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There's a story, possibly by Asimov, which has a company which takes and fills requests of all kinds. In the story, the Earth government is the client, and speaks to one of this company's higher-ranked employees to arrange an off-world meeting with other governments. The company has to engage the services of a scientist to make this request possible.

Does anyone know the name of this story?

36

This is the Heinlein story —We Also Walk Dogs.

From the linked wiki:

'General Services', a very successful company that provides various personal services such as shopping for you or walking your dogs or supplying a host for a party, but also proudly advertises that no job is too large (One ad campaign idea the staff discusses: "Want somebody murdered? Then DON'T call General Services. But for anything else, call.... It Pays!"), is asked to do the impossible: enable an interplanetary conference to be held on Earth, whose strong gravity is inhospitable to many of the native races of other planets in the solar system.

It's been anthologized many times.

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  • Extra credit: Did General Services appear in more than one Heinlein story? I have the vague memory that it did ... but can't pin it down. – davidbak May 23 '16 at 16:38
  • @davidbak This was always an odd fit in the Future History IMHO. The gravity shield technology developed in this story never seemed to show up anywhere else. That said, the company well could have showed up in one of his late novels when he was consolidating everything, I am not very familiar with those. – Organic Marble May 23 '16 at 21:50
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    Considering the Future History in this context ... I think Jubal Harshaw would've made a great General Counsel for General Services ... – davidbak May 23 '16 at 21:54

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