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1st August
2011
written by LS Girl

How a simple change to a microwave improved the life of Ms. Frisky and her family. Simple genius ideas:

I don’t know about you… but I talk to fair amount of people during a typical week, and I pride myself on being lame, and uninvolved… so I’m sure a normal person speaks with even more people than I do.

Even with my limited exposure, I encounter simple genius ideas on a weekly, sometimes daily basis. My latest genius moment involved a coworker and our company’s microwave. This seems rather pedestrian at first glance… but it was not. It was genius.

My co worker, we’ll call her Ms. Frisky, was in the kitchen diligently preparing a K-cup of coffee from the coffee dispenser. I entered the kitchen with my small plastic container in hand; I was headed for the microwave. I asked Frisky if she was using the device, (had she not been there, it is not uncommon for me to remove someone’s forgotten lunch, nuke my stuff, and replace the forgotten lunch and hit 10 seconds on the clock, and walk away.).

Frisky was not utilizing the microwave. I popped my lunch in, and hit some buttons. Here it comes. The genius. Are you ready? Get a paper and pencil.

Oh… first some background on Ms. Frisky. She is a proud member of the “Sandwich Generation”. She oversees the care for her grown children and enjoys her grandchildren, and she also cares for her two elderly live-in parents. Ok… back to the kitchen.  I’m loitering away, while my quinoa and veggie dish heats up… and Frisky starts to tell me a story.

She explains that her mother is hard of seeing. This hits home for me, as my father is in the same boat. She goes on to elaborate… she explains that her mother is blind in one eye (…and can’t see out of the other?), and has a cataract forming in the other eye.

Frisky then pauses a moment, and does a brief role-playing exercise, where she visually reenacts the daily frustration her mother encounters when trying to use the microwave in their home. She can’t see, she’s randomly pushing buttons and hoping to hit some combination that starts the microwave.

How many minutes… who knows!

Heat setting… not sure!

Will it overflow… probably!

Frisky informs me that sometimes she completely wipes out the clock, date, time, settings, lights, the microwave is just blank.

Frisky thinks about this dilemma, and comes up with an idea to help her mother. She glues a little bead/nub to the “1 Minute”  button on her microwave. This way, her mother can feel around, find the 1 Minute button, and press it as many times as she needs. Five minutes, 5 pushes…. and so on. The microwave is smart enough to start nuking on its own once the minutes are selected.

This is genius. It’s not expensive. It’s not complicated. It works. It’s genius.

I know… I know… I did the same thing. “Imagine the possibilities!” My mind was racing with all the problems that could be solved with a pouch full of oddly shaped nubs, and a glue gun.  Not to mention the bedazzle bling initiative we could facilitate.

Genius, in everyday life.


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