When we dream of retirement, we imagine white, sandy beaches, crisp mountain air, or a cozy cottage in the woods to spend our days relaxing and bouncing grandchildren on our knees. That’s the American Dream, right? Sadly, for most of us, retirement is nothing like in the movies. There are still bills to pay, mouths to feed, and grandchildren to spoil – who has the time to relax? When this retired engineer was roped back into his old job, he decided to make the most of it…by sending an invoice for his expertise!
There was an engineer who had an exceptional gift for fixing all things mechanical. After serving his company loyally for over 30 years, he happily retired.
Several years later, the company contacted him regarding a seemingly impossible problem they were having with one of their multi-million dollar machines. They had tried everything and everyone to get the machine fixed, but to no avail. In desperation, they called on the retired engineer who had solved so many of their problems in the past.
The engineer reluctantly took the challenge. He spent a day studying the huge machine. At the end of the day, he marked a small “x” in chalk on a particular component of the machine and proudly stated, “This is where your problem is.”
The part was replaced and the machine worked perfectly again. The company received a bill for $50,000 from the engineer for his services. They demanded an itemized accounting of his charges as this amount was absolutely absurd.
The engineer responded:
One chalk mark . . . . . . . . . . . . . $1.00
Knowing where to put it . . . . . . . $49,999.00
Hey, what did they expect?! They probably spent more than that on their other consultations and trouble-shooting! The least they could do was reimburse the guy for his services! I can understand that they felt a bit blindsided by the large sum of money, but in his defense, they probably should have asked…did they really think he would help them out for free?
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