Thursday, January 28, 2010

Boeing 747 vs. Georgia-Pacific Compact 3000

One of the great conundrums on Gilligan's Island was this: How was it that the professor could build a fully-functional communication system using nothing but coconuts, vines and bamboo, yet he couldn't patch a two-foot hole in a boat?

Well, I've got news for you.  It wasn't just the professor that had paradoxical mechanical skills.  That same type of inconsistency still exists, and it's rampant in modern society.


Let's start by taking a look at one of mankind's most magnificent creations, the Boeing 747 airliner.  The mission of the 747 is quite simple; to flawlessly transport millions of people to such glamorous destinations as Paris, Rio de Janeiro, Hong Kong, and Buffalo.  From pre-flight maintenance to safe landing, intricate systems run like clockwork on thousands of flights every day.  Engines engage, landing gear retracts, auto-pilot systems keep the jet on course, and various navigational systems operate efficiently.  All along the way any number of things can go wrong, from the most insignificant (wobbly tray table) to the catastrophic (engine bursting into flame).  But time and again, the Boeing 747 has proven to be one of the most dependable machines on Earth.

On the other hand, I present you with the Georgia-Pacific Compact 3000 toilet paper dispenser.

While the Boeing 747 requires precision on many different levels, the Georgia-Pacific Compact 3000 has but one function -- holding a roll of toilet paper in such a way that the paper can be torn off efficiently.  This isn't a complex task we're talking about here, yet the folks at Georgia-Pacific have managed to develop a product that fails to clear a bar set even that low.

Allow me to elaborate.  The men's room at my place of employment features the Compact 3000 in each of the stalls.  Just the other day I was doing my business and, when finished, I attempted to pull off the necessary amount of toilet paper.  Now, I'm a fairly big guy, and I'd eaten a decent amount of roughage during the preceding 18-24 hours.  The resulting download required, in my estimation, at least 8-10 squares of two-ply to get the job done.  I grabbed the end of the toilet paper, pulled gently, and one solitary square ripped off in my hand.

The Compact 3000 loads two rolls at a time.  Due to a severe design defect, there is not enough space between the two rolls to allow free-rotation of the engaged roll.  There's also the issue of side clearance.  At any rate, it is virtually impossible to get more than two squares on one tug, even if you're careful.  I defy anyone to execute a thorough ass-wiping with two measly squares of Charmin.

Okay, so there I was, sitting on the throne, with one slightly torn square of toilet paper in my hand.  I gave it another tug.  Rip.  One more square.  I could have continued this one-by-one process until I had enough paper for the job, but as everyone knows, ten individual squares are not nearly as effective as one ten-square strip.  It's a matter of tensile strength.  So now I had to use a two-handed approach.  The Compact 3000 is mounted on the left wall of the bathroom stall, so from my seated position I had to lift the top roll with the back of my left hand while pulling the toilet paper from the bottom roll.  It worked, but the task required much more effort than one would expect.

Ironically enough, the toilet paper dispensers on the Boeing 747 are much more efficient.  Usually, it's just one simple bar built into the front sink panel.  Simple, efficient and effective.

I'd like to suggest that the people over at Boeing diversify just a bit and use their experience to develop toilet paper dispensers that work every time.  Maybe get the landing-gear guys involved.  Install a button on the toilet, and when pressed, a roll of toilet paper extends out from the wall, right in front of you.  Tear off the needed amount, press the button again, and the toilet paper roll retracts.  Voila!  Call it something like Boeing Extension Mechanism Number Two.  For the mechanics at Boeing, it would probably be a piece of cake.

Hell, the professor probably could've made one out of banana peels.


d

Stumble Upon Toolbar submit to reddit

25 comments:

Grumpy, M.D. said...

Yeah, my hospital just installed these worthless things, too, and many staff have noted the same problem.

Jenn Thorson said...

Given airports' automatic flush toilets and automatic dispensing soap and automatic faucets-- all of which do so with a somewhat Loki-like playfulness-- I am concerned what any further evolution of the toilet paper dispenser might entail.

Moooooog35 said...

What is this thing you call, 'toilet paper?'

Eva Gallant said...

At least there was paper in the stall! It could have been worse!

Isabella said...

Ha... great idea!

I just posted something about the new Boeing Dreamliner composite aircraft so when I saw the title to your post I came right over to see it. What do you think about plastic planes? The title of my post is "Tupperware & Aerospace Partner Up?" Take a look and let me know if you'd ride in one.

Quirkyloon said...

"It's a matter of tensile strength."

You took the words right out of my hand, erm, I mean mouth.

Ha!

Big City Dad said...

Dude, SO TRUE!!! We have those crappy things at work too and they never give you enought TP! How is that possible? It's not like GP is some shitty little company that has no money to invest in research. They own forests for God's sake.

Mike said...

I was just saying yesterday how there seems to be a lot of toilet humor going around these days. Go to http://www.mikenet707.blogspot.com/ and see yesterdays post (1047). It will make you appreciate the sears catalog texture.

Leeuna said...

I think it must be that Al Gore/Sheryl Crow thing. You know, the one-or-no--more-than-three-square toilet paper rule.

IT said...

The folks who operate and maintain planes are trained to do so.
Who trains folks to dispense TP... except for my ex-father-in-law?

jdemott said...

Not to focus on minutiae and ruin your funny story... okay well, I guess that is what I am doing... but...

I wonder if your employer is using the branded toilet paper that is made to go with the dispenser. My hunch is that they are not. The proper product probably costs more than whatever they have chosen to buy that seems to fit the need. But, in fact, obviously, if my hunch is right, it does not FIT properly, and hence causes the challenges you experienced.

I could be wrong, but I bet if you were able to get to the bottom of this, you might find they're substituting the brands to save cost, and they're leaving you to deal with the consequences.

"Mr. Knucklehead" said...

@jdemott: You said "get to the bottom of this." Heh heh heh.

Suldog said...

Bravo! We have the same damned dispensers in the lavatories where I work. They suck.

Excuse me. They SUCK!!!

You're right. It's not too much to expect that somebody could engineer a toilet paper dispenser to be efficient. Amazing.

MikeWJ at Too Many Mornings said...

"Now, I'm a fairly big guy, and I'd eaten a decent amount of roughage during the preceding 18-24 hours. The resulting download required, in my estimation, at least 8-10 squares of two-ply to get the job done."

Knucklehead, this falls into the category of too much information. I'm going to book a flight on the next 747 and get as far away from here as possible. ;)

kaloo said...

You are a true champion of rambling about stupid good sir. I very much approve. You know there is the much worse design that PURPOSELY limits you to one square per pull. Oh jeeze. Those ones are awful.

screwdestiny said...

I hate the ones that just have the giant, one-ply rolls, with no separation for squares. So you just have to pull out the length that you need, and then do some quick pulling, ripping motion to detach it from the mega-roll. I guess that's better than one square at a time though.

Me-Me King said...

Why don't they make these units for the home? Or the dispensers that hold that giant roll? You won't find them at Home Depot or at Ace. By not having to change rolls all the time, this would make my life so much easier.

nonamedufus said...

I don't get why they make 2 different types of toilet paper for the office and the home. That's all. It' not like we have 2 different asses. Oh and K? You need to cut down on your roughage, dude.

Anonymous said...

I think they do that on purpose to save toilet paper.

Juliana said...

Mmmm that is exactly what I was thinking of was miss hot Crow and her comments about one sheet. My 2O month old uses more than one sheet. Well, maybe he is the reason they invented this pos...he takes the whole darn roll off.

Anyhooo--I am a new follower. Really enjoying your blog!

otin said...

I hate when that happens! Be thankful that you don't have to use a porta potty!

Chrissy said...

How funny! I think they have the same model installed in the bathrooms where I work. You can imagine how frustrating that is for us women who need to wrap out whole hand three or four times.

Waltsense.com said...

Knuckles - this is brilliant.

Anyway - I work in a new building that is Platinum gold plated LEED certified, blah blah. It cost over 100 million dollars (only 3 floors) and it looks awesome.
Nobody on the onside of the building can work because of the glare, you can't place your hands in the faucet unless your a midget, and the tiolets have two flush options (big or little poop). But the WORST thing about going green, its the TP. The TP roller only allows you 1.5 PER ROLL. It takes you 10 spins to get enough for one wipe. Needless to say, I dont poop much at work and I cut back on the company chill

- KD from Waltsense

Jason, as himself said...

Good point! And so true. At my place of word we have the kind that is prefolded and one just pulls out a piece at a time. Or so you'd think. Usually it gets all jammed and either you pull out like 25 sheets at once, or nothing.

GRRRRRRRRRR!

Anonymous said...

Their dispensers are not ADA compliant. It takes 2 hands to use them. You should see their 6 roll version. It's like scratching bark off a tree.

Related Posts with Thumbnails