A guy stopped at a local gas station, and after filling his tank, he paid the bill and bought a soft drink. He stood by his car to drink his cola and watched a couple of men working along the roadside.
One man would dig a hole two or three feet deep and then move on. The other man came along behind him and filled in the hole. While one was digging a new hole, the other was 25 feet behind filling in the hole.
The men worked right past the guy with the soft drink and went on down the road.
"I can't stand this," said the man, tossing the can into a trash container and headed down the road toward the workers. "Hold it, hold it," he said to the men. "Can you tell me what's going on here with all this digging and refilling?"
“Well, we work for the government and we’re just doing our job,” one of the workers said.
“But one of you is digging a hole and the other fills it up. You’re not accomplishing anything. Aren’t you wasting the taxpayers’ money?”
“You don’t understand, mister,” one of the workers said, leaning on his shovel and wiping his brow. “Normally there’s three of us: me, Elmer and Leroy. I dig the hole, Elmer sticks in the tree, and Leroy here puts the dirt back. Elmer’s job’s been cut … so now it’s jus’ me an’ Leroy.”
Inspired by "Fellowship of the Minds"