Smith goes to see his supervisor in the front office. "Boss," he says, "we're doing some heavy house-cleaning at home tomorrow, and my wife needs me to help with the attic and the garage, moving and hauling stuff."
"We're short-handed, Smith" the boss replies. "I can't give you the day off."
"Thanks, boss," says Smith "I knew I could count on you!"
For thirty years, Johnson had arrived at work at 9A.M. on the dot. He had never missed a day and was never late.
Consequently, when on one particular day 9 A.M. passed without Johnson's arrival, it caused a sensation. All work ceased, and the boss himself, looking at his watch and muttering, came out into the corridor.
Finally, precisely at ten, Johnson showed up, clothes dusty and torn, his face scratched and bruised, his glasses bent. He limped painfully to the time clock, punched in, and said, aware that all eyes were upon him, "I tripped and rolled down two flights of stairs in the subway. Nearly killed myself."
And the boss said, "And to roll down two flights of stairs took you a whole hour?"
An old blacksmith relized he was soon going to quit working so hard. 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 whatever 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.