I just took this question to a friend of mine who’s a shrink, figuring he should be an expert on the psychology of shrink wrap. I want to know what sort of mental sickness is responsible for the kind of sadism exhibited by the people who design product packaging today.
Yesterday I spent at least ten minutes trying to open a small electronic device that was encased in molded plastic thick enough and tough enough to withstand orbital reentry temperatures. My big kitchen scissors wouldn’t even begin to cut through it. I finally took a pair of metal cutters to it and was able, with much difficulty, to fashion a small hole through which I could extract the product.
I assume this is supposed to be an anti-shoplifting measure. But my guess is that the cost of creating these adult-proof packages is probably more than that of loss to shoplifters – not to mention the cost of lost business from customers who take a look at the package in the store and, having gone through this hell once, decide to bypass the product completely rather than repeat the experience.
If my friend has any insights on this insidious disorder, which ought to be listed in the DSM-IV but isn’t, I’ll share them with you. Meanwhile, we all suffer.