Strange Innovations to solve problems

It’s been said that necessity is the mother of invention and we’ve all heard that “Everything is possible…the impossible just takes a little longer,” but often times one needs to come up with some innovative or unusual “workaround” to solve a repeatable problem or simplify a task.

The other day we were working on inventorying computer/network assets for our annual audit when I found that whoever ‘tagged’ our network switches, had done so by applying the little white bar coded sticker to the back of the device…which I guess wouldn’t be too much of a problem IF WE HAD A BAR SCANNER! But we don’t and the only way to identify these units is by retrieving the tiny number under the barcode.

Oh, did I mention that the switches are rack mounted to a WALL? Yeah…so there’s like 3 inches between the back of the units and the wall…no open sides…nothing.

So, how am I supposed to read the tag? (Even the Dell Service Tag is on the back and no one thought to document which tag went to which switch ID so the “SW-1” was useless to me)

Being an ex-plumber (Ya, ya…insert your own “Jack of all trades” joke here) I remembered using my handy-dandy ‘mirror on a stick’ to see my solder joints on the backside of the pipes; unfortunately IF I still have that, it’s in a bucket at my house in the **GULP!** garage from Hades. (Tools check in, but they never check out!) – So I asked as many purse-totin’ peeps as I could find if they had a pocket mirror I could borrow. No luck there either.

Fortunately for me I happen to work with one of the most brilliant and out-of-the-box thinkers I’ve ever met: My boss. “I’ve used my cell phone to take pictures behind the racks before,” says the wise young sage and IT Director.

 Innovative Solutions

So, with a positive ‘whatever it takes’ attitude, I did just that…and viola! (ok, so it took ten plus tries to find and get a recognizable picture; hey, it worked so nnyah!)

Anyway…that’s my story and I’m sticking with it!
 

 

 


And I end with this saying, reportedly in the words of Mother Teresa (I kid you not): “We the willing, led by the unknowing, are doing the impossible for the ungrateful. We have done so much, with so little, for so long, we are now qualified to do anything, with nothing”

What about you? Have any ‘workarounds’ that others haven’t thought of and would garner a strange look from an unknowing passerby? Share them here J

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