On mar­gin

Finweek English Edition - - PIKER -

A math­e­ma­ti­cian was i nter­view­ing for a j ob. The i nter­viewer asks him: “You are walk­ing to­wards your of­fice and run­ning l ate for a very i mpor­tant meet­ing. But then you see a build­ing on fire with peo­ple scream­ing for help. What will you do?”

The math­e­ma­ti­cian thinks for a while and replies: “Peo­ple’s lives are more im­por­tant than a meet­ing. I would im­me­di­ately call for a fire bri­gade and help those trapped to the best of my abil­i­ties.”

The in­ter­viewer is im­pressed with the math­e­ma­ti­cian’s an­swer and is about to move on to the last ques­tion. Then, just to check his san­ity, she asks: “And what if the build­ing is not on fire?”

Af­ter a mo­ment of thought, the math­e­ma­ti­cian replies with con­fi­dence: “I will set the build­ing on fire. Now I have re­duced i t to a prob­lem that I have al­ready solved be­fore!” An ac­quain­tance of Piker re­cently shared this break-up tale on Twit­ter: “I re­mem­ber some time ago say­ing to my friend Phindi:

I loved that man dearly, Phindi. I didn’t leave him be­cause he cheated. I was not go­ing to leave him for that. I left him be­cause he cheated with the kind of woman who sent me SMSes filled with gram­mat­i­cal and syn­tax er­rors. I left him be­cause she be­gins her sen­tences with small let­ters. I left him be­cause she told me: ‘luk cc, dat man he luvs me very march.’

I knew at that mo­ment that it was a los­ing battle. I was dis­re­spected im­mensely, my friend. And when re­spect goes out the door, you fol­low it.”

In brief

I went for a job in­ter­view to­day and the man­ager said: “We’re look­ing for some­one who is re­spon­si­ble.”

“Well, I’m your man,” I replied, “In my last job, when­ever any­thing went wrong they said I was re­spon­si­ble.”

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