Who says conference shwag doesn’t come in handy?

From Theresa:

User Experience professionals are problem solves. Today I solved a problem.

The building I’m in is a “heritage building” meaning that you can’t make upgrades to it without city approval. The toilet is broken and breaks about 4 times a year because it’s a residential grade toilet, not commercial grade. Plus, parts for it aren’t being made anymore, so the handyman can’t fix it. Right now, the situation in one of the washrooms is that the handle on the toilet is broken but also the piece of plastic on the inside of the toilet that connects the handle to the thing that pulls up to empty the tank is broken. Plus the lid doesn’t fit properly so the water from the refiller thing sprays all over the toilet seat.

Today I took the name tag string thing – the thing that goes around your neck – off of my IA Summit badge, attached it to the thing inside the toilet that is broken, and draped it over the outside of the toilet tank. I propped the lid delicately on the tank so the water doesn’t spray so much. We’ll see how long it holds.

This is a clear example of taking something from the IA Summit and putting it to use.

Update: 12:27pm Pacific time:

We have to take pictures to further prop up our case as to why the toilet should be fixed and should take precedence over other problems.

We took pictures – can you find the conference shwag?

Update: 2:33 pacific time:

Holy crap there’s a duck in the toilet!

11 responses to “Who says conference shwag doesn’t come in handy?

  1. Update: someone has taken the lid off. Water is going on to the toilet seat. I’m thinking of rigging up something with duct tape and plastic sheeting…

  2. katiewornson

    Now all you need is the rubber ducky.

  3. There is now a mop in the bathroom cuz so much water is on the floor. Apparently the building manager has called the tether that i put in there “very third world, no offense to the third world.”

  4. This is awesome. There’s water all over the floor now, to the door, which is about 7′ away from the toilet. 7′ translates as 2.1meters, I believe.

    As a soon-to-be-canadian, it is my duty to act as an ambassador of measurement between england and the U.S. of A.

  5. I can still do imperial measurements! Nice use of the lanyard (weird name huh?)

  6. stevetompkins

    I bet people lay some FatDUX in there…

  7. As CEO of the FatDUX Group, I have to say that I am DELIGHTED that our lanyards are being used in such a creative and useful fashion. As designers of valuable user experiences, we are always on the lookout for innovative ways to improve man-machine interfaces.

  8. An enterprising IA is expert in the repurposing of content!

  9. Glad to hear it Eric. I thought that perhaps you would be offended by me using FatDUX schwag to help people drop their children off at the pool.

    To end the story, the toilet was fixed, the repair man leaving the lanyard on the floor of the bathroom. It was soaked so I left it there and it remained there for a day. The cleaning person most likely picked it up and send it to the garbage gods.

  10. If you want a new one, let me know đŸ™‚

    Last week, I spoke at Reboot in Copenhagen. I was in good company, with Howard Rheingold, David Weinberger, and Tor Nørretrander among many others lumiaries.

    Our message? Share your shit.

    “Dropping children off at the pool” is a wonderfully creative variation.

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