Monday, July 25, 2005

razor conspiracy – true story

(like any of them aren’t)

I use(d) a Gillette Personal Touch Razor to fill my shaving needs. I settled for this brand of razor about four years ago, when I was unable to find refills for the one I was previously buying. I was so distraught at not finding any more cartridges for the brand I was using, I bought Gillette Personal Touch Razor refills, because I foolishly thought that different brands were interchangable. After much cursing and slicing my thumbs trying to make it work, I decided to buy the correct razor to properly match the refills I just bought. This is when I first suspected the “Razor And Personal Shaving Products Industry” had deemed my former razor obsolete.

I’ve spent many happy years using the Gillette Personal Touch Razor, and over the years, my familiarity with the razor has decreased the amount of occurrences cutting myself.

For the past couple of weeks, I have been shopping for replacement razor cartridges, mine are pretty dull and doing more damage then good. I’ve been looking for replacements in places I could commonly find them in a mere few weeks ago. I've been practically everywhere--Fred Meyers, Safeway, Target, Albertson’s, Rite-aid, and Zupan’s. No luck. Tonight, I went to Walgreen’s, and after carefully examining the razor selection, I decided to make the change.

When I finally decided on my razor purchase, I noticed that all the razors were locked onto the pegs that were holding them. I was reeling with disbelief about how expensive all the new choices were, and I felt exasperated and insulted. A sound caught my attention behind me, and I turned toward the end of the ailse to see a young man wearing a blue vest and tie unlocking some dental floss or something for an older woman. The sound of keys jingling was like a sweet symphony to my ears.

I approached him, and made my request. The young man was a manger, and while he was unlocking the razor I started venting to him. “You know,” I ranted to him while he was fumbling through about thirty keys on a ring much too small, “it’s a conspiracy. They make these razors, you buy them and use them for a while, then they slickly discontinue the line, and the consumer is forced to purchase something more expensive.” I folded my arms while I was talking to him, I must have been putting off an annoyed vibe.

“Wow, they discontinued it?” he innocently asked. What brand was it?”

I explained what brand I was looking for, and he scanned the products on the shelves (much like I did for 10 minutes), and turned to me and said, “We don’t carry that brand.”

I wanted to scream. What’s happening? Do the inventory elves sneak into the store at night; remove all of the product, shelf tags, and UPC programming code for the product you had spent years getting comfortable with?

I explained the history of the razor situation, and told him that this isn’t the first time it’s happened to me. It also happened to someone else I know, and I told him about those brands and years. Then, I started telling Alex the manager that “Razor And Personal Shaving Products Industry” probably rented convention centers, and had big conferences with PowerPoint presentations about what’s out and what’s in for that current year. I believe they attended incognito, and probably had a pseudonym name for the convention, like “Antarctic Cooking for Seven” or “The Close The January Door Show.” They probably left with all sorts of information to disseminate to their subordinates back in their own private sector of the world.

Alex quickly locked the peg my razor was hanging on, told me to have a nice day, and left. I think he was a little uncomfortable talking to me. I went to the front counter and paid for my purchases, and gave the cashier a mellower synopsis of what I was telling Alex. She agreed with my perspective, we talked about it for a few minutes, and then I left.


Anonymous said...

To be honest with you, focus groups ask consumers what they want. They tell the "industry" the specifications that they long for. Then the "industry" does the opposite.

Anonymous said...

• "All Wheat Are Saying" (whole wheat tortilla w/spinach, mushrooms & feta cheese)

i order:
Chicken Fajitas pita