The Happy Fun Pitcher

The client who subcontracted their customer service to the company I work for is sending some fairly high-level people to visit on Monday, and you can tell by all the things going on. We've gotten a lot of "helpful" job aids recently. Today they had people going around dusting things that no one has thought about in months. And they had someone doing inventory on items in a storeroom that no one has thought about in years. He was given a copy of the inventory count and told to make sure everything was there. Why they are doing this, why it matters to them, is beyond me, but when the client says "Jump," the company says, "What color?"

My favorite item in the room was a bunch of plastic pitchers with a company logo on them. They were molded out of clear plastic, and were among the cheapest things I've ever seen. It was a low grade plastic, and the molds they were made from weren't that great. Instead of a normal spout for pouring, there was something that looked like a spout, but the ridge that runs around the inside of the opening, about a centimeter wide, didn't have a break, so not only was there no actual pour spout to get the liquid inside out, but you could turn it completely upside down and still not be able to completely drain it.

But that's not the best part. The best part is the warnings on the pitcher. All the warnings were molded right into the plastic, as well as a copyright date of 1999, which is odd because our company didn't get the customer service contract for this client until 2002, so I have no idea how we ended up with them. The warnings stated that the pitcher was not dishwasher safe. They also warned against using the pitcher for milk products or carbonated beverages. I've never even heard of a warning like that before. Sure, I can see the milk products one, because you don't want to have to deal with the tragedies that can occur when you put milk in a pitcher made of lactose-intolerant plastic, but carbonated beverages? That just boggles the mind. I don't want to think about what sort of problems that soda in that pitcher could cause. What, does it dissolve or something? I expect that the only way things could get worse than that is if you taunted the pitcher, in which case god help us all.

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