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The Office Schlemiel

April 26, 2011 | by

It's Oy Veh Ltd's 10th anniversary and the Jewish Press has decided to publish an article on the company and how it has managed to survive the recession. So one of the Jewish Press’s reporters is sent out to interview the proprietor, Sidney Offenbach.

"Mr. Offenbach," says the reporter, "I'd like to start by asking you to describe your employees, what they do and how much each earns."

"No problem," says Sidney. "In total, there are only two employees. First of all there's my office clerk. He's been with me for 5 years now and I couldn't do without him. He works a full 8 hour day for 5 days a week and for that I pay him $50,000 per year. I also provide him with a free lunch consisting of a corned beef sandwich and a can of Coke. Oh, and I also let him use my small one bed apartment for next to gornisht."

"And then there's the office schlemiel," continues Sidney. "He's been with Oy Veh ever since it opened for business 10 years ago. He works 12 hour days six days a week and probably handles 80% of all the work. In total, he takes home no more than $10,000 per year, but as he also has to pay for his own accommodation, I buy him a bottle of whisky every few days or so to help him cope with everything that he's faced with. And that's not all. Sometimes he takes care of my mother in law if my wife is out with her friend."

"Thank you Mr Offenbach," says the Jewish Press reporter, "that's very interesting. If it's alright with you, I'd like to talk to this person, this person you call the office schlemiel. Can you take me to him please?"

"I don't need to," replies Sidney, "you're looking at him right now."


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