Free D.B. Cooper

At the risk of putting myself on a watchlist….Really, F.B.I.?  You’re still looking for this guy?

That, of course, is a sketch of the infamous D.B. Cooper.  He hijacked a plan back in 1971, scored some cash, jumped out the back and was never seen from again.  I thought his identity was settled long ago.  Wasn’t it Adam West?  Or was it billionaire Jimmy James?  I forget.

Anyway, the guy splits with about $200k.  Now, all the years later, we get this from the mouth of agent Ayn Dietrich…

“[W]e do actually have a new suspect we’re looking at. And it comes from a credible lead who came to our attention recently via a law enforcement colleague.” I’m stunned. Dietrich says she can’t tell me much more, but like all the Cooper sleuths I’ve met over the past few days, I too have become a little obsessed with the case. “The credible lead is somebody whose possible connection to the hijacker is strong,” she says. “And the suspect is not a name that’s come up before.” Dietrich says agents have sent an item that belongs to him for testing at the forensics lab in Quantico, Virginia. “We’re hoping there are fingerprints they can take off of it,” she says. “It would be a significant lead. And this is looking like our most promising one to date.”

Yup.  There is still an agent assigned to the case, and they are still tracking leads.  Do you think we, as a country, have maybe spent way more than $200k on this?  Yeah, me too.

So why do they do it?  I’m guessing pride.  After all, it the F.B.I. that gave him the cash and sent him back up into the skies.  The agency does not take kindly to being ripped off, I’m guessing.  So they spend good money chasing bad, instead of sending D.B. a 40 year old hat tip.  Let it go, kids.

We all have our own private Coopers at work.  Come on, you know the one I mean.  That one project you can’t seem to close out.  That one employee that is more trouble than they are worth, but yet you can’t being yourself to cut them loose.  That leader who has no interest in talent management, yet with whom you keep setting up meetings.  They are all thieves of time, energy and attention.  They drag us down because we want to close them out.  And because it is really hard sometimes to admit you aren’t going to get traction, you aren’t going to get resolution, and you aren’t going to get cooperation.  No one likes a quitter, but you can’t maintain your own sanity if you keep chasing these white whales.

Let it go, kids.

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