[Note: The rest of you can go about your business. This memo is to whomever at SAFC will listen. If you’re not SAFC, click here or here.]

Dear Aldrich, or shall I say SAFC?

I have a bone to pick wth you. I’ve noticed that the bottles of reagents I have received from you in the last year have been labeled with a newly formatted design. The Aldrich bottles do indeed stand out on the shelf in resplendent red and white as designed. Well done. The bottles function in the manner in which they are intended. Again, well done. All of that is as expected.

What I’m unhappy with is the fact that the labels all seem to lack the molecular weight of the contents. Having grown accustomed to finding the MW on the bottle, I now have to set the bottle down in the lab and reach for the calculator to do it myself.  After decades of using Aldrich products with the MW printed on the bottle, my addled brain now has to unlearn this and do the calculation myself.

So, what caused this? It was not an accident, was it? Were there complaints about printing errors that twittered your legal people?  Were there a series of meetings in which serious senior managers furrowed their brows and intervened over the possibility of liability? Nothing like the mention of liability to get a VP agitated.  Perhaps ink has gotten expensive.  I just don’t understand.

Was it one of us who complained? Was it some white-coated laboratory fussbudget? Did some crabby pisswink from “out there” write a letter and frighten someone in St Louis or Milwaukee? That would be sad.

One more thing. Why does the font size have to be so small on large labels? 

Th’ Gaussling

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