23 May 2005

The Job: Day Six

Savvy readers will notice I skipped Day Five. This is because the only thing to note from Day Five is that Fridays are Casual Fridays, which I didn't know. Luckily, I opted for dress khakis and--because I'm creative--a blue shirt.

Today started with me finally settling on the calculation I would use (there are just about a million conceivable ways to arrive at an answer and still technically be within the ambit of the doctrine being applied). The best analogy I can think of is to imagine a porterhouse steak, and imagine that the restaurant has always charged $25 for it (I'm doing some Midwestern lowballing here). Now, the resturant decides to sell the strip cut and the filet mignon separately. The filet costs $20. But the strip by itself still costs $25! So the restaurant is getting a lot more just by splitting up the original steak. Doesn't seem right, does it? Now, one of the patrons who ordered the strip cut wants a reduction. The restaurant's position is basically that the strip should still cost about $23.50, because the filet was really not worth that much to the porterhouse cut. After you get a shovel and some boots, you explain that this doesn't make sense, because you're valuing the filet at way more than $1.50 on your own menu! The restaurant says that it isn't the actual cut of meat that's worth $20, it's everything that comes with the filet, and the special preparations done when the filet is served solo. Of course, the restaurant has no record of what the filet was worth back when it was serving the whole porterhouse. Stupid restaurant. The only numbers it has are what it's charging after the porterhouse was split up into the filet and the strip. Fortunately, it does have a record of what the sides and special preparations are worth, too (even though it didn't reveal this until you asked). As it turns out, the filet itself is worth $15, and the strip itself without all the fixins' is worth $20. So, in total, they're worth $35 currently, with the strip part worth 4/7 of this ($20/$35). Naturally, then, we must conclude that the strip steak is actually worth $25 times 4/7, or about $14. And this is what the patron should have to pay, because losing the filet portion clearly should have reduced the value by something. Right? RIGHT?!

I'm sure I went mad at some point....

In that most excellent frame of mind, and after once more skimming over the record, making sure my calculations per the above technique were right (of course, with a lot of extra complications and hurdles--the above is a major oversimplification), and chewing on a lot of Bic pens (one would think that I'm knocking a smoking habit the way I chew on pens and pencils), I finally felt confident that I could hammer out ye olde decision. It was surreal actually writing it, realizing that with a few alterations (hopefully, the Judge will change some things, just to put my mind at ease), this would be the real deal. Yeesh! But in three short hours (the afternoon really flies when you're actually producing something as opposed to just reading and taking notes, imagine that), it was finished. Well, relatively finished.

The problem is, I just have this gut feeling that I'm doing something fundamentally wrong in my calculations. Maybe it's the pressure of knowing that a lot of real money is involved. Maybe it's that voice of insecurity in my head that's always saying stuff like "are you sure you turned off the burner?" Maybe it's that I really, really (really) want to be affirmed on the inevitable appeal. Whatever it is, the result is that I'm sitting here with the numbers running through my head, wondering....(and thinking about how much I could really go for a nice medium porterhouse right about now. Mmmmmm, porterhouse.....)


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