June 2023 – This story is going to make me sound like a complete idiot, but I’m sharing it because it’s too juicy to stay locked in the vault.

In May, we had a few small things going on in iSPARK land.There was a little thing called event production of Evening in the Maritimes, and then another little thing called launch of Spo Ho Xperience™, not to mention storyboarding for a video shoot later in the summer,and a proposal on a new project.

However, I had to find time to schedule my pool opening, because, priorities.

If you know you know.

The pool company got behind due to rain and ended up showing up at 8:30 pm on a Wednesday, the night before event load-in. So, you might say I was a little distracted. And, to be fair, it was dark.

The next morning, I didn’t have a chance to even glance at the pool in the backyard before heading out to start my 18-hr day.

So, you can imagine my surprise to wake up on a Friday morning following the successful execution of EiTM to find the pool filled with a gazillion white Styrofoam pellets. They were literally everywhere – in the pool, on the pool deck, in the garden, stuck to the side of the house, in my flowerpots. It was as if it had rained Styrofoam overnight.

I was baffled. So, I Googled it. Not much intel there.

Then it struck me. I could ask CHATGPT.

My AI friend was quick to provide several potential explanations for the Styrofoam mystery. All of them were equally scary … including the possibility of a Styrofoam disintegration taking place underground or a shoddy winterization of the pool last fall.

Each of CHATGPT’s explanations involved a resolution that included digging up the pool.

I freaked out.

I madly texted my pool company (with photos) and lots of ALL CAPS and even more exclamation marks (!!!).

I requested a prompt service call and essentially blamed them for the mishap. After a bit of back and forth with ‘Dan the Pool Guy’ over text, he left me on read at 10 pm on Friday night.

I woke upon Saturday morning determined to be the ‘fixer of all problems’ that I am known to be.

As I hopelessly scooped buckets and buckets of Styrofoam pellets out of the pool, common sense and logic started to kick in. There had to be a reasonable explanation for this.

I paused, took a deep breath to clear my thoughts, and slowly scanned the backyard.

Two minutes later I discovered a large rip in one of our beanbag-style pool floaties. The second I lifted the floatie, the pellets shifted and spilled onto the pool deck. The wind caught them and before I knew it, thousands more tiny balls of Styrofoam were floating in the pool.

My stomach dropped.

Three hours later I had most of it cleaned up and I had disposed of the evidence of the ripped floatie in a nearby dumpster.

This backyard debacle will go down in Benoit family history as one of my dumbest moments. As much as I want to blame CHATGPT for leading me astray, I have to acknowledge my own role in making a Styrofoam mountain out of a mole hill as the saying goes.

If you’ve been thinking about using Artificial Intelligence to make life easier, think again! Riley, our resident wordsmith at iSPARK wrote a blog about it in February.

My takeaway is this … as much as technology and tools like Artificial Intelligence are designed to make our lives easier, there is no replacement for the human brain.

I am signing off from The Opening Line … for the summer, but I hope your July and August are filled with one or more cool dips on these hot days.

If you’d like to join me poolside, don’t be shy to ask for an invite! I’ve got a new bean-bag pool floatie (rip-free) with your name on it.

Krista Benoit - iSPARK Consulting