In Search of the Lean Six Life

Smarter, not harder. Preferrably A LOT smarter.


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Technology FAIL

If I haven’t mentioned before, the Lean Six Sigma waste I despise the most is “operator idle time.” Translated: I hate being bored, twiddling my thumbs waiting for something to happen, or otherwise killing time. This means I endeavour to fill my “free” time with value-add tasks – not all of which are, in the end, but that’s another post.
Today’s post is about my latest attempt to make my commute less “idle” (within the boundaries of safe driving of course).  Rather than listening to the same tunes over and over, I’m trying podcasts.  Making my commute more productive AND making up for how rarely I read. (Too much going on to sit still!)
Technology, however, is conspiring against me.
My car has integrated Bluetooth, and my phone has a “car mode” which enables voice commands when it connects to the car’s Bluetooth. Brilliant! Hands-free operation. Love it!
Except every couple of sentences, my podcaster will say something my phone thinks is a voice command! Then I’m fighting to counteract the command; get the podcast started again; get back to where podcast was interrupted; and by the time everything is right again, another sentence or phrase goes by that the phone interprets as instructions.
This is how distracted driving happens despite all our technological advances!
I’m not turning off the Bluetooth altogether in case I need to place or receive a call. My choices are to give up on the fancy voice-operated car mode on my phone, or stop listening to podcasts. OR: go back to my plain old boring mp3 player, with no fancy features, voice control, or Bluetooth. Old school technology for the win!

UPDATE: I couldn’t bring myself to use the old mp3 player…not without a few more tricks first. I tried an audio cable in the headphone jack, and while that worked accidental-voice-command-free, the sound quality was abysmal. What finally did the trick was simply using a different app – besides the car mode voice control music player – to listen to the podcast over Bluetooth. Which serves as a reminder to always keep looking for a better way.

(“Better” being however you define it, of course!)