A guy stopped at a local gas station and, after filling his tank, paid the bill and bought a soft drink. He stood by his car to drink his soda and watched a couple of workers near the roadside.
One worker would dig a hole two or three feet deep and then move on. The other worker 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 previous hole.
As the workers got closer to the man, curiosity got the better of him. “Excuse me,” he called. “I’ve been watching you guys work for a bit and I can’t figure out just what it is that you’re doing.”
The two workers seemed glad to take a break. “Well, we work for the Department of Transportation, and we’re just doing our normal job,” said one of the workers.
“But I don’t get it. You’re just digging holes and filling them back in again,” said the man. “That seems like a big waste of time — not to mention the taxpayers’ money.”
“You don’t understand, mister,” said the other worker. “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. But Elmer’s job got cut last week… so now it’s just me an’ Leroy.”