Friday, June 24, 2011

Too Technically Minded For the Common Good

I work with some very technically-savvy men. Personally I have less mechanical aptitude than the neighbours cat (who was recently able to extricate a mouse from a trap without leaving any scattered mouse parts).

So why is it that I seem to be the only one to successfully replace the paper towels in the men’s room?

It’s not that others won’t do it – they make an attempt, but their technical knowhow seems to get in the way. They make it much more complicated than it needs to be and they find ways of threading the paper through imaginative obstacle courses. This tightens the movement of the paper, and when the hands are wet – as they usually are when there’s a need for towel – the paper breaks off in small soggy pieces.

They don’t seem to understand the concept of following the path of least resistance: the most straight forward path that allows the paper to unroll smoothly and freely.

So there’s an advantage to my technical ignorance. I can do what makes sense rather than try to find new ways of challenging the laws of physics

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