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Outside the Laboratory

I know for a fact that some scientists, even some world-renowned scientists, are morons outside of their own field. I used to manage construction at a Big 10 University, and had many conversations like this one:

BRILLIANT SCIENTIST, looking over my estimate for a remodelling project on his floor: "What the heck is this, $4000 for a door? A door? I just replaced the front door of my house for $500!"

ME: "Sir, your house is made of wood, and the doors don't have to meet any particular fire code. This building is concrete and steel, and the doors have to be 90-minute fire-rated. This means, among other things, that the door slab has to be hollow metal, which means it is heavy, which means that the frame, hinges, latch, and handle all have to be much sturdier than the hardware on wood doors. Also, the carpenter who will install this door is probably getting paid more than carpenters who work residential, and he's going to have to spend more time on it because it is more complicated. Finally, the lock core has to match all the rest of the cores in this building, so as not to mess up the keying system."

BS: "Don't give me that! This is ridiculous!"

I wish I had a dime for every time this happened . . . .