25 May

Did you catch his face, was it 10538?

Usually, people in technology seek overly complex solutions to simple problems. Bob Lewis recounted how he once sat in a restaurant that offered a “bottomless bowl” of soup. (I cannot recall all of the particulars, so I’ll fill in the gaps with the power of imagination–you’ll get the gist.)

He wondered how they keep the bottomless bowl customers separate from the non-bottomless ones. And in his head, he constructed something like an entire RFID infrastructure that would provide tracking and alerting based upon tokens…or maybe a mag-stripe cards that could be swiped at the counter…

Turns out, he said, that the bottomless bowls had a blue stripe and the rest were just plain.

Edit: Mr. Lewis replied to an email with:

enough – glad the column stuck with you. If you’re interested (or want to
provide the link), here’s the original: http://www.issurvivor.com/ArticlesDetail.asp?ID=349

And in that vein, Mr. Mike Cummings has developed one of the most useful technological excesses of which I know…the Where’s Lunch spreadsheet. Since it’s adoption into our “Tech Talk Thursdays” framework, we no longer spend all morning in emails trying to decide where everyone would like to eat lunch.

The Magic Spreadsheet tells all!

Just edit the restaurant list to suit your local proclivities. There is logic built in to prevent repeats for within four executions, however, if you are facile with VBA, this can easily be adjusted. Oh, and obviously, your Excel security settings come into play–read the code if you’re concerned. I offer no warranty or support in any way, shape, or form–use at your own risk.

Once again, technology is an enabler. Now our office is much more efficient–we spend all morning in emails complaining about the choice rather than attempting to make it.