"Diagnosis: golden rush" novel by Krystyna Knypl, chapter 3

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Krystyna Knypl



The lump of a building located at 1818 North Avenue on the northern edge of Booton, resembled an Excel sheet. The entire neighborhood known as New Economy Valley was the pride of Ameerland’s architects. The building’s windows stretched from bottom to top in politely aligned rows, and no matter how one tried to figure out which grille was the one sought, one was always lost. The building was home to many organizations and institutions strategic to the New Wonderful World, among them Ameerland Global Bank and Unforgettable Group. The companies worked closely together, supported each other, and charted new courses of action. Both institutions had excellent training programs for their employees and well-crafted media images.

New Economy Walley

Take, for example, the slogan that appeared under the Ameerland Global Bank

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It was the image department’s greatest achievement. Juxtaposed with the logo depicting a map of several continents, the uninitiated reader could indeed become convinced that this was the main goal of all Ameerland Global Bank shareholders. The bank’s over-achievers and pranksters suggested that the slogan „Our dream: the world free of poverty” was a version for external use only. For internal use, the slogan

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was supposed to apply. Seemingly only three letters of difference, and how different the content!

Regardless of what the slogan sounded like, getting to work in one of these supposedly Excel boxes was not easy. Harsh pre-selection, several stages of qualification procedures for the next stage, and you never knew when a person would be thanked, and when he would be invited to another still game. The most attractive honor for all trainees was receiving an invitation to work for the Unforgettable Group. The ability to predict what will happen ten or twenty years from now was valued in candidates no less than the ability to forecast the stock market quotations in the coming month or the coming hour. 

Another skills enhancement training course was just taking place, during which the technique for achieving the set goal was being perfected. The training was mandatory for all employees, and monthly joint activities in different settings of the training center were part of team integration.

York Bentano took a liking to these training sessions since they featured on the schedule neither virtual nor real jungles, then deserts, and finally hospitals. Dozens of lianas entwined a man, looping his legs and arms, slashing at his face, and deftly sliding under his feet. God, what did these lianas not do! A thin twig unexpectedly tickled York on the sole of his foot as he ran through the quagmire that suddenly grew before his eyes, lost the shoe of his left foot, and covered the terrain in only one shoe. He giggled and bent down to scratch himself. Unexpectedly, the liana circled both of York’s shins and undercut him. Entwined by the vicious plant, he lost his balance and fell straight into the sinuous abyss. He picked himself up as quickly as possible. The tickling sensation in his foot did not go away. York repeated in his mind the guiding motto of this training, which was to control the temptations, and trudged on.


The quagmire through which York Bentano tore through

Control the temptations! Good for you, control the urge to scratch your ticklish foot!

What else will they come up with? – thought York and immediately added in spirit to himself. Control yourself, peasant, control yourself, control yourself! – He repeated and walked on.

The trainees whispered among themselves that it was said that they were particularly careful to analyze the play of facial muscles that appeared depending on the task at hand, especially when it came to temptations. It would be better to don the traditional smile, which he described in his mind as bliss for the chosen few, he thought. At the mention of the term, cheerful sparks appeared in York’s eyes, and the corners of his mouth automatically went upward. He looked great at the moment – regular features, cheerful expression, short black hair, neatly shorn and arranged in an aesthetic hairstyle. Despite the extreme conditions of training, every hair was in place. He trudged on through the swamps and quagmires with a beaming expression on his face, patiently waiting for the end of this stage of training.


The desert where York Bentano trained

After he passed the jungle, which practiced the virtue of restraint, he was directed to a higher level that would better consolidate the skills he had acquired. The next stage of training was in the real-virtual desert. That was just a task! Breaking through such a desert without water, with an unloaded cell phone, was a super activity.

All the parameters of the training desert were adjusted in such a way that initially a person had the impression of being in augmented reality, but as time passed, the virtual component faded away. The thirst was becoming real, the feeling of heat too, and the wind was getting stronger. It felt that another moment and a raging sandstorm would break. Getting to the oasis in time was no small feat, but York always managed. Maybe it’s the result of a childhood spent in Afrieeria? – he thought after reaching the oasis once again. This stage of training developed in a person a sense of how small a grain of sand he is among the various powerful forces of nature operating around him.

And then there was the third stage, the most difficult for future top-level managers in the New Wonderful World – it was a stay in a hospital, not sure whether real or virtual. The horror of the highest intensity lurked everywhere, and that from crossing the threshold of the building. Barely did one look around, and it turned out that he was being kidnapped by some hospital goons and dragged to neurosurgery because he supposedly had a tumor in his brain! Not only was the delinquent in shock at the terrible diagnosis but unexpectedly there was the high-pitched sound of a drill working at high speed in the ears, picking at the inside of the skull of the supposedly operated wretch. The man’s ears had not yet rested from the sound of the drill, and he was already being transferred to the delivery room and left alone amidst the shattering moans of those in labor.

God, is there any quiet place in this hospital? – thought York and the training program seemed to read his thoughts. In an instant, he was flipped to pathology. He walked through a room with the strangest specimens on display for examination. There was silence all around, which was probably even worse than the shrieks of the delivery room and the jazzy sound of the drill drilling into his skull.

I want to see live people! – thought York and the program seemed to be just waiting for that, flipping him into the waiting room of the hospital’s emergency department. The small room was crowded with about a hundred broken people, drug addicts, and drugged drunks with superficial wounds.

Oh, the gentleman is in good shape! – called out a Certified Paramedic hovering among the waiting. Can you give the waiting people a glass of water each? This is a very trendy gesture in emergency medicine.

I have no water, I drank it all in the desert,” growled York, for the first time thrown off balance. He wanted to get away from it all, from these strange people who constantly wanted something from him. However, he knew he could not afford such a luxury. He had endured in the jungle, he had undergone training in the desert, then he would also endure this vestibule of hell, not sure why it was called a hospital. He decided and persevered. After a few minutes, a report of the completed stage of augmented reality training was printed at the headquarters. York had passed all the stages successfully. He was suitable for carrying out serious challenges in the most difficult sections, and perhaps even qualified for special tasks.

The training report was always reviewed by Caroline Ant, an energetic woman of the plus forty generations who put all her considerable life energy into strengthening the cooperation between Ameerland Global Bank and the Unforgettable Group. From time to time, she would indulge herself and shorten her usual fourteen-hour workday to ten hours to still have time before the malls closed to buy herself some new outfits. She preferred bright colors, on the right assumption that anyway is good to emphasize her existence in this profession full of guys.

Caroline reviewed York’s final training report. Pretty good results this boy has! – she thought. She looked at the entire skills panel of the tested participant in the training program. He had very good results on the management tests and on top of that he knew Afrikaans. Oh, that’s an interesting combination, it will be worth paying attention to this Yorker when investing in the markets of this part of the world,” Caroline thought, and flipped him into the special-purpose human resources. I wonder how he knows Afrikaans?

The personnel questionnaire didn’t give any further information on the subject, well, maybe Afrieer’s place of birth was supposed to explain everything. On the other hand, in the section ” unusual skills” York entered…. singing soprano. Is this a joke or what? – wondered Caroline at first. I don’t think it’s a joke after all, it’s too serious a survey,” she decided. Singing soprano, singing soprano, I wonder what arias come out best for him, she thought. God, what am I thinking about,” she rebuked herself quickly. I think it’s from overwork! - she acknowledged.

How about I throw in some more training for him in automatic execution? He’ll have even broader qualifications, more versatile, and they can be useful in any part of the world. Who can predict what will be useful to him in life? – pondered Caroline, herself a graduate of several faculties.

Ameerland Global Bank’s many years of efforts and endeavors have not been in vain. Truly the Great Depression was slowly beginning to gain steam and beauty. Almost all economic departments in the Union of Autonomous States and later in the Union of Independent Real Republics slowed down as much as possible.

Continuously, healthcare finances in most countries were at their worst, not only because of prescriptions with that annoying word „recipe,” but also because of the many new technologies that were breaking into the medical markets. The new therapies pleased those who needed them but worried the insurance companies that put up the money to fund them. Demands for sophisticated genetic testing for every disease to select individual therapies became the latest mass fad in Sarmaland’s doctors’ offices.

I expect personalized therapy to be selected for my condition,” was a sentence uttered by almost every patient upon entering a doctor’s office. What’s more, the words spoken in an unobjectionable tone were laced with the phrase „Because I deserve it,” which almost replaced words of greeting. Perhaps a few unnecessarily enthusiastic TV broadcasts featuring famous people successfully cured by such therapies made everyone want to have this modern treatment.

The cost of treatment due to the widespread fashion for personalized therapies grew even more. Traditional mechanisms for managing the medical market were no longer completely sufficient. Health and illness turned out not to be the same products as cars or cell phones. It turned out, somewhat unexpectedly for all theorists, that while not everyone wanted a car or the latest model of cell phone, everyone wanted to be healthy. And if they had already been hit with an illness, they believed that they necessarily had to undergo only personalized therapy. There seemed to be no turning back on this expensive therapeutic fad. Everyone was twitching and thrashing about how to explain and tame it all, but they couldn’t come up with anything clever. Time passed, and the graphs and bars depicting healthcare balances kept gliding upward.

Protein Structure Congress in Booton

CHicago wejscie swiatlo

Entrance to Ameerland Hotel House in Booton, where the congress was held

The organizers of the annual Protein Structure Congress decided to hold another annual scientific conference in Booton. They took careful care of the press setting, with particular publicity given to the latest research on the impact of gene polymorphism on therapeutic response. Detailing the type of genetic polymorphism in patients was key to the successful application of the much-touted personalized therapy.

All the TV and radio stations were talking from morning to night about this particularly useful variety of polymorphism due to which the response to treatment in certain types of cancer increased to 80% of positive responses. It was a very attractive blandishment.

Chicago Palmer house

 Hall Ameerland Hotel House

Since polymorphism determines the response to treatment, perhaps there is also a polymorphism that determines the type of response to other stimuli. – thought Caroline Ant as she watched breakfast TV coverage of the Protein Structure Congress. If it were, so possible to modify the sense of different needs in humans?

What needs to be done, to get it all figured out and planned right? Maybe I will meet with Jonathan. We would delight the great William F. Johnson if we could get this medical chaos under control,” Caroline thought.

She asked the secretariat to schedule a lunchtime meeting. Not two days had passed and she was already stepping into the stunning lobby of the Ameerland Hotel House. Before she could refill the coffee served to wait for guests in the hotel lobby, Jonathan appeared on the horizon. They greeted each other like good friends, sparing no hugs, smiles, or compliments. They had been on the same team creating rules in the New Wonderful World for years. They walked over to the restaurant, ordered lunch and Caroline proceeded to referee their idea.

Jonathan, the main problem is that we won’t convince people with just words to change their attitudes about their health. They have a strange belief that they can live any ruinous lifestyle and that their illnesses are matters of state! No economy can handle this, and medical science is advancing every day! How to change attitudes?

- With a conscious message, we won’t conquer anything - replied Jonathan after listening to Caroline. It has to be a controlled process, well thought out, and planned down to the smallest detail.

- But how can we control such processes? – Caroline asked.

How?The simplest method, of course, is to carefully select people who will act according to our expectations, react the way we want, and shape the opinions and reactions of others.

This probably won’t work in the case of medicine; the examples here don’t attract people. Besides, where can we get such exemplary healthy people from? What determines the response to a stimulus, which is a message from another person? Knowledge, upbringing, formal education, or something else?

- We need to think about this more deeply in a special team - Caroline suggested.

- This is a very good idea! – agreed on Jonathan. I will immediately give instructions to prepare such a working meeting. We also need to choose a suitable place where it will be possible to discuss the long-term strategy for a few days in calm and discreet conditions. However, as for the short-term strategy, I think we to start now by restructuring the department of medicine that generates the highest costs.

- Do you happen to know which department of medicine, or rather, which activity generates the highest costs? – Caroline asked.

- Thinking logically, it should be the activity that is most common and affects all or almost all people who visit doctors’ offices, Jonathan replied.

-Hmmm… probably almost everyone leaves the doctor’s office with a prescription - he continued.

- So you need to get the cost generation of prescriptions under control - Caroline stated.

- How about introducing a new medical profession with the authority only to issue prescriptions? A short training, a little medicine, narrowed down the authorization, and throw them on the front line of serving patients? – Jonathan wondered.

- We could call such professionals receptologists - Caroline suggested.

- And you know that’s a cool name - replied Jonathan.

- We’ll refine the idea and implement it somewhere in the world under training ground conditions. Maybe in Sarmaland? – he suggested.

- I think this is a good course of action and a good address for such a training ground. The cost of health care in their country continues to rise incredibly! – agreed Caroline.

Jonathan summoned a waiter and asked for the bill. The waiter serving them swiped the credit card he had received through the reader and was already printing a receipt for the transaction they had made. Since it has been possible to make money with a largely virtual product, why not try to do the same with other products, including advice in medicine. Less real, more virtual, that’s the direction of change, Jonathan thought.

After returning from lunch Caroline presented the concept of the preceptorship profession to the board. After a brief discussion, the idea was accepted, and it was decided that a project would be presented to test the new medical profession in Sarmaland which is an informal training ground for the Union of Autonomous States of new concepts in the management of different segments of the market. Now it was necessary to convince the authorities of the Union of Independent States of Sarmaland to introduce a new medical profession, but this was more of an organizational formality than a major difficulty to overcome.

Krystyna Knypl

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Krystyna Knypl

Diagnosis: golden rush

2011 / 2013