A product wrapped in insecurities

Is the packaging of our wine unique?  Does it contain a higher percentage of insecurities than carton?

Anyone who peeked in on my packaging efforts over the last week would probably not have picked out anything unusual at first.  Surrounded by the huge metal crate of wine boxes, the labelling machine, the flat-pack cartons, already stamped with nice greenfeatherwine stamps, and an increasing pile of folded cartons.  In midst of it me, with the big metal tape roller, rolling the tape over the three sides at a time,  short-box-side, from there over the bottom side, and onto the other short-box-side.  That leaves you with a nice box to put the labelled bottles in, before doing another 3-side-packaging tape, to close the box.  Nothing unusual here.

Yet it seems that once insecurities creep in, nothing is as easy as it sounds.  And why did them thingies creep in?  I was driving a big truck on that day, well, big-ish, sprinter-size, on a narrow road, battling it out – as I thought – with even bigger trucks coming towards me. „My mirroooooooor“.   Ok, so all trucks did fit onto the road without any problems, but it is all in the head.  „Did you want any lunch“ they asked, at lunch time.  I did not. Until that trip was over, all my nervous energy was focused on nothing else than getting this job done.

Packaging, then.  What could possibly go wrong.  The tape has many personalities, a very clingy one, a very evasive one, at least.  As you are putting the tape roller onto the carton, you don’t know  which one will rear its head.   If it is the clingy one, the tape is everywhere, between the fingers, on the roller, removing the nice white carton finish from the otherwise brown carton; in fact, it could be everywhere, just not holding together the carton.

Then, next time, you apply the roller more firmly, but the roller is being evasive. And you end up ploughing into the carton like a snow plough, disfiguring the carton instead of leaving tape on it.

More sabotage came from the folded carton section.  I had stacked them so that I would be taking up the bottom of the box. But they managed to position themselves the other way round and carton after carton got taped up the wrong way and had to be taken apart again.  By the time the scissors fell between the finished wine boxes stacked onto the palette, I was getting worried. Until I realised that every box on this palette that looked a bit like it had been through a storm thanks to some wonky tape was a very good product packaged up in a lot of my insecurities.  They are the added value when you buy these boxes.  Whatever your insecurities, I am happy to buy them, too.

There was the guy who mentioned Sisyphos to me, as he watched me.  He had angels stored in his truck, for a church event. We agreed that his job would be a lot easier, if the angels flew to the event themselves. I think his reference to Sisyphos was a reference to the repetition involved. But repetition is in everything we do, – legal contracts go back and forth many times and the same provision gets reviewed in the wee hours of the morning.  The manual work on the vines does not get more interesting where it is applied to the 500th vine.  Michael Ende, a favourite childrens’ book author when I was small, has written a book about repetition („Momo“). A carton box, a 100-page contract, a vine that needs treating, – all of them can be as interesting or as boring as you make them to be. So I don’t think you get „bored-packaging“ or „sisyphosed-packaging“.  it just looks interesting.

And just to demonstrate how much I had tried to avoid doing the packaging in a situation where those insecurities could seep in.  I could do the packaging in the „safe“ home, in our flat. That means that our living room is then just a mountain of ready-made carton boxes.  And once you have found a way to put them all into an ooning to take them to the truck, you look like engrossed in some strange ritual, the box-carrying ceremony, when a bus-sized amount of boxes moves location. You see, packaging with insecurities is much, much better. Thank you for reading.