The Best Glue

Recently I was installing a shower curtain rod, but not the normal straight-across kind, but one that turned in the middle to enclose two sides of a space.

The kit was comprehensive, with different methods of anchoring the curtain rod based on what it needed to be secured to. I surveyed all the pieces, then turned to the instructions.

I shit you not, this is absolutely how the written instructions started:

After our experiment, we changed the glue in the non-performing installation scheme to Chinese glue, which is better and stronger than the Japanese glue we used before.

Okay, while I question the wisdom of bringing up past failures to new customers, I do have to appreciate that our Chinese friends weren’t done yet. The instructions follow:

Our factory sells 4000 bathroom poles every day in the world, which is a large amount. My colleagues and I work late every day. We work day and night to bring better products to customers, and we hope every product we sell can help everyone.

This all seems a little defensive. “Hey! We’re doing our best, man!” But this is the instruction sheet, so at any moment there might be instructions. I had to keep reading. But next comes a plea that if there are any problems with installation, that you contact them first and they will make it better. An email address is provided that is a big number and is probably unique to this exact copy of the product.

Another paragraph follows, on the same theme. If there is a problem, we will make it right. Just give us a chance.

It’s funny and I will always laugh about Chinese glue, but what we also see here is a company that is learning that in listings at Amazon and the rest, customer reviews are what separates success and failure. Some dickhead customer doesn’t apply the inferior Japanese glue properly, gets pissy about it, and it can ruin a business. So they upgrade the glue, and improve the instructions, and forge ahead in a wild-west marketplace.

Meanwhile, some other company, who is using fucking Andorran glue for crying out loud (Andorran! The fuck do they know about modern polymer chemistry?) is flat-out paying people to give them good reviews. It’s tough for an honest company out there these days.

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