and entering

Interviewee Overestimates Number of Golf Balls That Could Fit in Boeing 747 By 8 Orders of Magnitude

Palomano's visualization of the calculation, complete with proper golfing attire.

CAMBRIDGE, MA—Spicing up the dullness of on-campus interviewing season, Trevor H. Palomano '18 overestimated the number of golf balls that could fit inside a Boeing 747 jetliner by 8 orders of magnitude, causing his surprised interviewer to spit coffee all over the eager student applicant.

“Up until that point, I was thinking this Trevor guy was a sure ‘maybe,’ perhaps even a strong ‘weak hire.’  He has the grades, he has some leadership involvement in HFAC or HFUC or HFOMO or whatever, he has a pulse,” stated his interviewer, Chad Jones. “He even had the perfect answer to what his greatest weakness is: his muscular dystrophy.”

“But then here we are on a question that most people expect, and he just goes off the charts, like, Toy-Story-Aliens-from-Pizza-Planet off the charts. I gave him a ‘definite no’ immediately after I finished expelling my mouthful of Americano,” Jones said. “If we hadn’t done away with such labels on the corporate culture retreat, I probably would have had to rate him my first ‘would rather hire a two-headed chipmunk with rabies that has no prior experience with Excel macros and speaks severely limited English from its left head only.’”  

Reporters also managed to track down Palomano himself by following the heated shouts of, “Golf ball, huh? Golf ball? YOUR MOM’S A GOLF BALL! Wait, that doesn’t work. YOUR GOLF BALL’S A MOM! Dammit. YOUR MOM’S A MOM! GOLF BALL! 747! HELP, MOMMY!”

“I have no idea what that question was. First of all, who’s trying to smuggle golf balls in 747’s, huh? Tiger Brady? More like Cocaine or LSD balls,” Palomano vented, illustrating he has no knowledge whatsoever of hard drugs. “I gave my answer and the guy laughed up his drink on me. And this was my best ‘I’m stylish, but not so stylish that it overshadows how much smarter than you I am’ tie from J. Press, too.”

Further analysis of Palomano's process revealed that all was going well until he incorrectly guessed the diameter of a golf ball to be 1.5 inches, though it’s actually 1.68 inches.

That alone likely put him beyond help, but this mistake was compounded when he guessed the length of a 747 to be 747 meters instead of the correct 76 meters. It was also unfortunate that he decided to use the intermediate estimate of how many golf balls could fit into the Empire State Building and then see how many Empire State Buildings he could fit into a 747.  

Ultimately, by forgetting to carry a 1, and also taking “(πr!)e” instead of “πr2”, he arrived at his answer of 2,289,000,000,000,000 golf balls fitting inside an airplane.

“I don’t think it’s crazy,” Trevor explained. “Can you actually prove that I’m wrong? Like, at least I didn’t say infinity. Although, now that I think about it…”

At press time, Palomano was seen stuck on the 9th of 700,000 golf balls he was angrily trying to stuff into his boat shoe.   

© 2016