A man traveling across the country stopped at a rest stop and took a break. As he stood by his car drinking a cola, he watched a couple of men working along the roadside. One man would dig a hole two or three feet deep. Then the other man would come along behind him and fill the hole. While one was digging a new hole, the other was always about 25 feet behind filling in the old.
The traveler finished his cola and headed down the road toward the men. “Can you tell me what’s going on here with this digging?” he asked.
“We work for the county,” one of the men answered.
“But one of you is digging a hole, and the other is filling it up. You’re not accomplishing anything. Aren’t you wasting the county’s money?”
“You don’t understand,” one of the men said, leaning on his shovel and wiping the sweat off his brow. “Normally, there’s three of us —Henry, Clayton, and me. I dig the hole. Henry sticks in the tree, and Clayton here puts the dirt back.”
The traveler looked puzzled. The man continued.
“Just because Henry’s sick doesn’t mean we shouldn’t work now!”