The value of an engineer
There was an engineer who had an exceptional gift for fixing all things mechanical. After serving his company loyally for over 30 years, he retired.
Several years later the company contacted him regarding a seemingly impossible problem it was having with one of its multimillion-dollar machines. 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 perfectly again. 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 with the following: "Chalk: $1. Knowing where to put it: $49,999."