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Fight The Power! August 10, 2008

Posted by Chuck Musciano in Random Musings.
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They’re gone.  The S.O.S Pads are gone.

I was food shopping Sunday afternoon, dutifully traversing the aisles, expecting everything to be in its place.  I know that this expectation is not always met, as devious marketers move things in an effort to break my concentration and tempt me with new and exciting products.  On rare occasions, the entire store gets reconfigured, just to shake things up and keep customers off-balance.

This was different.  All the other kitchen cleaning products were in their places, but the S.O.S Pads were gone.  Not sold out, not moved slightly, but completely removed.  I looked for the shelf tag that should mark their familiar home, but none could be found.  Had then been shifted to a whole new store neighborhood?  Perhaps they were no longer considered a kitchen cleaning tool, but had been shifted to the skimpy kitchen/hardware/automotive section as a garage accessory.  Hard to imagine, but the mind of the store layout person is difficult to plumb at times.

Instead of wandering the store in a Sisyphean search, I went right to the manager and asked where they were.

“Oh, we don’t carry them anymore.”

“At any store?”

“Nope.  When they reset that display, the pads were not included.”

I walked away, rendered mute by another example of corporate grocery incompetence.  In one fell swoop, some drone within the depths of Harris Teeter had eliminated 91 years of product history, removing a product as American as Corn Flakes or Wonder Bread from the shelves.  How could this be?  Have people suddenly stopped scouring things?  Is there insufficient margin on steel wool and soap to justify their sale?  Or have S.O.S Pads been found to be environmentally unacceptable?

Surely it cannot be the latter.  After all, on the same shelf that used to contain the Pads are environmentally safe quick-dissolving dishwasher detergent pouches.  Honestly, if you are concerned about the environment enough to fret about the safety of the dissolving pouch that contains the detergent, wouldn’t you have long ago sworn off automatic dishwashers and reverted back to eating off hardened disks of week-old bread to ensure a completely carbon-neutral eating and washing experience?

In this case, I suspect a bad decision by a powerful committee. A committee that holds our fate in its hands, deciding with the stroke of a pen how we will clean our pots and pans.  Are we going to put up with this?  Are we going to allow The Man to decide how we scrub and wash?  Or are we going to stand up and fight this injustice?

I will fight.  I will go to the Harris Teeter web site and lodge a formal complaint.  As hundreds and thousands of others do the same, our voices will be heard and S.O.S Pads will be returned to the shelves.  A great tradition of shiny American cookware will not be interrupted by petty bureaucracy.

Are you with me?  Let’s hear it: Scour To The People!

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