A short story about Jane and her Washdown Scale:

Growing up on the Florida Gulf Coast, Jane fell in love with the water. More specifically, she fell in love with what lived in the water. Her house sat just a couple hundred feet away from the inland waterway where she would spend her afternoons after school tapping on the dock to communicate with the more curious of the wild dolphins that called this area home. 


All through high school, Jane focused on getting great grades and participating in everything that got her closer to marine life. Her goal was a scholarship to the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science where she could eventually get her PhD. With her great grades, and with the help of her self-published book on observed dolphin behavior, Jane got that elusive scholarship. Jane’s achievements did not end there. She ended up getting her BS, MS, and then PhD in near record time at Miami. 


Jane did not receive any job offers after graduating but she knew that was a possibility. She did get a great offer as an intern on a research vessel that was leaving Miami for the Falklands Islands to study the Southern Rockhopper Penguin and she happily accepted. Even though her real expertise was marine mammals this would give Jane the chance to really get her feet wet while actually getting… well, her feet wet. 


Once they had left Miami and started the long journey, Jane began to realize that she was the least educated member of the team. Being an intern, and the least educated one at that, meant Jane got the ‘dirty duty.’ It seemed everything that required getting dirty was Jane’s job and this didn’t change when they reached the Falklands. 


A big part of Jane’s work during the trip was learning how to use the Torbal BAH15W washdown scale. This industrial scale has a mode for ‘dynamic weighing’ that Jane was going to need to weigh penguins. Jane learned how to use the scale and the research software in the computer connected to the scale via the sealed USB port. 


Jane’s newfound knowledge and appreciation for ‘dirty duty’ put her in the dirtiest, yet comically entertaining, position of weighing each of the Rockhopper Penguins selected for study. Jane spent hours each day with the penguins and her Torbal scale recording the weights of these cute but dirty little creatures. The Torbal scales heavy-duty design, with sealed indicators and computer ports, didn’t make her job easy, but it made it doable. Every evening Jane would marvel that the scale was still working as she hosed off a day’s worth of penguin slop. 


When the research vessel finally returned to Miami, Jane felt more prepared than ever to take on another challenge. When Jane was asked what the most important thing she learned on the trip was, she answered, “If you have a dirty job that requires a precision scale, get a Torbal.”


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