Reaching the end of a job interview at a school, the human resources officer asks the young teaching graduate, who had just finished years of training and prac: "What starting salary are you looking for?"
The young teaching graduate states nervously: "Well, in the region of $45,000 a year, I was hoping."
The HR officer responds: "Well, what would you say to a package of 15 weeks annual leave, 30 annual paid sick days, full medical and dental, a company matching retirement fund to 50 per cent of your salary, and a company car leased every two years, say, a red Corvette?"
The teaching graduate sits up excitedly. "Wow! Are you kidding?"
The HR officer replies "Yeah, but you started it."
Job interviews can be harsh - and things only get worse if you're hired.
From what people tell me, it appears a lot of workers out there look at their boss and think "I wonder if they know I haven't done a scrap of work all morning?"
Of course, I'm musing their boss is probably looking back at them and thinking "I wonder if they know I haven't done a scrap of work all morning?"
Most of us don't realise that work is a blessing, and not a curse ... that is, until we can't get any.
In December 1992, unemployment in Australia reached 11.2 per cent - still the highest rate in Australian history.
It was just bad luck for me that, at the time, I was a young lad - a very young lad - looking for a part-time job.
However, it would have been a much worse for those trying to support a family.
I was embarrassed when my mother once said to one of her friends: "Every time my son Brendan works for a business, they go out of business! He got a job at Venture; they went out of business. So he went and got a job at Brashs; they went out of business!"
"Good heavens!" my mother's friend gasped. "Who is he going to work for next?"
My mother replied: "Well, actually, he's thinking of becoming a priest." True story.
As was reported last week in the Washington Post, the unemployment rate in the United States has fallen to 3.6 per cent; the lowest rate since 1969.
But before we start patting the president on the back, let's not forget that apparently the Democrats have reason to believe that in 1991, Donald Trump returned a VHS tape to Video Ezy without rewinding it.
Seriously, I believe that if you can provide a person with stable employment and/or you can enrich their employment, you are doing a very honourable thing.
But if you deny someone the ability to work, or you go out of your way to make someone's employment difficult, I believe you do something very evil.
Work is a good thing. Work makes us who we are, and have you noticed that nothing seems to reveal us to ourselves quite like hard work? Emerson believed that 'the world belongs to the energetic'. The Buddha taught that 'your purpose in life is to find your purpose and give your whole heart and soul to it'.
Of the thousands of homes I have door-knocked in my ministry - the least favourite part of my work - the saddest was that of an old woman who, many years later, was still grieving her son who died at work after he was set on fire by his workmates as part of a bullying initiation.
If you look in the Book of Genesis - considered part of the scriptures for many of the world's major religions - it appears man and woman were put on the earth to work, even before the original sin.
That work would now be "laborious" for humanity seems to be our punishment for the original sin, not work itself.
Work is a good thing. Work makes us who we are, and have you noticed that nothing seems to reveal us to ourselves quite like hard work?
Emerson believed that "the world belongs to the energetic".
The Buddha taught that "your purpose in life is to find your purpose and give your whole heart and soul to it".
If you feel like you've tried everything to improve your life and nothing has worked, try working hard.
Few things in life can honestly be considered a cure-all. Hard work is definitely one of them.