Mr. Jones was known far and wide as a hard-nosed boss who watched his employees like a hawk. He was making one of his regular tours of the factory when he spotted a young man leaning against a pile of boxes just outside the foreman's office. Since George, the foreman, wasn't around, Jones stood off to the side and watched to see just how long the young man would stand around doing nothing. The young man yawned, scratched his head, looked at his watch, and sat on the floor. He took out a nail file and began cleaning his nails. Then he stretched, yawned again, and leaned back on the pile of boxes.
Jones stepped from his hiding place and walked up to the young man. "You!" he boomed. "How much do you make a week?"
The young man looked up indifferently. "Two hundred and fifty dollars," he said.
Jones swooped into the cashier's office, took $250 from the cash box, and returned. "Take it," he said, "and get out! Don't let me see you around here again!"
The young man took the cash, put it in his pocket, and left. Jones snorted at his lack of remorse, embarrassment, or any other feeling. Then he went looking for George. When he found him, Jones was red with anger."That idler in front of your office," Jones said. "I just gave him a week's pay and fired him. What's the matter with you, letting him stand around as though he had nothing to do?"
"You mean the kid in the red shirt?" George asked.
"Yes! The kid in the red shirt!"
"He was waiting for the twenty dollars we owe him for lunch," George said. "He works for the coffee shop around the corner."
An ageing blacksmith realized he soon needed to retire so he picked out a strong young man to become his apprentice. The old fellow was crabby and exacting. "Don't ask me a lot of questions," he told the boy. "Just do exactly what I tell you to do." One day the old blacksmith took an iron out of the forge and laid it on the anvil. "Get the hammer over there," he said. "When I nod my head, hit it real good and hard."
Now the town is looking for a new blacksmith.
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Reaching the end of a job interview, the Human Resources person asked the hot-shot young Engineer, fresh out of MIT, "And what starting salary were you looking for?"
The engineer cooly said, "In the neighborhood of $125,000 a year, depending on the benefits package."
The interviewer said, "Well, what would you say to a package of 5 weeks vacation, 14 paid holidays, full medical and dental, company matching retirement fund to 50% of salary, and a company car leased every 2 years - for starters, say, a red Corvette?"
The engineer tried to control his excitement, but sat straight up and said, "Wow! Are you kidding?" .
"Yeah," the interviewer shrugged, "But you started it."