Ep.110 Why We Ran Out Of Toilet paper During Covid

By Published On: March 4, 2021Categories: Blog, Podcasts, The CTO Studio

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About The Speaker:

Casey Kleindienst is an expert at Supply Chain Management and current serves as a Management Professor @ Cal State Fullerton

Episode Resources:

Check Casey out on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ckleindie…

Episode Transcription:

Nickolai Walker: [00:00:10] Hello hello and welcome back to the studio. I, of course, am your host, Nickolai Walker. I am in my favorite seat doing my favorite thing. And I am in studio today with Casey Kleindienst. This is our final interview, sadly, but hopefully we will have him back. He is the director of Supply Chain Management. And as such, it is only fitting that I have to ask you this question. Casey, can you please tell me what during 2020 and the outbreak of Covid, did we run out of toilet paper, like, what is that madness all about?


Casey Kleindienst: [00:00:46] Because when people stayed home, they stopped using institutional toilet paper at schools and places of employment. They used their own and the toilet paper industry was built to make supply equal demand. So when the demand shifted from institutional use to domestic home use, that toilet paper, there was no supply for it. The part of the toilet paper industry that was making institutional toilet paper could not be used in the homes because the rolls were like this. And so they had an excess of warehouses full of institutional toilet paper and they were out of household toilet paper. That’s why. And once you have a perceived scarcity, then all of a sudden the domestic demand, you know, went up by a million and then that just did it. That just killed it right there. And then it took time to get those toilet paper factories to start gearing up more towards the domestic toilet paper and then people relaxed a little bit. See, everybody blames the hoarders and it was like the worst thing you could be was toilet paper hoarder. But they didn’t understand the root cause and  where this thing came from, you know, and the toilet paper hoarders were actually precisely the way they should have. But here was, what we call, the cherry on the icing, is when they tried to take the toilet back to the markets, when there were full vans of toilet paper, they were just told, “you own it, you keep it.” No, they couldn’t take the toilet paper back. They had a got garage fully toilet paper.


Etienne de Bruin: [00:03:02] I mean, what this must have done to the grocery store supply chain must have been off the charts. I heard a theory that the toilet paper crisis was due to all of the Hollywood movies. When there’s a zombie apocalypse, people go purchase toilet paper.


Nickolai Walker: [00:03:23] And, you know, I didn’t have any theories at all. I just went to the store to buy anything, including toilet paper and, you know, sundry items. And I was shocked and floored with the level of our own humanity. You know, I was just like, I can’t believe that we, as people, are not considering the next person. We’re so caught up in buying something for ourselves that it’s like *bleep* the other guy. So it was a very dark moment for me, but thanks for breaking that down for me, Casey. That does help a lot.


Casey Kleindienst: [00:03:56] But listen, they were never out of everything else. However, there were substitutes. I remember, you know, going and I wanted some canned products know, and I was stuck with what was left, but what’s the substitute for toilet paper? The napkins were gone. The tissues were gone. And toilet paper was gone. All three of those disappeared with toilet paper. And there’s no substitute, you know. It’s not like going down to a canned fruit aisle. I mean, I was buying stuff I didn’t necessarily want, but if that’s all I could put in my pantry, that’s where I ended up.


Etienne de Bruin: [00:04:36] Yeah, because even hygienic wipes, you could make your own buy alcohol and…


Casey Kleindienst: [00:04:43] Yeah, but meat disappeared. It was really hard to get beef, but pork was there. I don’t know. It’s a funny society. I didn’t realize how beef centric this country is because I had no problem buying pork because Gladys and I, we eat ribs we eat chops we eat all kinds of pock.  We eat bacon you know, and and we didn’t think twice about, you know, so we’re going to eat pork more because all of the hoarders took the beef. But, you know, I look in the stores now and they’re always out of something, but there are substitutes, so the supply chain isn’t fixed yet, but there’s enough there that I want, you know.  Or if they don’t have that then fine i’ll take something else. I don’t care, but there is no warehousing anymore, you know, these grocers don’t have warehouses. I think the biggest warehousing is Amazon, and Amazon has a pretty fast turnover to it. If they’re holding third party products and they’re selling third party products, they charge rent on that space. So then if you don’t sell, you’re going to pay for that space. So they experience a high turnover in their business, too. That’s how they make money. And so everybody’s you know, it’s so supply chain oriented and it’s got this fragility around it that can break and then we’re screwed. So I kept a minimum of 10 cans of tuna just in case you got really bad. So I think I’m down to six or something like that. The big, big,jumbo cans. Yeah, I’m always good for a tuna sandwich once in a while.


Nickolai Walker: [00:06:56] You know what, Casey? Me too. I’m always up for a good tuna sandwich.


Casey Kleindienst: [00:07:00] Yeah. This is a man made disaster. This is not natural. This is a laboratory experiment gone sour, intentionally. This is an attack on the free world by the Communist Chinese Party.  Hey that guy wanted to know this morning, he wanted to know what I meant by experiment and it’s good we didn’t go down that path. I’m glad you changed the subject in an instant because I wasn’t about to engage with him anyway. I am still a little reluctant to say too much. I said too much and I know it’s a real sensitive subject.


Etienne de Bruin: [00:07:48] I was in many conversations over the last three or four months and I’ve come to contemplate what constitutes a conversation that people can’t have versus one that they can. And I find that to be very interesting, how heated and upset people get so quickly. That makes it really hard to have discourse. Because one person has an interpretation of events that does not align with another person’s system of beliefs and instead of it being a (and this doesn’t apply to this morning, I’m just talking in general) instead of saying, “Wow, that’s interesting. You’re saying it’s an experiment. I don’t get it. You’re saying it’s intentional. I don’t agree with that. Well, OK, so let’s talk about it. Let’s agree to disagree. Let’s challenge each other’s assumptions. Let’s just have a conversation about it.” But it seems like that is unacceptable. Everything is charged. Heated. And it makes me sad that we can’t. I know what happens for me personally is fear. I feel afraid. I feel, when I have to stand up for something I believe in, that I know is going to challenge someone else’s beliefs, I feel fear. Mostly because I think I’m a people pleaser. I mean, I have my own reasons, but I’m also a blunt South African and for me, it’s like, well, let’s poke the bear or let’s poke holes in each other’s assumptions and let’s just enjoy that. Let me be open to having my perspective changed. And if that doesn’t change, then there’s nothing to be afraid of. Everything’s cool. But I think as a community organizer, as someone who runs many, many group conversations, my fear is that it will destroy the group.


Casey Kleindienst: [00:10:10] That’s healthy, I think that’s a healthy fear, you know, as the commander of the VFW in Mission Viejo. I’m sensitive to that, too. Only in a leadership position do you do you see everybody equal, that there are good guys and bad guys that we are responsible for the crew and, anything that’s going to cause them to attack each other, we’re not going to do. It’s not a matter of who’s right or wrong, it’s that we don’t want the attack. We don’t want that conflict because we already know it’s not going to lead to anything productive. I’m the same way, you know. If I’m sitting in the member chair, you know, then I throw a bomb out there but but not when I’m in a leadership position, you know, because the whole is more important than any individual. And if you subtract this, you know,the charge subject, these are still decent people. There’s nothing wrong with these guys and I’m talking about what you’re talking about. But it’s charged because there’s this wrong attachment that my belief is true and your belief is not true. And and I’m a good person and you’re a bad person. And so, if you’re a bad person, then I can never get along with you. So that’s attached to this contentious subject. It’s this morality of the other, you know?


Nickolai Walker: [00:12:06] Right. Or I think you’re a bad person for what you believe or I think you’re an evil person for what you believe.


Casey Kleindienst: [00:12:13] Right? Yeah. And if you’re bad, that means that I should destroy you. Right? If you’re evil, I should destroy you.


Etienne de Bruin: [00:12:23] But that’s is my rainbows and unicorns desire for 7CTOs is that we can have pretty heated, well the emphasis isn’t heated, but the emphasis is contentious topics, you know, diametrically opposed views, but still have a discourse that doesn’t require you to withdraw yourself from the process in order to stay true to yourself. Because I think that’s what people do, is they remove themselves from, well, I cannot be associated with this or you or that and I don’t think it’s a simple solution, but I think it’s sad when people start removing themselves from those conversations.


Casey Kleindienst: [00:13:17] Yeah, tt all started with political correctness. You know, that was the first time that censorship came into the language and then you couldn’t talk or say certain things. Well, why can’t I talk about *bleep?* We can’t we have an honest conversation without you scolding me for using the wrong word? That’s what you’re seeing here. And and that’s why I don’t see a reconciliation right now to have discourse. I think, because each side views the other as being existentially harmful. You know, so it’s like, “how do you want to live in this village?” Do you want to live where everybody has a say and a voice? Or do you want to live with the village ruler? And we’re going to have a dictatorship. You see, that’s what I see here. And here’s the only thing that’s going to bring us back together. Here is the true object that’s in the way of Marxism, fully taking this country over. And that’s Jesus Christ and God is the enemy. The statues didn’t get pulled down because of the statues. The statues got pulled down because of what they represent. And when they started pulling the Saints down, like, you know, Junipero Serra, he’s the guy who started the missions in California like four hundred years ago. When they pulled his statue down. It wasn’t because they didn’t like him starting the mission just because he represents God. And God and Marxism can’t exist in the same space because Marxism relies on the state being the authority for human behavior. And Christianity or Judaism or any religion that relies on a transcendent being as being the authority of human behavior. That’s the conflict. And I don’t think that the nihilists, you know, future Marxists are ready for, you know, a missionary, they already know about God and they hate him.


[00:15:55] Well, as the Band Tiny still says, “Everything good eventually hurts” and sadly, this is hurting because this is the end of our segment with Casey Kleindienst. Hopefully we will have him back. He is a director of Supply Chain Management and he is currently a professor at Cal State Fullerton. Do go check out his LinkedIn for more information about him and his work. Thank You. Now, if you are enjoying what you’re listening to, please subscribe to this podcast available in iTunes. Do go check out 7CTOs.com. And, as always, we will see you next time with another interview.