The sun was a little scorching, causing flowers and plants mollycoddled by the hotel to curl up like hair shaved off from skin that was prepared for surgery.
Some young men and women who were taking advantage of the splendor of spring to wander about in the hotel returned to the venue. They were either happy, regretful, or filled with anticipation. The doctors who forgot to register their attendance were hurriedly writing down their names, then they could enter the dining hall after collecting a pass.
The talks would be starting after lunch, so of course the forum would not give them a noon break.
Huang Maoshi also walked hastily, but towards the opposite direction out of the dining hall.
"The number of people has exceeded the quota." The moment Huang Maoshi saw Xie Yihe, he quickly uttered the words that he had suppressed throughout his walk there without looking at the other party's smiling face nor the warning in her eyes. He asked anxiously, "What do we do now? The hotel management wants us to pay more."
"This is...?" A rather handsome man was standing in front of Xie Yihe, and thus was extremely wary of Huang Maoshi.
Xie Yihe had no choice but to introduce Huang Maoshi to the man. "Young Huang is my colleague, and is also responsible for matters related to the forum today."
After introducing her colleague to the man, Xie Yihe gave Huang Maoshi another fierce look.
Huang Maoshi had rarely seen Xie Yihe so fierce. Even though Xie Yihe was quite fierce on ordinary days, it was usually only to the point where she gnashed her teeth in anger. She was a bit like the village mongrels, baring their teeth frequently, even having the courage to pounce on people and bite them. Nevertheless, as long as you handle them well, you would not get hurt.
At this moment, to Huang Maoshi, Xie Yihe felt more like a professional gamecock that really had the courage to peck out other people's eyes although she had flashy feathers.
Huang Maoshi was decidedly terrified. He obediently lavished praise onto Xie Yihe and said, "I'm Manager Xie's subordinate, and my name is Huang Maoshi. I usually work according to Manager Xie's instruction. If Manager Xie were to tell me to go east, I would not dare to go west"
Xie Yihe's gaze became even fiercer.
For a fleeting moment, Huang Maoshi felt like he was looking at a fighting dog instead of a gamecock. The kind that refused to relax its bite.
Huang Maoshi gritted his teeth and decided to flatter Xie Yihe even more, and give her more face. He lowered his head and said, "Manager Xie took me by the hand and guided me. Truthfully, I only achieved what I have today because Manager Xie cultivated me. Without Manager Xie, there wouldn't be Huang Maoshi"
The rather handsome man chuckled a few times as he looked at Huang Maoshi, who was a Korean-style male beauty with a T-shaped body. He then said to Xie Yihe, "Since Manager Xie is busy, I'll leave first."
"It's not no" Xie Yihe reached out her hand, but it was not like she could really pull the man back.
When Xie Yihe turned and saw Huang Maoshi's ingratiating smile, she was extremely furious. 'Do you think that it's easy for me to find a man who's handsome and smart? Do you know how hard it is for me? Do you know that I've been single for so long that I'm almost done paying my mortgage?!'
"How many people have we exceeded the quota by?" Xie Yihe suppressed her anger. There was no point losing her temper now.
Huang Maoshi reckoned that he had gone too far in flattering Xie Yihe. This was a very familiar feeling to him. Huang Maoshi said carefully, "There was already over forty people when I came here. The hotel management wants us to add to our payment."
"Couldn't you just agree to it?" Xie Yihe was filled with anger. What was wrong with having more than forty people in the dining hall? The amount of money to be added was nothing compared to the total amount spent on organizing this forum.
"But, there are still people coming." Huang Maoshi looked very aggrieved. Even if he did not know where the limit to his power lied, the hotel management knew. The hotel management wanted the manager's signature now.
Xie Yihe quickly turned career-minded and swiftly got rid of the hormones that flooded her body just now. She said, "Let's walk while we speak."
"A lot of people came after that? They weren't there when you did a headcount just now?"
"A lot of people went to the smaller conference hall upon arrival without registering their attendance. It wouldn't have been nice for me to stop them."
"Of course you had to stop them." Xie Yihe's anger rose again. "Nobody asked you to be a chihuahua while guarding the reception desk."
Huang Maoshi froze for a few seconds and corrected his manager, "You meant mascot, right?"
"You are a chihuahua!" Xie Yihe scolded him and thought, 'If I have not met Ling Ran, I would have thought that all handsome men like you are idiots. This society filled with *ssholes almost distorted my view when it came to selecting a spouse!'
The increasing number of participants made the current committee members of the Society of Emergency Medicine extremely proud of themselves.
It was the greatest honor for speakers to have people listening to their talks. It was also the greatest feeling to the speakers.
Why were the leaders' speeches tediously long? It was because speaking in front of a crowd felt so good that they could not stop.
Medical experts of various levels had long since obtained the achievement of being recognized by their patients. But there was a long way to go for them to obtain the achievement of being recognized by people in the industry, and that was an endless journey.
Talks with ten attendees could not be considered a talk. There was also nothing special about talks with fifty attendees. It would be relatively meaningful if a hundred people were to attend a talk at their own initiative. Two hundred attendees? Three hundred attendees? Ordinary specialists would not even dare to envision that...
There were not that many emergency physicians in Yun Hua to begin with. With a total of more than twenty tertiary grade A hospitals, there were only a few hundred emergency physicians. If you were to add in the small number of doctors from tertiary grade B and tertiary grade C hospitals, the total number would not be a lot either. It was even harder to attract doctors from other departments. Everyone was extremely busy and tired, and no one was willing to listen to the speakers' chatter.
Since the directors sought value in life, the young doctors under them had to worry over and strive for the same thing as their directors and attract people to their directors' talks.
Hence, there were actually a lot of dark schemes going on beneath the surface of the buffet lunch party.
"Brother Chen, have you planned which talk to attend at two? Do you want to come to Hall 3?"
"Old Wang, Old Wang, didn't you write a research paper on autologous blood transfusions before this? Our director is talking about this today."
"Doctor Qian, we meet again. How many talks do you plan to attend today?"
After hurriedly eating two pieces of bread, Doctor Zhou began to stroll around the dining hall. He went to work as usual in the morning, and only came to the forum to run errands after completing all his tasks.
Doctor Zhou often did things such as drumming up support for Department Director Huo, but today he was so tired that he was drenched in sweat. Doctor Zhou who did not garner much result after busying himself for an hour, plopped down beside Ling Ran and grumbled, "There are a lot of people today. Why is it so hard to gather people?"
Ling Ran flashed a slight smile at a young woman who just gave him a plate of bacon, and placed it on the table together with more than ten other types of food. He then swallowed the beef in his mouth and asked, "Must we gather people?"
"If you don't gather those people, other people will beat you to it. It's Gresham's law." Doctor Zhou snorted a few times and said, "If you don't gather people now and there's no one during the talk, Department Director Huo's face I wouldn't dare to look at his face." Doctor Zhou could not help but tremble when he thought of this.
"More than that," said Doctor Zhou. "We can all see how fast technological development is nowadays. Where do you think doctors today learn new skills from?"
Ling Ran stared at Doctor Zhou, puzzled.
"There are four main channels." Doctor Zhou counted with his fingers as he spoke. "The first is hospital policy. The hospital would distribute information about the skills they want to apply to everyone. The second is self-study; reading research papers, watching videos, and reading books published by other people. The third one is the introduction by pharmaceutical sales representative. The medical representatives would treat doctors to meals and show them Powerpoint slides of the skills or equipment they are promoting. The fourth would be medical forums and conferences like this one. The big shots would be speaking up there and the rookies would be sitting down here listening. No matter how careless you are, you should be able to absorb some of the information. You would recall the skills the big shots talk about when you need to apply those skills."
"So, the purpose is to popularize the skills we developed?"
"It doesn't have to be skills that we developed, but everyone has their own views. For example, Department Director Huo talks about building a larger Emergency Department in every meeting. Now that the province is finally going to build an Emergency Medical Center, he has been all smiles lately. If this project is successful, everyone would mention Department Director Huo when they talk about the Yun Hua Emergency Medical Center." Doctor Zhou was also basking in Department Director Huo's glory. If his boss became more powerful with more subordinates, it would be harder for other people to catch him loafing on the job. It was very obvious if one person slacked off in a team of five, but in a team of forty, it would be normal even if twenty-five people were slacking off the job.
"Then I'd better attend Department Director Huo's talk as well."
"Eh, you didn't plan to attend?"
"I wanted to see if there were any interesting talks." Ling Ran ate a plate of braised snacks. He felt a bit full, then decided to vertically balance the empty plate on a chopstick rest, letting it face the hall. Consequently, the young women who were competing against one another to give Ling Ran food had no choice but to stop in their steps and sigh in regret.
Doctor Zhou's eyelids twitched. He pretended that he did not see this scene which brought sorrow to honest men. In an instant, Doctor Zhou had an epiphany and said loudly, "Doctor Ling, you want to listen to the talk held in Hall 3 at two in the afternoon? It's a deal, then. I'll grab you a seat beforehand."
"Hm?" Ling Ran who was trying to finish all the food on the plates in front of him looked in bewilderment at Doctor Zhou, who was totally putting on a show.
Doctor Zhou's entire being radiated with the kind of smile one had when they had understood the world thoroughly. He continued in a loud voice, "Right now, there are already a lot of people preparing to attend the talk held in Hall 3 at two o'clock. Ling Ran, if you want to attend, we'll have to go there earlier to grab our seats."
"Hang on, let me make a call." Doctor Zhou whipped out his mobile phone and placed it beside his ear without pressing any buttons. He then shouted loudly, "About that, I have discussed with Doctor Ling Ran. We are going to listen to the talk held in Hall 3 at two o'clock. Yes, yes, yes, exactly, Chief Physician Huo Congjun's talk. We'll definitely stay until it ends. Yes, yes, yes, it's a deal, then. I'll see you at 13:40."
Doctor Zhou put down his mobile phone and looked around. In his heart, there was pride, self-satisfaction, relaxation, joy, and a little bit of sadness of unknown origin.
 The pronunciation of 'mascot' in Chinese, 'ji xiang wu', is similar to 'chihuahua'.
 Gresham's law today generally applies to a situation where two monetary units given the same face value will result in the overvalued one (bad money) being used and the undervalued one (good money) disappearing from circulation. (Source: Investopedia)