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My nightmare when I started my adult life was…

My nightmare when I started my adult life was the image of a committee of middle-aged and older men sitting around a conference table and quietly “deliberating”, in a composed way, then “judging” a junior person whose fate depends on them. The “judgment” could have been anything, ranging from a job assessment or promotion, a bonus, a disciplinary action, the granting of a doctorate, the hiring of a candidate, the publication of a book.The person is nervously waiting outside the room, waiting to be called in. Or, worse, he is at home checking the phone.. I could imagine no worse condition than this FRAGILITY, the helplessness of the person being judged by people one was certain to be faux-experts, or depending on a lottery, or facing an outcome that made a huge difference, good or bad without one’s ability to control it. And rank makes things worse: I vividly remember my grandfather, then minister, waiting by the phone for the formation of the new cabinet; he wanted the position very badly, was completely dependent on it, kept discussing the odds the outcome was that he lost his position in the reshuffle… I also remember the vice chairman of an investment firm nervously pacing while expecting a phone call…

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