No. 4 – 13 May 2015: Innovation in the wrong direction

This afternoon as I walked to classroom, the door to the room did not have a doorknob. The lack of a knob had already been there a week ago and I was wondering how long would it take to get it fixed. I was not optimistic. Considering that it took nearly a decade just to remove the flea-bitten “Out of Order” sign from one of the urinals in the men’s room, it did not look like the doorknob would be fixed any time soon. A funny thing, however, occurred. Now inside the room, as I was walking out I noticed some masking tape around the doorpost. There were several pieces of tape to cover the groove where the door would lock. In effect, the tape had done away with a door knob – there was no need to turn the knob since the door would not lock in place.

This is the quintessential Filipino “solution” I noticed in government – a provisional solution to a problem is later turned into a permanent one. It first becomes marketed as innovation but in reality it really is innovation in the wrong direction. See: the OFW situation. Likewise, the solution to a broken doorknob is to replace the knob, not to do away with the need for a doorknob. What then will happen to the door? Is there any value to having a door that locks in place? Sure, those questions probably did not pop up during the brainstorming. It really is pathetic, but it says quite a great deal.

I still wonder why there still is a cardboard box top in one of the urinals “Out of Order.” I wonder what are the efforts actually being undertaken to get that damned urinal fixed. I wonder what is the administration doing with the cheating incident that everyone knows but no one hears about. I wonder about a lot of things in this college.

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