These things have bothered me for a while now. Let me try to recreate the mental environment of the engineer who designed this new wave of stubborn paper towel dispensers:
"Yeah... this isn't going to work. It jams every time you pull the paper towel with just one hand."
"Frick, I've been working for months on this design."
"Come on.. Think! THINK ROY! You can pull this one together. You are NOT scrapping this design. You've got to recover from the humiliation you received when they shot down your biometric-eye-scanning-security towel dispenser. I don't even think they KNOW how much illegal aliens cost us a year through unauthorized use of our paper towels. Whatever... Come on think..."
"Ok ok. No we can do this. The consumer will just have to use both hands to pull the paper towel dispenser. Yes. That's it. Only then can this delicately poor design I've created keep its equilibrium and continue dispensing paper towels."
"How are we going to accomplish this? We could.... make the paper towels so heavy that it is impossible for the average person to handle UNLESS they used both hands? No.. Crap idea. You know what, it's late, you gotta get home. Just plan putting some stupid label on the front."
"No... That isn't good enough. People NEVER read labels. You need something in addition. Hmm... Oh oh, I got it! This isn't anything a little operant conditioning can't solve. I will PUNISH those who fail to use both hands. Now how will I do that... Alright, how bout this? It will have a sensor.. and deliver an electrical shock to them whenever they use only one hand. No.. Another crap idea. Too risky. Too expensive. Oh okay, how about this? I'll just put this ridiculous turny thing on the side as a manual override. It's kind of a knob, but not simple like a knob. I'll make it all complex with little ridges and swooping plastic things that only go one way and don't fit your finger. That way the consumer will have to stare at it for a good few seconds and relearn every time they're in the bathroom how to use it to get a towel if they pulled the first one with just one hand. That'll teach them to screw with my towel dispenser!"
"Yeah.. Yeah. I think that'll work. Yeah, you just need to get home. It's late, but at least you've got got the problem solved. Well... at least its not your problem anymore. Hah! Suckers that use bathrooms in public places! They will rue the day they shot down my biometric dispenser. RUE!"
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Posted by Gabe at 12:48 PM