Thursday, October 18, 2018

Stub 7.3: Play ball or get the bat...

Professor Deborah Yee was universally regarded as the very best professor in the science of thermodynamics in the territories now controlled by Sedelia. There was not even a close second. All metrics were in agreement. Whether it was US News and World Reports ratings, or number of peer reviewed papers published, numbers of citations or selectivity of grad students accepted; Professor Yee was without peer.

As such, Professor Yee was the first candidate interviewed by Raymond and Dirty Dan.

The chemistry was wrong from the very first second. Professor Yee radiated resentment at having to interview for the position even as she walked into the room.

Raymond cut right to the chase. "Sedelia finds itself in the position of being cut off from essential, industrial commodities. As such, Sedelia needs to find work-arounds. One of those essential, industrial commodities are the halogenated silanes produced by Cali. We are looking for a professional Engineer to perform failure analysis and risk mitigation in the migration to butane, iso-butane and propane as refrigerants."

Raymond had been practicing the spiel.

Professor Yee was tall for an Chinese woman and extraordinarily fussy when out in public.

She rearranged her notes three times before addressing Raymond.

"Mr Rojas. Migration from halogenated silanes to any other class of refrigerants is an absolute impossibility. Halogenated silanes offer unparalleled environmental safety and non-toxicity." Professor Yee announced.

Professor Yee had always found it advantageous to negotiate from a position of solidity.

"Is that your final answer?" RAymond asked.

"Well, of course." Professor Yee declared. "I would not have said it if it wasn't a fact."

"You are dismissed." Raymond said with a casual wave of his hand. "Leave by that door." he said, pointing to a door on the opposite side of the room from the one she had entered by.

"What?" Professor Yee exclaimed.

"You failed the job interview. You were found inadequate. It is time for you to leave so we can interview the next candidate." Raymond said with complete calm and unflappability.

"What?" Professor Yee squawked again.

Raymond sighed a heavy, theatrical sigh and shook his head ponderously from side-to-side. "I assume that you have had some training in math. If you have, then you should realize that the solution changes when the boundary conditions change. The fact that you proved completely incapable of recognizing the facts right in front of your face proves that you lack sufficient mental flexibility, capability if you prefer, to be useful."

Outrage competed for disbelief on Professor Yee's face.

Raymond pointed to the door. "Don't make me call security."

"But how will I get back to my office?" Yee screeched.

"The buses run every twenty minutes. I am sure one will come along shortly." Raymond assured her.

After she had left, Dirty Dan asked "Aren't you worried she will slag you as soon as she gets back to her office?"

Raymond smiled a beatific smile. "I talked Mr Dilip Bhalsad into having buses with non-functioning A/C put into service for the sole purpose of driving by the bus stop outside our building."

"Mr Bhalsad then suggested that we fill the bus with street people who have not bathed in the past two weeks." Raymond said. "The bus drivers have been instructed to take at least two hours to get each professor back to their campus."

"Damn!" Dirty Dan said. "That should really get them steamed. But what is to stop them from trashing you after they get back to their offices?" he asked.

"Oh. I forgot to add. Dilip called their deans and implied that the college's A/C would stop functioning, permanently, if they let their star professors spout off 'irresponsibly'." Raymond added.

"They either play ball or get the bat...well, you know how that ends." Raymond said.

Next Installment

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