Oscar Ramirez, an employee at the Whole Nine Yards Construction & Landscaping Company, has been assigned to manage the remodel of Mayor Lawrence’s family estate, which locals call "Lawrence Lair." One member of his team is his nephew, Martin Fuentes, who is in need of both summer work and a mentor.
When Fuentes arrives at Lawrence Lair for one of his final days of work, Poppy Lawrence, the mayor's wife, asks him to accompany her on her errands. As the two make their way to different department stores, Fuentes tries to convert numbers he notices into algebraic expressions and equations. At the end of the day, Fuentes receives a text from Ramirez telling him to hurry back to Lawrence Lair, and Fuentes needs to figure out how quickly he has to drive in order to make it back in time.
This case is designed to be taught in a math literacy course for non-MBA audiences. Although it can be used alone, it was created as the fifth in a module of five cases total. It builds on the learnings in “What Are the Odds?” (UVA-G-0655).