Three contractors are bidding to fix a broken fence at an important building. All three go with an official to examine the fence.
The first contractor takes out a tape measure and does some measuring, then works some figures with a pencil. “Well,” he says, “I figure the job will run about $900. $400 for materials, $400 for my crew and $100 profit for me.”
The second contractor also does some measuring, then says: “I can do this job for $700. $300 for materials, $300 for my crew, and $100 profit for me.”
The third contractor doesn’t measure or figure, but leans over to official and whispers: “$2,700.”
The official, incredulous, says: “You didn’t even measure like the other guys! How did you come up with such a high figure?”
Johnny whispers back: “$1000 for me, $1000 for you, and we hire the other guy to fix the fence for $700.”