When I heard that milk jugs are being redesigned for better efficiency, I felt a sort of witless glee. Part of that is my usual response to efficiency. And also because most of my high school employment was in the local Kroger, stores #444 and #432 (I still remember that…?). I mostly did night stock, but also spent one summer in the Dairy section. Although throwing crates around in the heat of the shelving moment is really fun,1 dealing with crates is a chore, every single day. Some days I would have killed for a nice waist-level pallet of jugs, rather than a 7-foot tower of crates. There’s also a good audio slideshow about the square milk jugs and some of the problems the customers are having. [via austin kleon]

1. Plenty of reasons I really liked stock work (lots of trade-offs, but still noteworthy): I got to work alone, but plenty of joking and yelling back and forth. I could yell or sing when I wanted. I got to walk around. There were very few irate customers at 3am, unlike a Saturday afternoon bagging groceries. There’s also a good bit of healthy destruction involved (wielding a box cutter, breaking down cardboard, tossing damaged product out in the aisles, etc.). And on most nights, things looked perfect when I’d leave in the early morning. I love that severe contrast. Make an absolute mess when I’m working, and then polish it to something where no one can tell it was any different.