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Outside The Box Anyone?

In Los Angeles, California, a luxurious high-rise apartment building was on the brink of bankruptcy. Tenant after tenant turned in notice and moved out. To owners of the building, the mass exodus made no sense. Their beautiful, well-kept apartments offered a sound bargain in a safe neighborhood. So why were people abandoning what should have been a renter’s paradise?

The building’s management company hired a problem-solving group to get to the bottom of the mystery. After interviewing residents and former residents, the problem-solving team presented its findings: People were moving out because the apartment elevators were too slow.

A team of troubleshooters flew in to solve the problem. They gathered cost and labor estimates on several options, from repairing the old elevators to putting in new ones. But every option proved too expensive. Defeated, the management company had just about decided to sell the building, when the youngest member of the team took a creative look at the problem.

The real problem, he suggested, wasn’t the elevators. The real problem was that tenants got bored waiting for the elevators. His solution?

Entertain tenants who were waiting for the elevator. Install flatmonitor computer screens that flashed the day’s top headlines, weather, sports results, and even a trivia question or two. Pipe music into the elevator waiting areas. Add tasteful yet provocative paintings and sculptures to the waiting area to stimulate interest and discussion.

His creative solution worked. The tenants, busy reading the computer monitor, soothed by relaxing music, or admiring the art, quit complaining. The exodus ceased. The building was saved. And one creative problem solver had made his mark.

I recalled this story when I was recently struggling to fix some issues with my blog. I also recalled this post of mine – Hiccups. I managed to import all my old posts here and ensure that Aweber stopped sending out old posts by the hundreds 😉

Presently I’m still working on moving old comments to past posts. I can see the comments on the Disqus panel in my blog but I don’t see them on the relevant posts. I’m working on it…. and I’m certain I’ll find a way out.

Have you recently come up with an outside the box solution to a problem – – yours or someone else’s? I would love you to share your story here.

May you be inspired – every day!


  1. Linda Lee Linda Lee March 20, 2012

    Corinne Rodrigues: Love it

  2. John Coolvart John Coolvart February 19, 2012

    That was pretty cool. I can’t say that I’m thinking outside the box… maybe sometimes, but mostly I like to lead a simplistic way of life.

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues February 19, 2012

      I think it takes a great deal of out of the box thinking to lead a simple life 😉

  3. Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues February 19, 2012

    Thank you. I’m so glad to be surrounded by creative and bold people like yourself. 

  4. Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues February 19, 2012

    Isn’t it fantastic how our minds work…Yours is very creative as I can see @RoseFineCraftGuilddotcom:disqus 

  5. Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues February 19, 2012

    I already see your blog as a  reflection of you….It’s great to know that it’s only a part of who you are! We all get stuck with ourselves sometimes, figuring it out is the best part of living I think!  

  6. Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues February 19, 2012

    I wouldn’t have associated routine with you, Andy. Perhaps you reserve your creativity for your poetry? Good luck with the stepping out…I’m sure you’re wife will egg you on 🙂

  7. J. R. Nova J. R. Nova February 18, 2012

    So the real problem was a short attention span? We must entertain the masses!

  8. Solvita Solvita February 18, 2012

    Very interesting story! Thinking outside box is something that I love to do, finding new fresh ideas is what keeps our world grow and become a better place to live… Thank you Corinne! 🙂

  9. Rose :: FineCRAFTguild Rose :: FineCRAFTguild February 18, 2012

    Love that story about the elevator !!

    Creativity is everything.

    I instantly thought of PInterest and the LA health craze…
    and saw exercise techniques and score cards with Ikea pencils on top and bottom of the stairs next to the elevators… 🙂

    Oh, our wonderful minds.

  10. jan jan February 18, 2012

    I am not sure I have ever thought along normal lines. It gets me into trouble sometimes, but Randy has taught me not to worry and to do what works for me, not what works for others. I had to think outside the box to get sober and maintain sobriety. Not that I am unique in anyway, but because I have such a natural instinct to rebel against conventions. This is a wonderful post, good luck with your blog. <3<3<3

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues February 19, 2012

      I’m so glad you have Randy by your side to allow you to be you @c088badc6252237c20be74ea779af9bb:disqus . I’m not sure what you mean by saying you are not ‘that unique’ – each of us is. It’s just that some of us conform and some of us don’t – and it’s usually those that go out on a limb that make the best of their life. Thanks for the wishes. ♥

  11. Mary Hudak-Collins Mary Hudak-Collins February 18, 2012

    Corinne, this morning seems to be an ‘inspirational post’ morning for me lol.  I wonder if the posts are trying to tell me something???  Sometimes, the obvious is not always the answer.  I am currently working my way out of the box, changing routines and changing styles.  It’s not always a comfortable move because we tend to like our comfort zone, but I know that the end result will be tremendous!  Thanks for sharing 🙂

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues February 19, 2012

      We all have those days, Mary. I’m glad this ‘spoke’ to you. I think we all need to constantly look are reworking our routines and making sure we’re not getting too comfortable. I know the end result will be fab, @google-fa6d60ae2d8167c683aa10d45de3d03f:disqus . 

  12. Sulekha Sulekha February 18, 2012

    Another interesting story, loved it Corinne. Inspiring as always…

  13. irene9583 irene9583 February 18, 2012

    I’m still currently searching for that outside the box solution to my life, Corinne. Thank you so much for this inspiring post! 🙂

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues February 19, 2012

      And you will find it, Irene. You are extremely intelligent and creative – just give yourself time. 

  14. Carl Mason-Liebenberg Carl Mason-Liebenberg February 18, 2012

    Thinking out of the box seems to be a natural thing for me in many regards…especially in the expression of my gifts…like gardening, design, cooking even writing. Sometimes I think people wonder if i even know where the box is…lol. I love pushing the limits, chalenging the norms and being creative. Now applying that to me directly is a bit different…I can get stuck there..

  15. Savira Savira February 18, 2012

    Great post.. As I read your post I find myself in that place where exodus is all I am thinking… How and what do I do to change it for me….
    Love the look of your blog

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues February 19, 2012

      I’m sure you’ll figure it all out, Savira. Wishing you love and peace. Thanks. 

  16. Andy Andy February 18, 2012

    Hello Corinne.
    I am one who likes routine and have a meltdown at the mere mention of change. Thanks to the creativity of my beautiful wife, I am learning to step outside my comfort zone…baby steps at a time (smile).
    Thanks for a thought-provoking & inspiring post. Keep them coming.

  17. Edmund Edmund February 18, 2012

    I love the elevator story and the example of creative problem solving here..especially thinking out of the box.  Funny how sometimes the answers are right in front of our face, it just requires some awareness and taking a step back.

  18. Claudia Claudia February 18, 2012

    this is a very cool and inspiring story…a toast to creativity…!

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues February 18, 2012

      Thanks, @9c97cc02f9fd74dd1525e81b32c5d846:disqus . And your creativity is something to be toasted! ♥

  19. Dawn Dawn February 18, 2012

    I always enjoy reading stories of this nature, because we all have a different and unique approach to solving any problem.  I wouldn’t automatically think people would choose to move (in large numbers) from a building because of a slow elevator, but we’re all different.  I’d probably take it as a nudge from God/Universe/Spirit that I should give thought to using the stairs and getting some cardio in each day!  I always feel happy when I visit here, partly because of that beautiful smile of yours and also because I just enjoy your approach to life in general.

    Much love to you, sweet girl!

    – Dawn

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues February 18, 2012

      I guess moving would be an option if it was a very tall building. I don’t mind climbing up stairs but climbing down kills my knees. So someone like me might have to move 😉 Thanks for visiting, Dawn. You do know how to make me feel good! ♥

  20. Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues February 17, 2012

    Haha @660cff7ac0bc06717d584a56e34bcac0:disqus  I like the idea of prizes for taking the steps too! 

  21. Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues February 17, 2012

    Fantastic mantra, @0222b9202f90703aefc992d687074d82:disqus ! Thank you.

  22. Bonnie Gayadeen Bonnie Gayadeen February 17, 2012

    I am wayyyyy outside the box…so much so it gets me into trouble at times..but my mind does not know how to stay in that small tight box…..if i must exist then I choose to be be unique…let me stay outside the box……I have faith you will figure out this whole comment thing in no time….As always…XOXOXOXO 

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues February 17, 2012

      You are so right @google-6dabf3f0adf419f364ee5fc779aed43f:disqus  – you do think differently and that’s what makes you, YOU. 
      Thanks for your faith – I need it ….Love ya 

  23. Rachel & Pokey Rachel & Pokey February 17, 2012

    This is great Corrine!  I love coming up with creative solutions.  For example, the water in my shower wasn’t warm enough in the mornings… so, now I do two minutes of dishes when I wake up (which uses enough water to kick the water heater on) then go play online for half an hour or so until the water is hot.  I’m still saving energy by not heating the water all night, I get more dishes done AND I get hot showers.  🙂

  24. G Angela G Angela February 17, 2012

    Ha ! Corinne ! I must learn to think out of my box, still in process, you are my inspiration, and I admire the way you keep exploring, your blog looks really beautiful and nice, thanks for the lovely post !

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues February 17, 2012

      Thanks, @befa2dfeef799a6c6ca6f97264045c68:disqus ….You have always moved way out of your comfort zone…and you keep doing that time and again. Thanks for the compliments on the blog. 

  25. Tameka Mullins Tameka Mullins February 17, 2012

    I’ve always tried to color outside the lines and when I’m faced with a problem or issue I can’t handle I often come up with other ways to get things done. Honestly I’m facing something right now where I thought I was thinking outside the box, but I haven’t received the results I’m looking for just yet. I won’t give up though! Thanks for this Corinne. I am on the right track. I just know it! 

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues February 17, 2012

      Thanks for sharing, Tameka. I know you’ll figure out what you have to do creatively and make a huge success of it. You are too talented and too focused not to! You are on the right track, sweetie! ♥

  26. Dr. Daisy S Dr. Daisy S February 17, 2012

    Loved your post…great story…I found a way to help more people with my site..the solution was to invite contributors with the same mission and it is working nicely..the mission continues..good luck with your project:)

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues February 17, 2012

      That’s a cool idea, @google-66c4bd6de0d379293f30d8d5d516fad3:disqus …I’ve been trying that too and it works real well.

  27. Mona Mona February 16, 2012

    Well written and fascinating story!

  28. Rimly Bezbaruah