Musings and comments about our common interest
Today I was to participate as witness on a court case, regarding a termination of an individual from his job. The court case had high uncertainties for both parts, company and worker, so there was a strong interest in settling the issue.
The main discussion point was how to calculate the indemnity according to the Spanish method. Basically, you agree to an indemnity based on a number of days for seniority year or part thereof; topped by a number of salary months. The typical negotiation would be, "we offer you 30 days' salary for each seniority year, with a maximum of 16 months' salary", or "I want 45 days' salary for each seniority year, topped at 42 month's salary" (the legal limit when it is an unfair dismissal).
The problem was to discuss these items at the door of the court without a computer in sight. The fact that calculations should be done by lawyers did not help, either.
Please salute the HP15c Limited Edition.
Due to my job, and in these sad days of restructuring, I had the program in LBL 3. Calculating his seniority by entering the initial and termination dates on two registers, and using the other variables at play, we were able to check at least 20 different options, with the judge waiting for us to agree, until we found one that left both parties "less unsatisfied". They finally agreed.
It was clear for everyone there that it would have not been the case if there was no way to check the hypothesis on the fly, standing, at the court door.
Programmable calculators, 1 - computers 0.
There is room for calcs - sometimes.