Friday, January 7, 2011

Episode 32

Today's suggested topics: the Pareto principle AKA the 80/20 rule AKA something something something about proper prioritizing techniques being vital to success, effective goal setting and an oscillating fan.

Qorviq looked up from rifling through the random dirty duffle bag dropped carelessly on the sidewalk in front of him just moments ago by who he assumed to be a homeless drifter just passing through town to see the moon peeking through the clouds and slowly-clearing firework haze above. He looked back down to study the GPS unit he had found sitting at the bottom of the bag. He turned it on, saw that it had full batteries, and typed in the address he had read in the small notebook those random careless children had also dropped, also just moments before, on the sidewalk before him. As the GPS calculated his directions, he finally got an answer to his most burning current question: Where the fuck am I even at right now?

He heard the tiny British woman narrator speak to him from within the GPS unit.

Calculating... calculating... it will take an estimated 132 days to reach 55467940 East 678th Street, Boston Massachusetts by ferry from your current location in Chongqing China.

Well, this is a tremendous inconvenience...

Qorviq put the GPS unit down and shifted the bag so that he could lie back, using it as a makeshift pillow, to gaze up at the moon and to give himself a moment to think long and hard about what he should do next. Vague memories from business school started coming to mind. He closed his eyes, remembering one lecture in particular...

"words words words, prioritizing, words blah blah, the Pareto principle, stuff stuff talking, 20% produce 80%, blee blah blahh, focus on the most important 20% to achieve 80% of needed results, blah blah blah"

He opened his eyes and saw a cloud formation slowly pass in front of the moon. The whisps of air vapor slowly swirled, an obvious optical illusion he was watching through still-hazy air from the fireworks show earlier. Still though, he was certain he could make out actual words being formed in the cloud as it passed overhead.
He was instantly annoyed that even the cosmos had decided to point out his most obvious flaw at this very moment. Then he let himself really think about what was going on. The truth of the matter was that he had woken up not more than 45 minutes earlier handcuffed to a lamp in a strange and dark apartment. After meeting his roommates and/or captors he was given a useful and most generous gift (of which he had left behind) and survived some kind of fireball attack. All the while his most burning question being, where am I and how did I get here? Answering that question, he felt, could be considered his "goal" for the day. Since escaping the apartment, he had acquired a notebook with secret instructions, a bag of clothes, and a GPS unit to help him complete his new mystery assignment. Thanks to that GPS unit, he had been given the answer to half of his most burning question, thus completing 50% of his goal.

I'm not a complete failure! Stupid clouds...

Then he realized that he had made the consious decision to pick up the notebook, and to go through a random homeless person's bag. Yes they happened to be strangely connected in a way that he currently considered to be more than just a coincidence, but what if he had ignored the littering and just kept walking? What if he had simply asked someone to tell him where he was and gone to the nearest US Embassy to ask for assistance?

Because I'm here for a reason!

He closed his eyes, and remembered back to when he was handcuffed in that apartment, and remembered there was an oscillating fan next to the bed. He could see the front of it in his head. There was a word printed on the front. It would have been the brand, or maybe it was a message...

Suddenly he felt a sharp pain, as he was struck by something, he opened his eyes just in time to see a large piece of wood come down on his little seal face, and everything went dark...

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