Lucky People Admit The Dumbest Things They Did That Actually Solved A Problem
One of the most stressful, yet helpful, things in life is a shot in the dark.
Everyone loves a Hail Mary success story. The idea of that total blind shot "I can't believe that actually worked" moment is the stuff of legend. Sometimes, it's the stuff of real life, too.
Reddit user Sh0tgunLlama asked:
1. The Doctor's Office Scheduling Dance
I went to cancel a doctor's appointment and they said it was a $200 charge without a week's notice. I asked how much it was to reschedule, they said it was free.
"Okay, so I need to reschedule for two weeks out."
"Is three weeks okay?"
"Alright, you're all set for three weeks from now. Anything else I can do for you?"
"Yes, I need to cancel my appointment."
"We need a week's notice."
"My appointment is three weeks away."
"Oh. Okay. Sure."
Couldn't believe it worked.
2. That'll Do.
My stepdad was taking a sat nav back to the shop as it was acting strange but the bloke serving him refused to take it as the warranty only covers physical damage (not accidental damage) So he just drop kicked it lightly and the bloke just casually said "that'll do sir" and went out back to get a replacement. Wasn't to sure what to think about that
3. There's An App For That
My folks were in town, and my wife and I wanted to take them to dinner.
We head to a nearby mediocre steakhouse at the request of my parents, and it's around 6:00pm.
The hostesses tell us there's a minimum 45 minute wait. I get suspicious, as their parking lot had barely any cars, so I peek around into their dining area. There are several open tables that would fit a party of 4. Mildly annoyed, I ask the hostesses why we can't be seated at any of these tables. They reply that they're being held for future reservations.
I get on my smartphone, open the OpenTable app, make a reservation for 6:15pm for a party of 4, and we're seated immediately
4. Long Distance Server Service
This was before high speed internet. We had to transfer a database between two cities 500Km appart and we had only one night to do it. People started searching how to compress the files and rent several expensive digital lines (I think ISDN) to spread the copy.
Then someone said "why don't we remove the hard drive out of the server and move it there by car?" So I drove 500Km during the night to deliver the disk and mount the new database.
5. Like A Moth To A Flame... Or A Cat To A Laser Pointer
I was working as a paramedic at a music festival when we got called to a kid tripping? on acid. The guy had climbed to the top of a portable generator stadium light. So he's 20 feet in the air, on a light pole staring into this blazing midnight sun screaming ,"I'm a moth go into the flame". We had several cops, firefighters and myself standing at the base for 30 minutes discussing how to get him down without killing him or us. The entire time a crowd of people on drugs is surrounding us to see how it all plays out. Do we get a ladder truck and try to coax him down? What if he won't go. Do we spay mace up there? What if he falls? All of a sudden this greasy looking janitor walks up, turns off power to the generator, turns on his flashlight? and aims it at the mothman. Dude looks at the flashlight on the ground, scambles down and follows it to the medical rent like a puppy about to get a snack. I'm embarrassed embarrassed that none of us thought about that.
6. Concerned Citizens Have The Power
I called about a pothole at the entrance of my store. They said since it was in my entrance, I'd have to pay for it.
I called back as a "concerned citizen" and it'll be fixed in 72 hrs.
7. The Bus Is Always Late For Some Reason
There was a nursing home in Germany and the patients with dementia kept wandering off.
They installed a fake bus stop in front of the nursing home so when dementaion patients got out of the building, they would go sit at the fake bus stop and wait for the (non-existent) bus. The bus stop was clearly visible from the main offices, so whenever staff saw someone out there, they would just go and retrieve them.
Solved the problem completely.
8. Here, Kitty Kitty
Our family cat hated our family dog. Rubbed the dog all over with fresh catnip. New best friends.
9. No Legs? No Problem.
Back when I was in 6th form at school, we had new sofas in the common room (a room where our year could hang out and relax/work/listen to music on our time off). They had been there only a couple of days before one of the legs snapped off one of the sofas.
Now we could have attempted to fix it, or just left it missing a leg but there were often checks and cleaners moving furniture would have noticed it was broken and we would have got in trouble for "not respecting school property".
So we did the only sensible thing, which was break all the legs off the sofa, and then all the sofas in the room so they were all at the same height. We stashed the legs in the ceiling, and nobody knew a thing.
10. Put A Cork...Um... Over It?
A few years ago I worked at a US Airways contract where a lot of the baggage handlers were guys fresh out of high school. Picture in your mind the assortment of rapscallions and buffoons you hung out with at that age. Now put that rambunctious crew in charge of a bunch of airplanes. Those are the characters in this story.
One day two of them were playfully wrestling each other in the break room. It quickly came to an end when one guy got slammed into the wall and left a huge, human sized dent in the drywall.
It was a weekend, so management wasn't around. Which meant they had to hide the damage in order to escape punishment.
The wall they dented had a rather large, old cork board on it. This cork board was probably five feet tall and eight feet long, and had clearly been affixed to the wall for years. They decided to move the cork board to cover the hole.
Now, if you saw the set up of the room, you'd know this was the dumbest solution you could dream up. The cork board was centered on the wall, with a few feet of blank wall space on both the left and right sides. But the dent was all the way to the right of the wall, in the empty wall space between the cork board and the main entrance. To move the cork board to cover the hole, they had to shift it down and to the right a few feet. Not inches; feet. The repositioned cork board almost covered the light switch, and exposed a giant, white imprint of where the cork board used to be. If Stevie Wonder walked into that room he'd say, "Someone has clearly moved that cork board."
Monday comes and goes, and no one in charge notices that the cork board had been moved. We were second shift, so we assumed when we showed up there would be lots of questions. But there were none. It was business as usual.
It wasn't until a few weeks later that management noticed, but at that point they had no way of telling when it happened. They couldn't tell if first shift did it, or second. If it had happened on a Sunday or a Wednesday, in May or June. They asked around a lot and I think they even had a general idea of who was probably involved. We all really hated the manager, so it was pretty satisfying to see him come up with nothing when his boss told him to solve the Mystery of the Human Sized Hole.
11. The Grandma Whisperer
Nurses here will recognize this one. Once I was dealing with an extremely agitated and fearful Alzheimer's patient who had been "sundowning" since 3pm (sundowning is an occurrence in some Alzheimer's patients where their mental function gets worse and worse as the day goes on/once it starts to get dark). Anywho, this sweet old lady was having an absolute fit. All through my shift (night shift yay) I was running in and out of her room. The bed alarm kept going off, she was so confused, afraid... I desperately wanted her to go to sleep. Mind you I had 7 other patients! I finally walk her out to the nurses station and plop her down in a seat next to me while I do my charting. She is yelling at me and throwing things. I've had it at this point and I'm running out of ideas. I finally look at her and say, "how will I ever finish with the wash? My husband will be so mad when he gets home! Would you help me finish??"... she looks me right in the eye, clear as day, and says "dammit sister don't you ever learn? Give me that laundry!"... haha so I grab a stack of folded towels and mess them up real quick and plop them in front of her. She folded all of them. I would say oh look at that! She turned around and I would mess the towels up again. This went on a few times until this sweet lady just passed out, exhausted from being so worked up earlier (and maybe from all the towel folding). I slowly push her in the desk chair down the hall and gently get her back into bed. She started to wake up and I leaned down and whispered, "all the wash is done. You have nothing else to worry about!" She slept throughout the night. We were both happy. I am the grandma whisperer.
12. Is That What Kickstarting Really Means?
So this isn't quite my story but a friends instead. My buddy was is in the Air Force and was in Fuels at a Joint Base. He happened to be working with a group of marines trying to refuel/working on an aircraft when the something on the plane just stopped working. He goes to call over for someone when 3 marines just start kicking it starting slowly and then more and more as if it owed these marines money. After a few minutes of these kicking a multi-million dollar aircraft, one of the marines calls up to his superior and relays that the plane's not working. The first thing the supervisor says "did you try kicking it?" After confirming that these Jarheads did kick the multimillion dollar aircraft, the super visor was not pleased and came down to take look himself. The supervisor takes one look and just starts kicking the shit out of the plane as if it didn't pay the first 3 marines enough money. The other marines then start kicking it with the supervisor. Just when my buddy thought maybe I should call my supervisor, all 4 marines simultaneously land a kick at the same time and the plane roars back to life. The supervisor then gives a lesson in kicking and returns to his office.
13. Right On Target
Dudes pissing absolutely everywhere in the bathroom where I once worked. So the janitor put a little red sticker in each toilet and suddenly the problem stopped. Apparently men will aim at a target 100% of the time, if a target is presented.
I read this somewhere so I'm not sure if it's true but:
An airport was having complaints that luggage was taking too long to get to baggage claim. The airports solution was to move baggage claim even farther away from the gates. The complaints stopped because a lot of the time spent waiting was now spent just walking there. The actual time it took to get your luggage wasn't any faster
15. MacGyver Would Approve
My first vehicle was a 1985 dodge ram that had around 300k miles on it. Needless to say, it wasn't exactly reliable.
Anyway, my friend and I had tickets to go see a concert in a city that was about 3 hours away. We made it there just fine and had a blast at the concert. We couldn't afford to stay overnight so we started on the long journey home. If all went well, we would get home around 3AM.
There was one stretch of highway where there was 60 ish miles between towns. It's pretty much the worst place to break down on that journey. There were big signs warning travelers to fill up with gas before leaving town, but I had half a tank. My truck sputtered out and died almost halfway between the two towns. It sure sounded like I ran out of gas but the gauge still showed half a tank. All had not gone well.
So there we were - 1:45 AM, stuck on the side of the highway in Texas, 30 miles from the nearest towns, no moonlight, and this was before teenagers had cell phones. We were screwed. After a bit of poking around with a flashlight, we discovered that we did have fuel but the fuel pump had died. We decided to sleep in the truck and mess with it in the morning.
On those old dodge trucks, the fuel pump was inside the engine instead of in the fuel tank like a modern vehicle. It was powered by the engine instead of an electric motor. Essentially, the fuel pump would constantly pump gasoline when the engine was running and gas would always be available for the carburetor float valve. The extra pumped gas would just go back into the gas tank.
I was just drifting off to sleep when I got an idea. I worked for almost an hour in the pitch dark. I used some extra hose from an agricultural fertilizer, a drink straw, screw clamps, and duck tape to rig the windshield fluid pump to pump fuel from the fuel line into the carburetor float line.
I got in my truck, hit the windshield fluid lever, and the truck started right up. It took a bit of trial and error but I was able to get the timing down where I knew how often to hit the lever to keep the truck running.
We made it back home just after 4:30AM. My dad wasn't immediately amused with my handy work, but he told all of his friends how clever his son was so I guess it passed the dad test.
16. Mice On Parachutes
I'm really late to this, but, in my ecology class we learned about how there's a snake problem in Guam. Particularly, brown tree snakes.
The solution? Dropping dead mice laced with Tylenol attached to tiny streamer cardboard parachutes. Tylenol is poisonous to the snakes and the streamers attract their attention.
It worked. The snakes ate the mice and it mitigated the snake problem that was affecting the native bird species.
I was tested on this in my final exam.
17. Toothpicks Fix Everything
Bought a "not chargeable" iPhone 5s from a second hand store for bargain. Used a toothpick to clean the contact. Phone is chargeable now and works perfectly.
18. Snacks To The Rescue
Used the wax from a Babybel cheese round to secure the license plate tucked in the back window. It was a rental and we didn't want to scratch anything up by putting the plate on, but the racket was driving me crazy. Two chunks of wax on the corners and I could sleep on the road trip.
I also used it on my screen door in the same way because the weather stripping was worn out and my landlord was a cheap ass. Stopped the rattling.
19. Stupid Dress Code Rules Require Stupid Fixes
Swedish male train workers wore skirts to beat the heat because the company's dress code prohibited shorts. This made it into the news and the company changed its dress code to allow shorts.
20. This Once In A Lifetime Miracle
I couldn't connect to the Wi-Fi. My Wi-Fi adapter wasn't working right and wouldn't connect to anything. So I right clicked on the adapter in the control panel, clicked diagnose and Windows fixed it automatically. Only time I have seen it work.
When you're a kid most adults will tell you one thing or another is "cool" and "fun." Odds are you're too young to form any kind of opinion on the matter one way or another. You're a kid, right? You don't know what you're eating for breakfast. However, when you get older and form that larger worldview, you realize that yeah, maybe that one time when you were a kid actually wasn't fun.
These are those stories.