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Saturday, March 6, 2010

ISO 9000 Manager, Call the Front Desk!

When I shared this picture of our new balcony shades, I mentioned that I hadn't installed them all yet.

Since I've been retired for over seven years now, I don't know if "Quality", "ISO 9000", "Six Sigma" and "Demming Prize" still carry the same weight in corporate management as they did in the early '80s, late '90s.

Let's just say that the Quality trend hasn't made much impact yet here in Egypt. Here are the mounting brackets that came with the shades.

I didn't ask to have them mounted by the store. I've seen too many local craftsmen at work. Mounting something on concrete or brick here usually means pounding a drywall screw into the surface and giving it a couple of twists with a screwdriver.

I checked the hardware section at Carrefour and found these plastic screw anchors. Not the lead ones I would buy at home for concrete but better than nothing. When I find something here that I might be able to use, I buy it immediately. It may not be available tomorrow. Naturally, the anchors came with screws.

An unusual choice of screw style for the application, but everything is different here. I made a trip to Dary department store on Pyramids Road, the best spot I've found for hardware. These German screws wouldn't be my first choice either but worked out well for both diameter and length.

That probably leaves you wondering about the holes? Well I've acquired a few tools here. An American just can't get by without his tools. Clint Eastwood, as the character Walt Kowalski, in Gran Torino put it this way:
Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone.
My tool box includes two of those, but here's the whole shoebox, laid out on the table.

That electric drill and the two carbide bits puts me way beyond the capability of most local handymen. The shades operate very nicely, by the way.

And that really ugly screw?

I didn't use it at all after photographing it. But I did slip it into my shirt pocket and that's how I ended up setting off the metal detector at the library in Alexandria.

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