Skylights in our warehouse ceiling allow us to work most days in the spring and summer without wasting energy on lighting; it’s good for the environment, and it’s an overhead expense that we minimize, passing the savings onto our customers. But for those rainy days and for those winter evenings, we have to turn the lights on.
These lights are similar to the orange street light that might be lighting your neighborhood street. They’re high power light bulbs that aren’t exactly the kind that you can run out to Home Depot and buy when they start burning out.
When a few of ours started to go, we were, however, lucky enough to find a local supplier in the Ashland area. With nice, shiny new light bulbs in hand, we were ready to re-illuminate the dark corners of our warehouse. But there was just one problem:
Our warehouse ceilings are 17 feet high. And our tallest ladder is 12 feet high.
This isn’t something they covered in business school.
We briefly put our heads together and came up with a few Rube Goldberg-inspired schemes. One was to push two shelves together and precariously balance the ladder on top. Another way to screw multiple broomsticks and a long arm grabber together to create a 15-foot claw that would have made Wile E. Coyote proud. And yet another way to climb up the office, hop over to a support beam and then hang from the warehouse rafters as if playing in a very high, very lethal jungle gym.
Luckily, we came to our senses. The solution was to have an inexperienced employee drive a complicated piece of rented heavy machinery:
While we envisioned the machine running amok and tearing down shelves left and right in the warehouse, in the end, the scissor lift did the job. In fact, I think our boss had a little too much fun playing with it.
So, how many Skiviez employees does it take to change a light bulb, then? Pretty much all of them, apparently. Talk about a team effort!