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The Citizen


By Christopher Gustafson, Humor Columnist, MPP ‘12

Folks, have you ever seen a commercial where a random person performs a feat of learned skill, only to then say that his/her only qualification to perform said feat of learned skill was that (s)he “stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last night”?

Needless to say, I have always assumed that that person worked for McKinsey. So, I was in the bath one day, and I said to myself, “C-Gus, if the PAE is a consulting project, and consultants give unqualified, simplistic answers to difficult questions, why can’t I just do the same with my PAE? For that matter, why can’t I perform a public service and do this for everyone’s PAE topic?” I moseyed around OCA’s PAE topic database, put my McKinsey hat on and solved the world’s problems in one sentence of less. Here are some of the highlights:

Topic: How to eradicate pesticides in Central American coffee farmland.

Stage CIA orchestrated coup against the leftist pesticide regime and impose a rightwing pesticide dictatorship that will do the U.S bidding in the coffee field.

Topic: How to reduce inequalities of service at Boston Regional Hospital.

Stop giving people good hospital service so that everyone will have equally bad Romneycare.

Topic: Find a sustainable funding structure for the U.S National Park Service.                       

Eliminate national parks in red states and pillage resources. No one will notice or care, except the tree huggers. Further PAE topic: How to eradicate tree huggers.

Topic:  Appropriate performance metrics to measure teacher quality.

1)      Must have blind loyalty to Michelle Rhee.

2)      Must hate making a livable wage and collective bargaining.

3)      Must be planning to apply to Kennedy School within next two years.

Topic: Effective performance management for the Massachusetts Housing Authority.

Huge salary for director + Teamsters + Cost Overruns + one unexplained crew death= Effective

Topic: Reduce Human Trafficking.

Carpool! (The actual topic did not lend itself to humor, so I made a slight modification.)

Topic: How to improve international sports security.

Make sure teams in volatile countries don’t lose! How do you stop World War III? Make North Korea the next World Cup Champ.

Topic: How to improve Cambridge Police performance.

Don’t arrest prominent African-American Professors at Harvard.

Topic: Iran/US Nuclear Negotiations.


Topic: Creating a user-friendly web portal to find health care specialists in the San Francisco/San Jose metropolitan area.

I’m stumped on this one, too bad there’s no company based in the San Francisco/San Jose metropolitan area that specializes in internet searches.

Topic: Initial Planning for Regime Change in Mozambique.

Form party planning committee tasked with finding adequate supplies of balloons and party hats.

So remember, when the Cristobel P. Gustafson Center for Consulting Excellence is dedicated in the Taubman building, know that it was at this moment where a visionary was born.