Jim Wilkins said something along these lines. I don't have the option
to trade money for time. In business it can very much make a huge
That means now that I'm retired, not back when I was working and balanced
what I could make on overtime against paying for repairs. When a project was
active I could put in all the OT I could stand, as I was doing a job
allocated for two but they couldn't find anyone else qualified. Usually my
limit was eye strain from staring at a CAD screen for 12 hours, or
hand/wrist/back strain from hand-soldering tiny parts. A long persistence
monitor and not using red for CAD helped quite a bit. It looked like a cushy
job but actually was as wearing as a marathon car trip or programming at
full concentration for weeks on end. I stopped when I was only creating
problems to fix tomorrow. Between projects I was better off working straight
time or taking vacation days and catching up on neglected home and car
repairs or logging for firewood and needed exercise. Usually I was near the
max for accumulated vacation time.
It takes money to make money.
Time is money.
Sometimes you have to "waste" money to save time to make money.
I recall one of my first network cabling jobs where I was drilling down
through the top plate of a wall, and through two firebreaks to get down
to the level on a wall where they wanted network cable jacks. I
couldn't afford a decent Milwaukee or Makita drill, but I needed atleast
a half inch drill to do the job. I bought a cheap Black & Decker from
K-Mart and got the job done. After I got paid for the job I immediately
bought a much nicer and more durable Milwaukee drill for the future.
If I didn't "waste" the money on a cheap drill (I still have it) I
wouldn't have been able to do the job or afford a better drill motor.
I know, I've been in field service and done whatever was necessary to
complete the job. Each situation was different, there was no general rule to
follow, just adapt to the conditions. In the Army I serviced (classified)
communications equipment which added to the difficulty, as I couldn't carry
a manual and had to work from memory. At least I wasn't in Vietnam, though
two second-tour guys reenlisted to get back there.
The auto factory test stations were one-off, made to order, there wasn't a
manual, hastily drawn and modified relay ladder logic schematics can be
inscrutable, and the Union was hostile and uncooperative. I was living out
of a briefcase with one change of underwear and had very little for tools,
thanks to airport security. I've done wonders with a Swiss Army knife.
Pocket knives were legal on planes then but they hassled me for a
screwdriver and extension cord.
The strangest repair was to the caterer's Motorola radio at the Renaissance
Fair in my wizard costume. He was a friend who had hired me to maintain his
ancient kitchen equipment. As in the Army I experienced a small taste of
what it would be like to operate and maintain modern tech in a primitive /
medieval setting, without much outside support. Hand-forged freezer door
The biography of Merian C. Cooper of King Kong fame describes a much more
demanding primitive+tech experience filming a tribal migration under age-old
(1925_film)Cooper grew up in Florida, swimming in the ocean, so when the tribe's leader
challenged him to a race across the river he was able to prove that the
Westerner was as tough as the rest of them.
King Kong was based on a voyage where he encountered Komodo lizards. The
director in the film is an exaggerated self-portrait and he and his aide fly
the biplane at the end. A WW1 pilot, he served on the staff of the Flying
Tigers in rural China and the 5th Air Force in New Guinea, more examples of
high tech in the wild.
Hollywood disliked Cooper for opposing the Communists they viewed through
pinko-colored glasses, but he knew them to be ruthless brutal tyrants from
his experience creating and running the Polish Air Force that helped stop
Soviet Russia from conquering Poland.