This is a story about genius. It is bragging. There is one slight problem, it highlights the fact that it is not ALWAYS me that is the genius. The bragging is about the genius of another and maybe that our company allows for this. It is not just gardens that bloom. In fact it is odd that it is ok to mention the beauty of a garden but we have no way to respond to wonderful things about others.

To begin. In our business we get many many “one up jobs”. Changing a flag, which is what this story is about, is an example. How many times will each employee change one? How familiar can they be with the job? Remembering the size of the flag, the supplier and the quality all are important. When changing the flag it helps when any problem like a frayed rope or broken toggle is repaired or noted. Each task like this is technically easy but they are rife with problems.

The flag in question gets changed twice a year. It should not be changed in the winter because the chain to lower the flag gets frozen. When this happens the flag cannot be reached as it dangles fifteen feet above the ground. Knowing this I wisely ordered it to be changed in early November. Well we got busy with some fall clean ups and some small general contracting jobs so it did not get picked up until late November or early December. When finally first scheduled it was not in the truck that was sent.

Two workers sent were resent. Two failed. I can excuse myself from being one of those that did not resolve the issue this year but I will be honest in the end; I promise. Here then is the first hint of genius. First, we remembered the small job in the first place. Second, we not only tried but we kinda kept trying and talking about the options. There is also remember a genius to recognizing failure. In the end the latter positive points came up with a really simple solution. It is embarrassing really how simple. I am jealous.

The solution? Tie a rope onto the chain. Cut the chain that is frozen off and continue lowering the flag with the rope. Change the flag and then raise it again. The chain is reattached with a link and viola all is good. (the chain in question is plastic)

Back briefly to the honest bit. I did encounter this problem when the flag was in far worse shape. It had to be changed. It was the first time, way way back when both the business and I were adolescents. My solution. I ordered a “Cherry Picker”. To justify myself more, the flag was 25′ of ground and it had a damaged toggle….the latter solution would still have solved it.


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