Anything Left-Handed > Blog Posts > Left handed life > Inconvenience stores

Inconvenience stores

We had this comment from Enid recently on our website

Have you noticed the right-handed 4 pint milk containers?  Makes life quite awkward.  They're in Lidl and Farm Foods so far but I'm sure they will spread to other suppliers in due course.

Right handed milk bottleWe decided to do some research ourselves and found that Enid was right. The 4 pint containers are rectangular (nothing unusual in that) but by putting the handle in one corner they have made it that little bit harder for left-handed people to pour. Some people would say this sort of ‘minor' difference is trivial and us lefthanders should stop moaning and just put up with it – does it annoy you when designers go with the right-handed route when it would be easy to make the thing truly ambidextrous?

Let us know if you spot any other everyday inconveniences by commenting below.

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48 comments on “Inconvenience stores
  1. Marion Berry says:

    I bought a large container of washing liquid at Lidl and found that it was completely impossible to pour left handed. It was too heavy to hold and pour right handed and until I had used quite an amount of the liquid every time I used it I managed to spill (and therefore waste) quite a large amount as I couldn’t control the contents. It would have been perfectly possible to produce a container which could be used with either hand!

  2. Wendy Scott says:

    Like all lefties, I adapt to the right-handed world, but I have had to sigh over the milk. Sainsburys also have this to the right. Just don’t understand why machines have been programmed to do this when it would have been better to have the pull label in a more neutral centre position. Obviously conceived and designed by a right-hander.

  3. Malcolm says:

    As one of nature’s real lefties, like everyone else, I have adapted to living in a right handers world. I don’t find any real problem with the milk bottes mentioned, the only thing I find is the information prined on the label is on the “wrong” side, but how often do any of us read the label other than to check the “use by” date. I too enjoy giving my left haned cork screw to right handers.I don’t have a problem with writing, I use the “hand over the top” method, and cannot remember when i last used a cartridge pen. A simple ball point does me fine.Playing sport l felt I had a distint advantage. My main sport was shinty. It is not, as many people say “like hockey” it is much more robust than that, and unlike hockey, shinty sticks – camans – are two sided.In at least one way left handedness is a distinct advatage. i once had my pocket picked, and because I carry my money in my left hand pocket, The lowlife who robbed me went for the “wrong” pocket. He got away with my comb, and a receipt.The only major problem I had for a number of years a long time ago was this: I played drums in a rock band. In the style of the late 60’s we were very self indulgent and played long instrumental jams. After perhaps as little as ten minutes, my cymbal stands started to fall apart.Like most lefties, I don’t have a disability. I am simply one of the elite 10% and I wear my left handedness with pride.

  4. Paul says:

    Actually here is a link for exactly what I was saying about lefties using right handed objects. 🙂 http://lifehacker.com/303374/why-you-should-mouse-with-the-other-handExcept of course this is written for the right handed people… 😛

  5. Paul says:

    Get one of them big studio cameras. They rest on your shoulder… 🙂 Actually I do know what you mean about it being a pain. I think I just naturally have made my right hand stronger through trial and error. But being left handed in the right handed world does give us an advantage at times. As shown by the computer mouse. (I eat at the computer enough to know that being a lefty makes eating and “mousing” easy with a little practice.)Also because our dominant hand is less prominent in the world then the Right. It makes us use our right hands(if we are willing to suffer some pain and awkwardness) more then a right handed person uses their left hand. Making us stronger in both hands over all. Go lefties. We rule the world… sorta…

  6. Paul says:

    Believe me I’m all for ambi-items. Or at least the option to make something left handed (as in computer tech). But you have to remember that these people are doing this for the mass majority( namely righties). If the left was the most prominent hand. Then almost every thing on this planet would be orientated the other way around and righties would be low people on the list. But of course that is not the way it is. So I think the main answer to the “lefty” problems is to make as many things as possible ambified. (new word I just made up) Of course this wouldn’t work for every thing such as scissors, pens, and a few select other items which would have to be made both ways.This is much like women’s rights, or racism.(please! I’m not trying to start a war here just using this as an example!!) The answer isn’t give all the power to the women or the “blacks”, Latinos, Native Americans and Mexicans while completely cutting off “whites” and males from everything. The answer is to give every one an equal piece of the pie. (most of the time easier said then done.) Now having said all that how does it fit lefties vs. righties. (some of you might already see where i’m going) To solve the problem you can’t say, “Hey! Stop making every thing right handed and make it left handed for us 10%!!” It would make more sense to make things (the items that can be) ambidextrous and have those things that can’t made tailored to either hand both. In other words giving every one an equal piece of the pie. Of course the main problem with this is that because we are only 10% or so of the population we obviously are out numbered by quite allot. And thus, to the right handed person, doesn’t make sense to go through all the trouble of making “special” items for those “weirdos”, lefties.I’m not entirely what I was trying to point out by this. 😛 but perhaps it sheds a little light on the workings of a male left hander’s brain. :)Lefty fist to ya all,

  7. james cox says:

    we have always had to deal with the right handed world. when I was a kid way back in the 60’s in school I was the last one in my class to write cursive and art was a nightmare. then I figured out to watch how it is suppose to look and do it myself, then I noticed I can do anything. but I wonder if we were helped to much for being lefthanded if we would be as clever as we are.

  8. alison says:

    Sorry, I can’t see what the problem is with these milk containers – you can pour the milk out at any point so if you pour with handle at the top ie with the corner of the bottle pointing upwards rather than a flat side, they are ambidextrous and therefore actually quite a good design. I’ve never had a problem with them …. which is more than my friends would say about the left handed arrangement of my kitchen !

  9. Nanc says:

    MY biggest problem is Mr. Coffee or Black and Decker glass coffee pots. No matter how hard I try not to spill coffee I always do. The spout is either to wide or at the wrong angle.

  10. NOEL TEICHMAN says:

    1. Being a golfer, it is noted that the shoulder strapping on golf bags are set up to be put on from the right side, and carried on the right shoulder. We lefties may not notice because we have adapted over the years.

    2. As a left-handed student growing up in school and an educator for 37 years, I could not find information on this website that promotes the placement left-handed desks in many classrooms. Obtaining a classroom desk is similar to disabled people entering some buildings. They have to request (i.e., ring a bell, etc.) to have someone open the door in order to enter a building because the building code for disabilities is not reinforced. This is congruent to a left-handed student requesting a let-handed desk in school. The same is true at many colleges and universities.

  11. R Matthews says:

    Claiming that the design of that bottle saves plastic is a load of codswallop. If they were really trying to reduce the total of plastic, the handle would be in the middle of the narrower ends. The design was most definitely intended to favour right handed people.

    Regarding computers and peripherals that others mentioned, I’m willing to accept the argument that making left handed versions of cellphones and laptops is cost prohibitive. What I am NOT willing to accept is the unwillingness and failure of software makers to offer left handed options.

    Take a good look at the GUIs of operating systems, web browsers and many other programs. Countless hours of design and programming are expended on skinning, changeable icons, movable taskbars and many other ways the programs can be tweaked. But the one thing that is NEVER offered is the ability to relocate scroll bars, which are ALWAYS placed on the right hand side. This is strictly a software issue, not hardware, so any claim of “cost prohibities” is a lie.

    On laptops and towers where mice are used, it’s not so much a problem. But the failure to let users move the scroll bars is inexcusable. A decade ago, PDAs used styluses and touch screen devices today use fingers. Because the scroll bars are on the right, the left handed user must place the stylus or hand OVER the device, blocking the view of the screen. If the user needs fine scrolling to locate a certain item or text, it’s highly annoying. Why is there no option to move the scroll bars to the left side which would be beneficial to left handed users?

    How about the unchangeable screen touches (e.g. click right side to go forward, click left side to go back)? Handhelds are designed to be held with one hand and the screen touched with the thumb. But if you’re left handed and try to hold the item the same way a right hander does, you WON’T be able to use the thumb to go forward a page.

    And that’s just two failures of programming. I know of plenty more.

  12. Jenny Austin says:

    Regarding the “right handed” milk cartons, these have now been in our local stores for well over a year. If you turn them upside down you will see the Patent number and makers, Nampak Plastics. I emailed this Company many months ago and despite my husband telling me I was wasting my time, I did in fact receive a call from the Company. I was on the phone for well over half an hour and was asked so many questions, for instance which hand do I use to pick up a milk bottle, which way round does my fridge door open, which way round do you place the handle of the milk bottle. By the end of the conversation I was treated to almost a lecture telling me that the new design is to lessen the weight of the carton. I forget how much this was but not very much. I was left feeling that they thought I was picky and just plain difficult. I still find them awkward, especially in our caravan fridge. It would be great if sufficient people lobbied this Company, if only to make them aware that we left handers are not awkward.

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