wazoo for fat. (Shew…breath.) So, we’ll see what happens with that.
PPS…I tried several times to upload this with pictures but for some reason it kept giving me errors; therefore I am planning on deleting all pictures & attempting to upload yet again. It was just matches & bacon, who hasn’t seen matches & bacon before? (Except I was surprised & impressed at my camera’s rare ability to get some good close ups of the matches! Dammit.) **3/11/14: I’m a persistent brat…finally got them to upload!**
PPPS…I don’t know why but I thought some may want to read my helpful email to the matchbook company, so here it is verbatim (minus my full name & address):
Subject: Constructive criticism from a consumer
I’m writing to let you know about a situation I encountered when using your product recently. I’m a firm believer that if people aren’t aware of a problem then they can’t fix it, so I like to give companies a chance to make it right & be aware that there are issues.
My husband recently brought home 2 handfuls of your matches; CVS was apparently off-loading them onto people since they’re going “tobacco free”. When I went to use one it wouldn’t strike/light. It was a brand new book, so the strip wasn’t all used up & full of bare spots. Try after try finally produced a flame & I figured “Meh, shit happens.” But then I tried again a little later (I’m a smoker, not burning down my neighborhood. Just wanted to clarify.) and had the same problem, different results. This time I got burnt because I had to hold the match by the head in order to get it to light. I’ll make it & everything, but it sucks AND if I was an idiot I could probably try to sue you (you know, how people try to sue McDonald’s for *hot* coffee?)!
So not only does this issue affect your product’s quality reputation, but it also opens you up to liability for losers looking for a quick buck. Now, I think we can all agree that the little books of matches are no match (pun intended!) for their big, boxed counterpart. However they should still work 88% of the time. My sense, not being in the match business, is that the striking strip needs more striking power. I don’t know what it’s made out of-glitter, sand, red clay dirt-but the matches seem to have enough “stuff” on their head to produce a sufficient flame, whereas the striking strip looks like someone just took a brown marker & swiped it across there. Hardly any texture, thick is the complete opposite of it…I don’t know if putting as little as possible on there is a cost effective move but as far as being a consumer of them goes…it sucks. And burns.
In closing, please know that I’m not bashing your product…I’m offering constructive criticism. Also, I probably veered off track too many times to warrant being taken seriously so please know that I’m a real person & this is a real issue, not some silly joke. Thank you for your attention!
PS…please overlook any misspelled words & general incorrectness-it is not a sign of my incompetence but of my auto-correct’s over-zealousness.
I got an email response! She was very polite & eager to help. I get the feeling that she disregarded the humor in my email but at the same time didn’t take offense (hopefully). As a company should be, she was concerned enough about the problem to suggest sending me a paid envelope in order for me to send them the offending matchbook, along with any others I may have. That way they can look at them & determine what the issue is but she did say that I could be right & it seemed like the strike strip is the culprit. I felt they deserved an update because they’re making an effort to do the right thing, so they should get recognition for it…no matter how small the blog.
In related news, remember when I told the story about the Wright brand bacon? Well apparently they’re owned by Tyson, whom I received a letter from today. The pictures speak for themselves & serve as proof that if you have a legitimate issue, it just might be worth your time to tell ’em about it. Now that the coupon craze has died down &
idiotspeople aren’t trying to just get free stuff all the time, maybe companies will be more willing to give out goodies to make up to consumers.