Thursday, February 1, 2007

When genius strikes

Every once in a while, a genius idea comes along and strikes, like a bolt of lightning, making the ozone in the air positively hum with creative energy.

That's what happened to me today.

About twice a year, we have an ATM promotion, whereby just using an ATM you could win $50. Get a winning ATM receipt (featured in a different ATM each day), you win $50. All you have to do is come to a branch and collect.

The hard part is stamping the ATM receipts, because you have to do it by hand and at certain intervals. That means you have to unwind the giant receipt roll (above), stamp the winning receipt, and roll the thing back up.

For all those ATM rolls.

Our delivery guy at work, Dick, is a pro, but it's usually an all-day job for him. That, and there's this problem:

That's right. Paper cuts. Slicing, bleeding, screaming paper cuts.

Well, Dick's gone for the month on vacation, which left the ATM roll-stamping up to me. After the first few rolls, I got pretty frustrated.

So I came up with a plan.

My original inspiration came to me in the bathroom, looking at the toilet roll. Roll. Spinning. Unwinding. It all clicked. So I thought I'd make my own ATM receipt roll dispenser.

It took me a few tries, but here's how I did it. First, place a pen on the desk (above).

Then, to weigh the pen down, I placed a blank ATM roll on top of the pen. But that wasn't heavy enough. The counter-weight of the spinning roll set the whole thing off.

So I stacked more on top of the pen (above). Four felt right.

From there it was simple - just slide the ATM roll onto the pen. The pen bent a little, but it's flexible, and I found it actually helped with flexibility and spinning ability.

The trick was to get the spinning receipt roll on the pen just right, so it didn't fall off, but was flush enough with my desk to keep it steady and rolling smoothly.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Eventually I got it just right, and I set up my workstation, opened up iTunes, and began working the afternoon away.

Needless to say, my coworkers were extremely jealous. They asked if they could help stamp ATM rolls, but I denied them - the poor saps.

"Get your own goddamn genius invention," I bellowed.

I was on a roll (pun intended). And hey, this could be the start of something beautiful. Thomas Edison got his start this way you know. Or at least through something similar, I'm sure.

There come moments in life when everything seems in focus, and edges of reality blur just a little bit.

Today held one of those moments.

I'm just glad I was there to light the dynamite.

No comments: