Promethean unboxing… of DOOM

Years ago, before I went to university, I worked in a small retail store that specialised in small business services. A major part of the business was acting as a shipping agent, providing professional packing services to small businesses and consumers, and shipping them via premium couriers that the average Joe would not normally have easy access to.

The store owner, a Californian ex-pat who had married into the country, taught me some important rules about packaging:

  1. Never ship anything by Parcel Farce,
  2. ‘Fragile’ means ‘Throw Me Harder’ in baggage handler dialect, and, most importantly,
  3. The best shipping insurance is good packaging.

#3 on that list is why shipments from Dabs always come in a box that seems twice as big as it needs to be; the void space is to create a buffer zone between your goods and the thorough kicking the box will suffer at the hands of the carrier they are forced to use in order to satiate your lust for cheap P&P. It’s a rule that Promethean no doubt had in mind when they shipped me this box:

What could be inside?

At first it appears the box may actually be empty, but wait! There’s something down there…

Yes, there’s definitely a small bag taped to the bottom of the box. We certainly wouldn’t want it shaken about in that cavernous packaging, would we?

Seriously? Are you kidding me here, Promethean? This is nothing more than the bag of 100x spare Promethean pen nibs I ordered last week. They’re about as fragile as a fluffy cushion, and would probably have survived equally well in a paper envelope with a first class stamp on it. Did we really need to sacrifice half a damn tree for this?

This sort of stupidity is well documented in IT circles, with some of the most egregious examples being documented by The Register This, however, is an Angry Technician exclusive, dear readers. 10/10 for protecting the shipment, but I can only hope Promethean were re-using a box here, or the rainforest is totally screwed.

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About The Angry Technician

The Angry Technician is an experienced IT professional in the UK education sector. Normally found in various states of annoyance on his blog. All views are those of his imaginary pet dog, Howard.

7 responses to “Promethean unboxing… of DOOM”

  1. Mark says :

    :) What can I say….

    I work at Promethean and must say I am not in any position whatsover to explain this and will not even an attempt to…

    But if you still have it… here are some ideas….

    Give it to a Maths teacher… the nets and related math for these modern packagings are fascinating.. Most kids stop at making cubes….

    A D&T teacher can see if a group can make a bridge to span 1m and hold 250G in the middle from the materials of one box…

    An Art Teacher can get kids to cut it up and mark cardboard sculptures..

    Wrap it in tape and leave it in a playground and it will become a football (footbox)

    Or just give it to the local Nursery and it will be a base for a castle after a liberal covering of poster paint…. etc, etc,

    I personally got a couple of Promethean Activboard boxes (asked they leave them after an installation- they are huge!!! 5 mins later we had shed sized installation that the kids could get inside and turn into a time travelling Tardis… Every parent wanted to go inside!

    I suppose I am saying – It only wastes the rainforest if it is not reused… and even then you can pulp it and turn it into homemade paper for a painting class!

    Nice blog BTW….

  2. brian irwinn says :

    Dear Angry Technician,
    Why are you not as angry as you used to be? Is it the new job, better pay, what? Or have you just become a bobbing head to authority? You are so soft now, you should be ashamed of yourself.

    • AngryTechnician says :

      Both of your suggestions as to my reduced anger are certainly true, the former more than the latter. It’s also worth noting that my current employers are aware of this blog (they worked out who I was, I didn’t tell them) and have advised me to avoid language that might attract complaints from parents if they also worked it out.

      While my former employers would probably have said the same thing, I didn’t care about losing my old job. I do care about losing my current one.

      In my ‘angry’ posts, little has changed in my writing style except the omission of profanity, so it’s interesting to see the difference in reader perception. There are also more non-angry posts simply because there isn’t as much anger to fill the time any more, and I wanted to output something useful as well as cathartic.

  3. brian irwinn says :

    Ok, fair enough Angry one. I just miss the “Old Days”.

  4. Ray says :

    Obviously need more stress in your job to bring out the old you. Whilst you used to create more laugh-out-loud moments with your profanity, I’m guessing your heart monitor is beeping a lot less now!

  5. Claudio says :

    Excellent post. Got me double-checking the picture showing the content – I didn’t believe my eyes on the first sight.

  6. Adrian says :

    Thanks for posting this I didn’t realise you could get them straight from Promethean thought you had to go through a reseller, who are all out of stock, anyway I got the same size box from them today but mine had 4 “air bags” inside. I can think of two reasons for the big box firstly if you gave UPS the small pack of nibs they would probably loose it and secondly it might be to make you feel better about having to pay £5.99 delivery (didn’t work with me even though it’s not my money).