2. Milton Lance

At exactly eight o’clock Grollman was in the large dingy lab where he had heard about Morris Lewis’s Nobel Prize winning work. No one else was there. After half an hour he began to worry. He wasn’t certain that Milt, or whatever his name was, would be there, but he reasoned that there should be other fellows present. He went to Dr Walker’s office. His secretary was serenely sandpapering her nails. It was obvious that she hadn’t been at it without interruption because she was now using violet colored paper rather than the buff she had employed the previous day.

Before he could ask his question she said, “What are you doing here? The new fellows are all in the cafeteria with Dr Lance.”



“When was that set up?”

“Months ago. It was in your orientation letter.

“What orientation letter?”

“The one I sent all the fellows a couple of months ago.”

“I didn’t get one.”

“Are you a new fellow?”


“Then you got one.”

Grollman never would discover that the sandpaper secretary had used the payroll requisition forms that would get the fellows paid to send the orientation letters. Grollman, not on the payroll, got no letter.

“Why didn’t you tell me yesterday?”

“I did. I told you that you were supposed to meet with Milt. I assumed you could read. Most renal fellows can.”

Grollman figured that there was no percentage in getting the boss’s secretary mad at him, so he asked where the cafeteria was.

“In the basement where it always is.”

He left planning to get her a box of sandpaper to make amends for her mistake. Puce would placate he hoped.

It took 20 minutes for the elevator just outside Walker’s office to answer his summons. He got in and hit his head on a cardboard sign suspended from the vehicle’s ceiling which said, “This elevator does not go to the basement.” He turned to get out but the door closed before he could and the car started up. He punched five, the next floor, but the car did not stop until it reached eight which was as far as it went. After a two minute wait the door opened.


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