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The H-Bomb Revisited

The problem with this place is that the audience for this paper is continually changing. So for you newcomers, the title of this article is an allusion to an article I wrote last semester called “Dropping the H-Bomb.” In that article, after much research, I compiled four different methods used to drop the H-Bomb to potential targets. However, this being HBS and all, it became clear that I needed to remain at the cutting edge of my field and in the ensuing months since my article, I have unearthed some fascinating new insights on the anthropological behavior associated with the dropping of the so called H-Bomb.
It all began one night at a certain disreputable establishment down town. My friend and I “innocently” happened across two rather attractive young ladies at a bar and as one does, began a conversation. For the sake of this article, I shall refer to my friend simply as Mr. O. After a couple of minutes of polite small talk, our new acquaintances asked the key question: “What do you do?” Mr. O took the lead and in a superbly crafted and well-practiced off hand manner, he casually let it be known that we were both students at Harvard Business School. Bracing ourselves for the sudden onslaught of admiration and adulation, we were somewhat taken aback when the two girls simply raised their eyebrows in surprise, turned around and walked off. As simply as that, not so much as a “goodbye,” or a polite “excuse-me.” They simply turned around and placed themselves at the opposite end of the bar. Now you may be thinking to yourselves, it is probably because us two bachelors are about as attractive as the undercarriage of a diseased Outer Mongolian Orangutan having a bad hair day, but the timing of the departure was unmistakable. It was because we admitted that we went to HBS. The H-bomb on this occasion had thoroughly imploded and we were simply left stunned.

So I went back to the drawing board (which reminds me, what did the guy who invented the drawing board go back to when he got it wrong the first time?) and sought to analyze not how people tend to deliver the H-Bomb, but how people respond to it.

It became clear very early on that just as the delivery of the H-Bomb is contingent on the type of person delivering, the reaction to the H-Bomb is also dependent on the type of person reacting. Curiously, I have unearthed four general reactions precisely the same number as types of deliveries. I am currently exploring the possibilities of best fit between delivery and reaction and I hope to present my findings in a paper co-authored with Mr. O entitled “H-Bomb Matching-The Way to the Mattress.” But please don’t hold your breath, I am currently swamped with a paper called “How to Score with Charts.”

Reaction I-the “Oh my God you are going to be rich, and that means nice expensive presents for me” reaction. Generally associated with fake blond money grabbing bimbos, or young males seeking to free load. (I had a female friend do the opposing gender research for me, in case you were wondering.)
“You say you go to Harvard Business School? Would you like to come back to my place and shag?”

Reaction II-the “Oh crap not another arrogant, aggressive, self-absorbed, jerk-off from HBS” reaction.
“Harvard Business School, huh. I had a friend who went there. He/She used to be my friend anyway, until he/she turned into a major ASSHOLE!!! Yeah, I don’t speak to him/her any more. All he/she cared about was money. MONEY, MONEY, MONEY!!! You lot make me sick!!! I mean, don’t you care about anything else??? You know what?? I don’t want to talk to you any more. Why don’t you take your HBS education and shove it up the same orifice from which you tend to do most of your talking!!!!”
Reaction III-the “wow you must be very clever, I suddenly feel really inadequate now, but you know what I am smart too” response. Generally the reaction of people severely lacking self-confidence and frequently carrying chips on their shoulders about the relative obscurity of their educational institutions.

“Sooooooo! You go to Harvard Business School huh! I guess that’s pretty impressive. I guess you have to be quite smart to get in there. Then again, I know lots of really smart people where I went to school. Just because I didn’t go to a name school, doesn’t mean that I don’t know my shit. I do know my shit. I know my shit really well. I got my shit down. I am all over my shit! Like stink on … errrmm … shit!”
Reaction IV-the “euggh, that’s not even a proper academic institution, it is a professional school, how utterly un-intellectual and banal” response. Almost universally the reaction of Harvard students from the other graduate schools and undergraduates. (She looked twenty five at least-honest.)
“The Business School, you say? I go to the Law School. The Law School is a real school not like that cheap excuse for a school, the business school. My GPA was 3.95 in Politics. I was president of the debating team at my college. I was elected to the honor committee and received Magna Cum Laude. That’s what it takes to go to Harvard Law. What did you do? Worked at a failed Internet startup? Sold your soul in investment banking? Kissed ass in consulting? You probably averaged less than a pathetic 3.2 GPA and claimed you were some kind of great potential leader because you once led your younger brother to the candy shop. You must be so embarrassed to be confused for a true member of the Harvard intelligentsia. I think I shall go talk to some intellectuals because to be honest, you bore me.”

February 20, 2001
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