Thursday, February 28, 2013

Will Calibrate For Food: On The Eve of Sequestration

It made me laugh, but it also made me think. On a recent tour of one of our defense contractor customer's labs, a sign was up that read, "Will Calibrate For Food."

The talented technician, whose skills see him calibrate high tech equipment to mind-boggling small tolerances, was looking for some comic relief to the stress of the federal government's crisis du jour--Defense Sequestration. He fears for his job.

This guy calibrates equipment that helps ensure a missile fired goes down the warlord's chimney instead of hitting the wedding party. One mistake in his calibration can cost thousands times his salary and countless more diplomatically and personally.  An investment in calibration of weapon systems is an essential part of owning weapon systems.

And that's the problem with sequestration. Its not that there are cuts, its just that there is no real thought behind the cuts. That's what makes no sense. Revenue-producing programs get cut. There is no regard for talent, need, or anything of value when a machete is used to cut budgets instead of a paring knife.

Yet, his considerable talents aren't really needed by people who don't buy missiles and weapons every day.  Thus, the humor of picturing a person standing on a street corner with such a sign.

Here's hoping I don't see this sign at Hebron Road and Irving Wick anytime soon, though.

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