So there I am standing in the men’s grooming products aisle in the grocery store. About some things I am rather picky, but the shaving cream I buy can be found on the bottom shelf, well below the so-called premium brands.
My brand has the usual come-ons like “Thick & Rich” and the ever-important “Rust-Proof Aluminum Bottom.” The obligatory “Celebrating 100 Years, Made in the USA” forms a patriotic banner at the top of the can.
I leaned down to grab the can and immediately sensed something different. No, I think, they didn’t.
My good old go to is now being sold in 7 oz. cans. My previous purchase notes a robust 10 oz. of fluffy face hugging goodness.
Really, bargain basement shaving cream company? The kids in the home office put their noggins together and declared, “Let’s give them a bargain, but offer it in 3 oz. less increments.”
“Items may have settled in shipping.”
That feeling one gets when the cereal box is opened and the product sits halfway down the festive box is not one of triumph, I tell ya.
My wife enjoys a bottled coffee drink produced by a world famous coffee company. It comes in a little carton in a pack of four. I ask every time I make the purchase where the other two bottles are. I mean, six-pack is a ubiquitous term, but four-pack? So if one wants to enjoy one of the drinks per day (and my bride does not!) one would need to purchase two four-packs, and, well, you get it.
I can’t wait for the day where my Berry College professor friend Dr. Dale McConkey stands in front of his religion class and hands out his new and improved class syllabus.
Immediately several sharp-eyed students raise hands. Dale acknowledges one particularly animated scholar.
“Dr. McConkey, our class schedule stops at week 10. Aren’t there 16 weeks in a semester?”
Seasoned professor McConkey walks around the podium and sits on the front desk. He fixes the class with a wry smile.
“Well, some settling may occur.”
More is less. Less is more. More is more, but not to a company’s board of directors.
There’s a phrase that goes “baker’s dozen.” It seems that at some time in the world, a baker would present a customer 12 donuts and add a 13th one as a gesture of good will. Now, probably after several years, the crafty pastry chef folds in the price of No. 13, but no matter.
The customer, expecting to pay for 12 sweet items is rewarded with an extra one! She protests to Francois, explaining that he gave her too many treats.
“Mais non, madam, it is my pleasure! Bon appetit!”
Exit a satisfied customer clutching a basket of goodwill and the intention of returning often.
I don’t expect to go down to the local tire place and find that the technician saw that one of my other tires looked a bit worn down and she threw in a new tire for free. Not going to happen. I never took economics, but I’m pretty sure about that fiscal model.
We seem to have abandoned the “go the extra mile” philosophy. Today we get 3 oz. less of shaving cream, half a box of cereal, or a four-pack of coffee drink. I am fairly certain that the local Rome donut shop is not throwing in an extra cruller for the price of 12, no matter the term “baker’s dozen.”
The spirit of generosity is alive in one commercial setting, the restaurant. I think my readers, particularly when eating breakfast, would be shocked if the waitperson came to the table, topped off a cup of coffee, and then reached for the check to add another cup to the tally. We expect free refills when it comes to our restaurant coffee consumption, and we are pleased when the cup is topped off.
So I now send out the call for a new wave of American generosity beginning in good old Rome, Georgia.
I shout out “Two for One!”
I shout out “All you can eat!”
I shout out “Free puppies!”
I shout out “Dr. McConkey MUST teach the entire semester!”
Oh, and bargain basement shaving cream company? I’m looking around until you get those missing 3 oz. back in the striped can at the bottom of the shelf in the men’s grooming section.
See how nice I was? I didn’t put your name in the newspaper.