Mr. Black arrives for his second day to begin his work with Captain Lee ... and gets put out of the office in only fifteen minutes, in search of the best breakfast in Big Loft...
To get totally caught up on The Posture of Innocence, here are the prologue, day 1, day 2, day 3, day 3.5, day 4, day 4.5, day 5, day 5.5, day 6, day 7, day 7.5, day 8, day 9, day 9.5, day 10, day 10.5, day 11, day 11.5, day 12, day 12.5, day 13, day 13.5, day 14, day 15, day 16, day 16.5, day 17, day 18, day 19, day 19.5, day 20, day 20.5, day 21, day 22, day 22.5, day 23, and day 23.5!
“So – 8:00 – and the day begins, Captain Lee,” said Mr. Black when he arrived. “You yourself, working alone, were closing a case every ten days. What's the secret?”
In his head – though he showed no trace on his face – Captain Lee cut his eyes at Mr. Black.
You will have to try harder than that, Mr. Black, to get a nice quote to share with your friends at your favorite paper.
“Consistent application of the principles of data-driven investigation,” he said. “There is nothing else of significance.”
You answered wisely, thought Mr. Black. No shade thrown on predecessors and their work, or on the department – a very wise answer.
Captain Lee decided upon another quotation, from a surprising source for a Southerner named Lee to credit ...
“President Abraham Lincoln once said that if one has six hours to cut down a tree, one should spend four hours sharpening the ax. I have from 8:00 to 9:00 to sharpen my ax, even working alone, because the department is busy, and because my work was not considered first priority at the beginning, I was often called away at any time to assist on any other data-related matter. Now, my lieutenants come in at 9:00, and if I have not set forth things clearly in my own mind I cannot set forth clear structure for them to work in.
“What I do now, in this first hour of my day, is to review the progress of cases the division is already handling by re-reading my lieutenants' latest reports. In reviewing the final reports, I check for loose ends, and then close them before giving the commissioner my reports – for the Soames case, that all happened yesterday. For the Stedman case, that will happen today.
“All the other reports are progress reports – what has been found, what has not been found, areas of difficulty. Based on these, I adjust my general daily guidance and instruction for the division, and prepare individual daily guidance for each lieutenant based on how well he is doing with the weekly assignment allocated on Monday.”
“Now that's what I'm waiting on, right there,” Mr. Black said. “I personally find your methods fascinating, and I'd love to discuss strengths and weaknesses of it after hours, but what I want to see and hear is how it all works in real time – because, as you know, exoneration work is a time-sensitive process, and I've got to bring real-time value back to my team.”
“It is 8:15 and you have not had breakfast,” Captain Lee said. “Give me these 45 minutes to re-read the reports in quiet, and after that you will see all that you desire.”
“I know how you know I didn't have breakfast,” said Mr. Black with a smile.
“I know you do,” Captain Lee said. “I would have expected no less from an investigator of your caliber. I know that you likely know what I had for breakfast.”
“Yes, sir, I do.”
“Of course. Return in 45 minutes; I will have you buzzed back in. The French toast at Mamie's around the corner is delectable – and the waffles are the nearest thing to my grandmother's own homemade waffles.”
“You're so fit I wonder if you eat a lot of food like that.”
Captain Lee smiled.
“I'm this fit because I don't eat food that isn't at the highest quality – meaning, I don't eat out at many places. Mamie's is an exception, exactly one morning per month -- best breakfast in Big Loft.”