Apparently, in my statistical calculations crawled in errors. Of course, they have already been there long time before discovered. But they did not affect my life like a dormant virus until that guy came in—not even my immediate supervisor, but someone connected to me on the organization charts with a pulsating dotted line—waving with a copy of an article for some reason enlarged to a poster size, with a few numbers stuck in the text like flies in honey. And as it becomes clear from what he says, many numbers in the report are wrong.
And why the bastards did not show me the draft of the manuscript before publishing? Yes, and my name, as it seems at a distance (although it’s hard to be sure), is not even on the author’s list! While I shout out these arguments, I understand that I am talking, in fact, to myself, and not out loud. And it’s even good that it’s not out loud: “What difference does it make whether they had included me in the paper or not? After all, I was paid salary all this time.” This is not what I say to myself, these are the words of my boss.
I suddenly noticed with secret joy that one section of the article is based on the analysis, which I was not involved at all. “No errors were found in this section,” my pseudo-supervisor says, as if he overheard my inner thoughts. “What If there were?”, I ask. “Everyone is responsible only for his own mistakes,” he retorts.
To avoid any misunderstanding, my boss is going to mark all my mistakes in the article. I hand him a pencil with trembling hands. The pencil pops out from my hand and rolls under the table, resembling a bed with low legs. The chief climbs under the table-bed, pulls out a ballpoint pen, and stretches out there for convenience at full length. He scribbles in red ink, moving his lips as he goes on.
To conceal the awkwardness, I sit down and notice that in front of me at the table a young woman is just finishing her breakfast. I do not consider it necessary to engage into a conversation with her, because she has nothing to do with what is happening and cannot influence anyone. Most likely they will fire me again. All such idle conventions with exchanges of pleasantries would not help in my situation. The dotted line boss snakes himself out from under the table, rises and gives me an article faded with his scribbles. It is embarrassing that the woman might think badly of me, and I hastily grab the article from the hands of the boss and start moving towards my room.
I remember that my chamber is located in the ward on 4th floor of the hospital, one floor higher than the dining room. I climb the stairs and find myself in the ladies section. Young steamed girls jump out of the shower-room, apparently today is a bathing day. They all wear similar T-shirts, tight flat breasts with clearly marked nipples. Like my mistakes in the manuscript.