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The "older you get, the less you work, the more you earn" Paradox

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Sean had been waiting all morning for his 9 o’clock appointment with his boss. It wasn’t as frustrating as it seemed, at least he wasn’t doing any real work. Don’t think badly of Sean, he was hard working, but his job wasn’t going to save or kill anyone. Unless, of course, the large pile of accumulated files on his desk fell upon an unfortunate co-worker, and then in fact, he would have a killer job. Also, to Sean’s satisfaction, there was the new issue of National Geographic in the waiting room, which he was now avidly reading. Why his boss had a waiting room was one of life’s greatest mysteries since you never saw more than one person at a time in there.

Finally, a beautiful voice announced that Mr Sean Smith was to come in. Everyone knows that kind of voice, it’s the voice of a heavenly being. A tall gorgeous blonde who had only one skill: looking good. And she was a pro at it.

He went into Mr Anderson’s office. His boss was typing something on his computer and it took him a while before he invited Sean to have a seat.

‘What brings,’ his boss paused, looking at an apparently blank sheet of paper, ‘you here Mr Smith?’

‘Well, sir. I was hoping for a raise.’

‘Ohhh, a raise? And on what grounds?’ Mr Anderson leaned back on his chair.

Strangely, Sean hadn’t anticipated that question. He just thought of going in there and seeing if he could get a raise. After all, his boss should know his value, he thought.

‘I really haven’t thought about that, but since you ask, let me think for a minute or two,’ Sean said.

An awkward silence fell upon them. While one looked at his blank sheet of paper, the other moved his eyeballs from upper right to upper left, just like Sean had seen in the movies when someone was thinking really hard to come up with an idea. Sean broke the silence with a triumphant, but very low:

‘Aha! Mrs Gordon got a raise last month and she only archives files.’

‘Oh, but Mrs Gordon has been working here for…’ now it was Mr Anderson’s turn to move his eyeballs from left to right. ‘Well, she was working here before I got here.’ And he made a full turn in his chair. If there was anything that Mr Anderson liked, it was giving his premium office chair a nice spin avery now and then.

‘But aren’t you one of the co-founders? I thought you were, since your name is in the company’s name and all.’

‘Indeed I am,’ smiled Mr Anderson proudly.

Another small awkward silence. This time interrupted by Mr Anderson clearing his throat and continuing. ‘Mrs Gordon has worked here for a long time and we like to reward our old employees.’

‘Old? She looks like she’s a thousand years old, and she only archives files and gets rewarded for that?’

‘Yes, without her, well you know…’ apparently another spin of his chair broke Mr Anderson’s chain of thought, since he didn’t finish his sentence.

‘Know what?’ Sean asked.

‘Our company might crumble to dust,’ he replied in a very serious and ominous tone.

She might crumble to dust! Seriously Mr Anderson.’ Sean approached him a little bit, as if telling a secret. ‘Sometimes I see Death, with the black cape, scythe and all, peeking at her from behind a far cubicle, waiting for her to die.’

‘Oh, that’s just Ben from Marketing.’

‘But it’s not like she even archives correctly.’

‘Well, you know…’ again he paused and again another spin of the chair.

‘Know what?’

‘She’s old, Mr Smith. We must give her a break. We must be humane.’

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