Too Close for Comfort

Too Close for Comfort

Not every product requires personalized service

Her name is Katie. And I’m breaking her heart.

I warned her this might happen. “I can’t be one of your a frequent customers,” I wrote in response to her first message.
She pretended to understand, but the emails didn’t stop. “I’ll bet you’re about ready for more, and when you are, I’m here to help.”

Whoever thought a man could feel so much guilt over… razor blades.

Yes, you read correctly. Earlier this summer, I was intrigued by the Facebook testimonials and ads touting Harry’s – a new kind of company, the “Anti-Gillette” of men’s shaving. The brand was undeniably hip, the pitch and packaging were spot on, and the price was right. So I ordered a starter kit from their website, was delighted when the kit arrived, and couldn’t have been happier with my new/retro shaving experience.

Until Katie came into my life.

She emailed a few days after delivery and introduced herself as my personal grooming concierge, a real person at my beck and call to answer questions and help me reorder blades and shaving cream. I replied to thank her for reaching out, but also felt compelled to manage her expectations as best as I could. “I may not reorder as often as your regular customers –I live in Portland, Oregon, where a full goatee is mandatory, so I don’t have as much real estate to shave each day. What’s more, I’m notoriously stingy when it comes to razor blades, and will use the same one for months, sometimes, before I’ll break down and put in a new one.”

I could hear the lilt of her laughter in the reply she sent back, thanking me for my note and looking forward to being of service. Ever so hopeful, the poor dear just didn’t realize how serious I was.

Weeks went by. I happily shaved with the original blade, while two more waited patiently in their well-appointed box. But the dread began building up – SHE would be emailing again anytime now, wondering when I was going to reorder.

This morning, my day of reckoning came…

“Hi there, Hope you’re doing great. I just wanted to check-in and see how everything was going. We’ve got some pretty fancy algorithms here at Harry’s that tell me that you may be running low on razor blades. If you would like to order more blades or other shaving supplies, you can always do so online at And, of course, I’d be more than happy to take care of it for you as well. You can just email me back or call me at (888) 212-6855 and I’ll place your order for you.”

Summoning all my courage, I replied:

I knew this day would come… the day when I would have to disappoint you – the woman I think about when I reach for my Harry’s razor each night before bedtime. (Shaving in the morning is too dangerous.) The truth is, my dear, I am still using the first blade in the package. And the guilt is almost too much to bear.
Can you find it in your heart – and your algorithms – to forgive me? I was giving serious thought to changing out that blade. For you, I’ll do it tonight!

How on earth did I end up in such angst over F&%$#@G RAZOR BLADES???

So Katie (and your bosses at Harry’s), I just need you to give me a little space. Please, don’t take it personally. I still think you have a great product, and I promise I’m not cheating on you. I will be back, I just can’t say when.

I know I’m shaving it pretty close here, but can you live with that?

One Response to “Too Close for Comfort”

  1. Suzanne says:

    LOL I have the same story with…where I now purchase my hair color…custom blended just for me, mind you…not nearly as often as they think I should.

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