Oil refineries don’t let visitors get their fingers caught in the machinery. They load visitors into a bus and make a show of gathering up all the visitors’ lighters and matches to be kept safely at the front of the bus, out of firehappy visiting fingers. Visitors are then driven slowly safely around the perimeter of the refinery while marketing phrases are sent from an information consultant’s throat through wires to speakers above each visitor’s seat. Visitors slump further and further down against their seat backs. Visitors consider sleeping but worry they might snore. They entertain their bored fingers by taking photos through the windows, and they press their foreheads to the window, noting the imprint made by skin on glass while considering the magnitude of slicking orange paint onto a tankship that is about to carry half a billion kroners worth of oil to Philadelphia.
Employees at oil refineries learn easily because they feel secure and happy in their jobs, the information consultant announces. The refinery knows the employees feel happy and secure because they say so in yearly employee contentment assessments. The employees feel happy and secure because they feel that Statoil cares about them and appreciates them. They feel that because Statoil regularly spends billions of kroner on new developments. A sulphur-cleanser, for instance, shiny and new, finished a few months ago.
Maybe if the visitors’ employer spent a billion kroner on a new sulphur-cleansing unit in the arts faculty, visitors’ students would feel happier and more secure and so they’d learn more.
Visitors would learn more if they were let out of the bus.