Towards Altshuller's 80th Birthday
(Narrative of the life of Genrich Altshuller, Part 3)

Y. B. Karasik
Thoughts Guiding Systems Corp.,
Ottawa, Canada.
e-mail:karasik@sympatico.ca

Upon Stalin's death Altshuller was released from GULAG. He returned to Baku and started working at a wire manufacturing. He was assigned to the night shifts. At days he worked in libraries on writing something.

A human being cannot go without sleeping. Altshuller decided to sleep at work. After setting the wire manufacturing machines into action at the beginning of the shift, he used to duck into a locker of the change room and sleep there. Machines continued to manufacture wire by themselves.

Once his sleep was interrupted. The door of the locker suddenly opened up wide and he saw the angry face of the boss.
- What, does not wire get manufactured in the required quantities ? - Altshuller timidly inquired in an attempt to pacify him.
- Yes, it gets manufactured but the State pays you not for you to sleep here ! - The boss retorted.

Altshuller was fired. Soon thereafter he landed the job of a reporter at a Baku newspaper. Somebody in the editorial board knew his father and in the memory of him decided to help Altshuller.

The day in the reporters' department used to begin with a meeting with its head. At the meeting the head would announce: "Today we need 3 victories, 5 feats of labor, 2 grass root initiatives, etc" (the numbers could vary), after which the reporters would fan out to factories, plants, hospitals, ports, etc. to bring the required quantity and quality of news. Everybody wished to go to the closest places to save the time for writing reports. Only Altshuller never argued. He was systematically sent to the farthest places. Nevertheless he always returned with his reports ready.

- When did you have the time to write all this ? - The head was surprised.
- On the way back did not stare at girls in the train but wrote the report - Altshuller explained.
- This is the American style ! - the head said - Remember, if you get fired from the newspaper one day, it will only happen because of it !

Very soon Altshuller became a reporter publishing the highest number of reports. Besides he managed to find time to write other articles. His pay swelled. This caused envy of the co-workers. His pay grew up to that of the newspaper management.

At a general meeting of the newspaper staff, he was accused of craving for big money. The staff member Ms. Popova was especially critical of him. She claimed that he writes so fast at the expense of the quality of his articles. Altshuller replied that he writes faster not because he works less on the articles but because he writes about things he knows well, whereas Popova writes about things she does not know. "You write on the medical topics," - Altshuller said, - "But you are not a physician. You have to spend time to familiarize yourself with the medical terminology and the subject of your future article. And I write about technology, which I know well. I do not need to spend time on learning it. That is why I write faster and more."

After the meeting the head of the department summoned Altshuller.
- Do you know who fucks Ms. Popova? - He started to berate Altshuller.
- No, I don't know who sleeps with comrade Popova - Altshuller replied.
- Well, this is the first thing to know before you get into an argument with anyone ! - The head adviced.

The relations with the co-workers nevertheless continued to deteriorate. At the next general meeting Altshuller was attacked on all sides. "Who is this Altshuller ?" - co-workers shouted, - "What did he come to us with ? We taught him everything and now he ... "

After the meeting the head told Altshuller: "Genrich, you better resign your job before they father something on you."

And Altshuller resigned. By the time Moscow newspapers and magazines have already started publishing him and he did not need go begging.

- What I came with, I left with, - Altshuller told, - There was nothing for me to learn. Except for who sleeps with whom ! This stuff I learned a lot ! - Altshuller ironically concluded his narrative.


Exercise:

The origin of which TRIZ principles can be traced to the above events in Altshuller's life ?