Saturday, August 4, 2007

Bando's Curse

Bando was my technician. By all rights I should have fired him shortly after he began, but I was glad I didn't. He was excellent. With certain limitations.

He appeared to be taking the longest time to pick up the rudiments of our profession. He seemed off in some dreamworld and I was constantly nervous that he wasn't understanding the instructions new employees routinely receive.

I finally determined to just give Bando an assignment and qualify him on that basis. To my amazement, he performed perfectly on a series of machines in our testing lab, recorded his results satisfactorily, and correctly noted a slight mis-calibration of one of our testing standards. He had turned into a first-class technician, in my view, overnight.

Here, then, after an interesting interview with the man, I formulated in my mind Bando's curse, which was in my view both a strength and a weakness: he could not learn anything without learning the whole of that field of knowledge. And he did. Bando had, on his own, spent countless hours at the local libraries, public and at the University, and mastered our entire field. He told me he could literally not feel any understanding at all of any subject until he had read deeply on the subject, and he had achieved an overall picture, as he put it.

That talent led him to be a valuable employee. I feel I have rewarded him, too.

Bando's curse was when he applied his brain to human beings. He seemed to be spending his entire life, or at least that part of it concerned with interacting with his fellow human beings, wandering around in the same fog I had seen exhibited the first few days when he came to work for me. He could literally make no headway in dealing with people because he needed to master all the knowledge about the human race before he could confidently act. In other words, Bando would need his entire life, if not a thousand lives, to master the "background material" of his investigation.

And so he was stuck. Constantly distracted by his own sense of incomplete knowledge, he appeared stupid or eccentric to most people I saw him interact with while he was here.


Anonymous said...

Do some proof reading. Too many spacing errors.

Jumper said...

Blogger is about ruining the inputted text. It's pretty well proofread before posting, then it imposes all these run-together sentences. Enough to make one crazy. Darn their software!

Anonymous said...

fascinating characterization. So how long did Bando stay and where did he go next?

regards from Japan
Edo River

Jumper said...

Bando is me. And I think there is a little Bando in us all. Thanks.