A not-so-bright guy snagged a job at his local public works department. His first task: to paint lines down the center of a rural road. The roads supervisor told the man that he had to paint at least 2 miles per day to keep the gig. The new-bie agreed and got right to work.

At the end of the first day, the guy had completed an astounding 4 miles—double the average. “Great!” the supervisor told him. “I think you're going to work out.”

The next day, however, the supervisor found he had finished only 2 miles. Disappointed, the supervisor thought, “Well, he's still at the average and I don't want to discourage him—I'll just keep quiet.”

When, on the third day, the new guy had only finished 1 mile, the boss called him into his office. “What happened?” he asked. “You were doing so great. The first day you did 4 miles, but the second day 2 miles, and yesterday only one. What gives?”

The new hire answered, “I keep getting farther and farther away from the paint bucket.”