The world's a frustrating place sometimes, made all the more frustrating by the fact that so many of the annoyances we deal with every day don't have to be that way. We've talked before about scientific reasons behind everyday nuisances, and that's all well and good. But what happens when the unthinkable happens, and science fails us? What happens when the world is Complete Bullshit, and the only reason for it is human stupidity and selfishness?
Why, Cracked makes a list of it, of course! Below we've documented six everyday annoyances that exist for wholly legitimate yet completely infuriating business reasons.
#6. Wrap Rage
Here's an example of clamshell packaging:
Tktktk via Wikimedia Commons
You hate it. Everyone hates it. It's impossible to open by hand, and even with a pair of scissors, massive, hand-shredding chunks of plastic are left sticking out of it at odd angles. It's the war crime of product packaging, and there's even a term used to describe the frustration people experience when opening it: Wrap Rage.
So why, you shout, shaking your bleeding hands at the sky, would anyone in the world design packaging that's impossible to open?
The Reason: Package Pilferage
To make it impossible to open.
More specifically, it's to thwart shoplifting, in particular, a very specific type of shoplifting. Package Pilferage describes a crime when small, relatively expensive objects are removed from their outside packaging (in which various anti-theft tags and devices are embedded) and stolen. By making packaging that's impossible to open with anything less than the Daikatana, product engineers have made shoplifting harder.
And easier to detect.
#5. Airline Delays
Airline delays seem to be a fact of life with modern air travel. Even at the best of times, the possibility of a delay is ever-present. And if you have the arrogance to fly during the holidays or when the weather's a little bad? Who do you think you are you cocky son of a bitch?
Yes, we're talking to you there on your throne of stained carpeting.
But hang on a second. These delays are caused by weather and traffic, right? Weather and traffic are at least moderately predictable. How can an entire industry turn constipated the second snowflakes start to fall in Chicago?
The Reason: They've Reached Maximum Capacity
Planes are expensive to fly. And the people who like to fly on them (that's us) are cheap assholes. These two factors, along with a few other reasons, make the airline industry one of the most consistent money-losing industries on the planet. The only chance an airline has of making money is if nearly every one of its planes is in the air, earning money, every second of the day.
"HEY! PLANE! GET BACK TO WORK! DON'T MAKE ME COME IN THERE."
Each plane then has its own, very tightly packed schedule. New York to Atlanta to Denver to Seattle to San Francisco, etc. ... There's no slack built into this, because slack costs money. Which means that when a delay happens -- whether due to weather, maintenance, or rank incompetence -- it causes a delay everywhere else along the length of that chain.
There's a second reason there are delays. Passengers are generally OK with them. No delay is likely to be longer than the length of time it would take to drive or sprint to our destinations. And delays are so endemic to the industry, there aren't really any competing airlines we can gravitate toward (and even if there were, there's a good chance we'd still click "Buy Fare" for the one that was $50 cheaper). For the most part, that as much as we might like to complain, we're all just willing to accept a certain amount of hosing when we travel by air.
Burak Kara/Getty Images News/Getty Images
"We'd now like to invite any Star Alliance passengers to come be shot in the face with this powerful hose."
#4. Hot Dogs and Hot Dog Buns
Hot dogs come in packs of 10. Hot dog buns come in packs of eight. This discrepancy has been the subject of angry dad rants since man first crawled out of the sea.
"MY LIFE DIDN'T TURN OUT THE WAY I WANTED AND NOW WE HAVE TWO EXTRA HOT DOGS, SO WHY THE HELL ARE YOU THE ONE CRYING?"
And aside from the amusement of seeing our dads collectively lose their shits, there's really no point to this wiener surplus. So how did the world get to be this way?
The Reason: Different Industries, Different Standards
To answer this, I went right to the experts.
This organization exists.
The key issue is that hot dogs and hot dog buns are made and sold by completely different companies. Bakers and meat-part-conglomeraters have different equipment and different areas of expertise and do most of their business in their own little worlds, without ever having to talk to each other.
For example, at some time in the past, someone made a baking pan with room for eight rolls, sold a bunch to their baking friends and before anyone noticed what happened, there was an industry standard. Once those standards form, they're hard to break out of. All your recipes and racks and ovens are sized for eight-roll pans. Changing out of that is a real hassle.
Meanwhile, in the probably-much-less-pleasant-smelling past of the meat-parts industry, someone decided that 10 hot dogs was a nice round number to make out of a pound of meat parts, and their competitors followed suit. A new, completely independent standard had formed, which was also hard to break out of. Yes they could change their product to start making eight hot dogs per pound. But think about how that would look on the shelf. Although this would be the same weight of meat parts, it'd look like they were only selling eight hot dogs when their competitors were selling 10; the difference in size would be tough to distinguish. The standard stuck, and dads everywhere were left doomed to their lives of bitter frustration.
"YOU ARE A LITTLE MIRACLE, BUT I NEVER IMAGINED YOU OR YOUR BROTHERS BEING HERE."