Archive for executive

Executive Floor Executive

Posted in Lucerne Village with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 21, 2012 by javedbabar

Bobby couldn’t believe it. He had applied for a job at the Lucerne Valley Hotel and got it, and not only that, it was a job on the Executive Floor. Was it a mistake? Had two people with the same name applied, and they’d mixed up their applications?

A resident of the halfway house getting a good job was not a regular occurrence. At any given time, no more than six of the thirty-six people living there were working, mostly in short-term menial jobs. As far as he knew, no one from the house had ever worked at the Lucerne Valley Hotel. It was run by the fearsome Mr Kazantazkis who was said to be a fascist, believing in survival of the fittest.

Bobby’s letter confirmed his position as Executive Floor Executive. He would earn twenty-five thousand dollars plus tips, which he’d heard could exceed the basic salary, so this was a fifty grand job! He’d earned this kind of money before, but that was a long time ago when he was a different person in a different world, before the curse of drugs, but he was clean now. Why shouldn’t he make a fresh start?

Bobby wasn’t sure whether to tell his housemates. He didn’t want to seem like a show-off, but he couldn’t help mentioning it.

“What?” said Shama. “When was that job available? I didn’t see it advertised.”

“It wasn’t advertised,” said Bobby. “I sent them a letter mentioning my background, and the troubles I’d had, and how I had overcome them. I told them I would love to work again at a meaningful job, something I could take pride in, that would help to develop good daily habits.”

“What’s the job exactly? Executive Floor Executive. Is it a fancy word for cleaner? Will we see you leave the house wearing a frilly apron, carrying a feather duster, and bending over for businessmen to tickle your…”

“Don’t be stupid!” said a girl entering the kitchen. No one knew what her name was. “He’s got a good job. We should celebrate. Hang on.” She went to her room and returned with a bottle of cheap vodka. She poured them each a measure.

They downed them in sequence, the girl saying “Executive,” Shama saying “Floor,” and Bobby saying “Executive!” They laughed together and did it again, this time with the girl saying, “Floor”, and then finally, Bobby. Spirits were high at the halfway house.

Bobby’s first week went well. There was some cleaning involved, but the job mainly involved concierge and security duties. He got great tips, and the pile of cash under his mattress grew rapidly. He was so busy at work that he wouldn’t have had time to go to the bank, even if he’d had a bank account. The pile became huge.

One night he awoke, inspired. He counted out his cash: there was $7,200. He divided the money into thirty-six lots and walked around the house, putting $200 beneath everyone’s mattress. People were sick or drunk, and none awoke. It was enough for a month’s basic groceries.

He could use this money to get out of here himself, or he could use it to make everyone’s lives a little better. He had an additional role here: Forgotten Floor Executive.

Executive Functions

Posted in Lucerne Village, Unknown with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 3, 2012 by javedbabar

Dr Bungawalla was waiting already when Sami opened the Transfer Station. Why was he so early? What was the hurry?

Lucerne’s veteran doctor drove to the trash area first, disposed of a few bags, on to the recycling bins, ceremonially depositing paper, card, metal, glass, and cartons in appropriate receptacles, and then came over to the new 3D Unit, called 3DU.

“Hello Sami, how are you? Good, good. I didn’t know you were running the Transfer Station.”

“Well, only for today. I am officially in charge of 3DU, but the other guy is attending a family funeral, so I am managing waste and recycling operations too. It’s mostly automated, pretty straightforward. Anyway, Doctor, what can I do for you?”

Dr Bungawalla shifted and smiled. This motion had put his patients at ease for forty years. He had discovered that moving his head from side to side whilst holding a fixed grin amused infant patients, and then he tried it with adult patients. Now it provided a gentle reassurance to all.

“I wanted to develop a project with AMP Co., something of great personal interest. Alfred said The Authority has declared his lab a National Strategic Asset, and nationalized his business. He told me to come here instead; he said you would help me.”

Sami had visited the Doctor’s office a couple of times this year but never got past the fearsome receptionist, who had given him practical advice and sent him home. It was great to finally meet Dr Bungawalla. What a sweet man. Why are the nicest people always surrounded by the fiercest? Maybe they require protection.

“What’s the project, Doctor?”

“Well, I have some brain scans from the MRI machine. They are all on this data stick. Can you please model them for me?”

“Sure, I’ll put them through the CAD systems and send them on to the 3D printer. Please tell me the key aspects, facets and dynamics involved, so I can highlight them in the system parameters.”

Dr Bungawalla handed over the stick. The file stated Confidential: file not to be removed from lab.

Dr Bungawalla looked embarrassed. “I am the confidante in question. You are allowed to proceed.” He pulled out a pen. “I will write some key concepts down for you.”

He wrote:

Lateralisation (left and right brain dominant functions)

Protection (thick skull bones, cerebrospinal fluid, blood-brain barrier)

4 lobes (frontal, parietal, temporal, occipital)

Functional divisions – cytoarchitecture – topography – cognition – weight – language – pathology – metabolism

Executive functions (self control – planning – reasoning – abstract thought)

Functional vs. anatomical definition

Encephalization Quotient

Neural tissue (closed head injuries, poisoning, infection, psychiatric conditions, degenerative disorders)

48 hours later, Dr Bungawalla picked up his brain model. Sami had added special circuitry as requested, powered by lithium cells. Flickering lights within the transparent model made it seem like a lamp.

Alone at night, Dr Bungawalla watched it crackle with activity as his own brain and body declined. His life had changed since he had self-diagnosed Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s Diseases. Every spark of life was now more precious.

He watched his thoughts.