Before I accepted the job offer from my company (P&G), I thought, “Laundry sucks, everyone knows that, so why should I accept this offer to work in a Laundry company?” It was a big deal answering this question. I didn’t want to wake up each day and drag myself to work and tell myself, “you have bills to pay so even if laundry sucks…suck this up.”
To make a decision, I took a vacation to meet some family friends in south Texas and spent a nice warm (relatively) Christmas weekend. By driving around in that small Texas town I realized that everyone was doing laundry… and the water down there was very different than the water in Ohio. A few had very hard water and others not so bad. The chemistry of the detergent should work in all these places as opposed to a controlled lab environment, and this I guessed must be a great challenge.
I stopped at a local SAM’s club to pick up some gifts that afternoon and, walking through the aisles, I watched carts being filled and almost all carts had some cleaning product in it. Even a small impact like 0.1% reduction of some ingredient in these products would benefit the environment in a big way. I drove back to my friend’s place and felt as if I learned something great like walking for the first time! I shared my excitement to my friends and they were happy for me, but could not understand what was so big about my realization. I was now convinced that I had to take this offer and decline my other offers.
Moving forward a year and half from this experience, day in and day out, I am learning one constant lesson, “Laundry sucks not because it is a chore, but because it is a remarkably complex chemistry happening in a reactor called the Washing Machine or a bucket and the reaction kinetics generally wins over the thermodynamics.”
Sipping a cup of warm tea on a beautiful April evening I mused, what would world be like without all these ready to use consumer products like detergents, soaps, shampoos etc…
Please stop reading and just close your eyes and think for a few seconds… You may be one of the few who will readily appreciate that many billions of human hours would be going each week to address banal tasks like washing and cleaning etc… preventing us from using that time to either recreate our energies, reading, going out for a walk or spending time with family. This thought brought a smile on my face…so these products are not simply cleaning, but they touch lives of people around the world in small, yet meaningful ways. I vowed to reduce the foot print of touching lives in every way possible…Now laundry felt like a vacuum cleaner, yeah it sucks the dirt off and leaves clothes clean!
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed are mine and does not represent P&G’s or any other institutions