Sleeping With the Cow for Free Milk

(Extra points for anyone who recognized that line from Mad About You.)

I don’t know if anybody really uses the “Why buy the cow if you can get the milk for free” line, just like I don’t know anybody who uses the “If all your friends jumped off a cliff would you?” line, but I just did today.

The Cow line.

Jay is no longer in the Electronic Shop at the University. He is now working “exclusively” in infrasound and is down to three jobs:

  • Operator of two CTBTO infrasound sites
  • Part-time deployment data-collection specialist (assisting with preparation and deployment of portable sensor arrays for specific data-collection projects)
  • Working for Chaparral.

Not just working-for.

Due to some bizarro (but ultimately positive?) events he is now the Boss Supremo (second only to the guy who’s the head of the whole Geophysical Institute). But he’s still the only full engineer “in” the Electronic Shop.

And he’s under a *lot* of pressure right now trying to keep a bundle of knives in the air. No only is he going to have to start learning how to run a company by doing it (I’m thankful he has such high quality standards, and he’s thankful he can now have full say in how the products are presented), but he has to help his Shop (former) boss finish up a project.

Naturally this has led to long hours and an over-tired, stressed-out man at home. I found a Business Administration class he is now considering, to ease the transition. This would result in more time away from home but– Lord willing– a less-stressed man in the end.

I’ve been calling his Shop project an albatross. I asked Jay why someone else couldn’t take it over.

He said it was because said he was the only engineer in the shop, and it would take forever to hire a new one. I pointed out that there was no motivation for the Shop to look for a new engineer while they have access to one as good as he.

That’s when I made my lame attempt to quote the line about the cow, and it came out like the misquoted title, and I had to try again.

“Why would you do that?” I asked.

“I’m a nice cow,” he said, firmly.

Then he explained that he wants to use the finished project at Chaparral, so being a part of this ensures he ends up with what he needs.

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