Bad Product Experiences

I was thinking about canned tuna today and decided the packaging really stinks. I would love to know what other women think about it—because for me, it’s a very unpleasant business to open a can, end up with a razor-sharp lid in my sink, squeeze the can to remove the stinky fish water or oil, getting it invariably all over my fingers, and then finally managing to turn it into tuna salad. I always fear my son will grab for something on my kitchen counter while I’m in the midst of preparing it and get cut on one of the cans. Should making lunch be full of danger?

It reminded me of the other loathsome product experience I have to endure on a regular basis—an unpleasant product experience men do not experience as unpleasant (I can only guess). Pumping gas—I absolutely hate that big heavy gas nozzle, which is hard to manage. And I’m a tall, strong woman, with relatively big hands, so I can’t imagine what petite women go through. And then there’s the spillage problem—not only does it get on my hands, but it seems to always end up on my shoes—especially high heels when I’m going out—great, so I arrive at a fancy restaurant smelling like the Texaco Man!

Did I mention it feels (and often is) dangerous for us to get out of our cars and pump our own gas in many places? And even if not dangerous, it’s uncomfortable, as you always have strangers checking you out?

Has anyone ever really asked women how they feel about these product experiences or watched us going through them?

The worst part of it all is my sneaking suspicion that women have grown so accustomed to gritting their teeth through unpleasant experiences—pumping gas, giving birth, making tuna fish salad, having their periods—they don’t have the inclination to say, “Hey, wait a minute, this stinks. I’m not putting up with this!”

Do we women live in a world that simply does not welcome us and we’ve grown so used to that, we don’t even ask for improvements?

Don’t even get me started on parking garages.

Halley Suitt posted this on July 11, 2005, in Design.
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