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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 his 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 else 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 was enjoying his retirement and did not want to go back
to work, but after they begged him to come back as a consultant he
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
The company received a bill for $50,000 from the engineer for his
service. They demanded an itemized accounting of his charges.
The engineer responded briefly:
One chalk mark .. ..... ..... $1
Knowing where to put it ..... $49,999
It was paid in full and the engineer retired in peace.