My name's Alana, and I'm a barista. I've got this problem at work. You see, normally, we aren't supposed to go out with customers. You have to treat them all the same. I like to think I'm good at this.
At least, I was. A few months ago, a man named Ben started coming in every morning to get a coffee, Americano. He carried himself so confidently and was always sharply dressed. I started to really like him and I'd look forward to him coming in. Sometimes, I'd fantasize about him during work. Part of me thinks he's more interested in my coworker, though. I can't help but get jealous when she starts flirting with him.
I spent months this way. I'd watch Ben come in and flirt with my coworker, flashing his dazzling smile at her. It's so unfair. The whole time he's ordering, there's a sinking feeling in my chest. After he leaves, I spend another day feeling down. I've got no luck with love.
Then, out of the blue, Ben proves me wrong. He wants to take me out on a date. But... there's something in his eyes. He's trying to be a gentleman, but I can see what he wants to do me. Shivers run through my body when I think about it.
There's a hunger in his voice. I can feel his eyes burning right through my clothes. His desire is making it hard to breathe.
How will this go?Genre: FAMILY & RELATIONSHIPS / Love & Romance
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Chapter 1. Optimal Stopping – When to Stop Looking
One thing that makes life difficult is not knowing when to stop – this has been labeled as the Optimal Stopping Problem. There is a danger of quitting too early and missing out on something good, or quitting too late and exhausting the little energy and time that we have.
Thankfully, there is an algorithm that will make decisions much easier. It’s not entirely foolproof, but it will produce better outcomes than doing things randomly.
The Optimal Stopping Problem deals not with what option to select but how many choices to consider. Based on statistical data, the ideal percentage is 37%.
The Secretary Problem explores the idea of Optimal Stopping. Someone tasked to hire a secretary has to choose among applicants, but he must know when to stop so that he will not miss someone who is good for the job.
In looking for the secretary, stopping late means prolonging the choice unnecessarily, while stopping too early lets the best applicant go unhired. The strategy is to find a reasonable balance between the two conditions.
Translation in progress. Translated by Marcelo Paz