21 Nov “You´re not wrong. I´m saying that you´re not right. There´s a better, more fair, way to look at it and go about it.”
I pause; I take a sip from my styrofoam cup.
“This coffee is fucking delicious!”
The writer takes a sip from his canteen.
“Yes, it is!”, he replies as he lets out a sigh, “where did you get it from?”
“We have no time for chit chat, writer”, I reply as I turn my head back to the penguins, “you see how those two over there are mating and the others are looking for food?”
“Yes”, he replies as he turns his head to the two penguins.
“In your report, you said that the penguins look for food“, I say as I pause, “clearly, that is not right.”
I take another sip of coffee, “but you are not wrong. You are overgeneralizing the observations–you are talking about everything as if the uniformity of the conditions prevail without anamolies or disruptions.”
“What´s that mean?”
“I don´t know–it just sounded smart, right?”
I take another sip of coffee.
“Writer”, I say as I gulp down the coffee, “for our research, and this project, you need to let go of generalizations–although it can be useful in discussion–you are right that penguins look for food–but change it to most or almost all of them do this or that. You are right about what they do–you are not wrong. But, I want to make sure that it is clear that we are not talking about 100% of them. The basic idea may work–but it is lazy thinking.”
“What´s lazy thinking?”
“Taking the easy way?”
“Basically”, I reply as I take another sip from my styrofoam cup, “it is useful in conversation and discussion to talk efficiently to get your point across–and it can be useful in describing generalities. But, remember that one doesn´t make every–and every doesn´t necessarily include all. You are right in your report–but, also, you were lazy and were wrong. If we were just having a friendly conversation, it may make sense and would be, generally, acceptable to use those words–but we actually need to know the real situation and I need you to really pay attention. I want you to really see what´s going on–don´t be fucking lazy when it comes to this.”
“You want me to rewrite the report, right?”
“You want me to fire you?”
“Kinda--this job sucks.”
“Well–then it´s your choice.”
I pause; I take a sip of coffee and turn my head to an approaching penguin. I wave my hands and he scuttles away.
“Yeah”, I continue speaking as I turn my head back to the writer, “it´s your choice. Take the easy way and or do it correctly?”
“What does correctly mean?”
“You know? I don´t know.”
“I´ll just know, right?”
“Yup. You´ll just know when you´re doing it correctly–check yourself if you are just cutting corners or if it´s really what you want to do. I may be your boss–but you have to decide, on your own, which way that you want to go?”
“Will you give me time to think about it?”
“A little”, I reply as I turn my head to a group of penguins fighting over a small fish, “but I won´t tell you when I stop waiting and when I move on. You may decide tomorrow that you want to rewrite the report–I may have already moved on and hired a new writer.”
“But, you´ll wait, a little?”
“I´ll give you a chance–a fair chance to consider the options.”