Our story starts in 2004, a period in ancient times before the launch of Youtube.  This is the year I graduated from law school and started what would be my job for the next seven years (in engineering, not law).  My starting salary at a small engineering consulting firm was $48,000.  The salary negotiation was bizarre.  The president of the company asked me what I would like to make.  I asked for $42,000 (since I had a job already lined up elsewhere for $36,000).  He countered with “does $48,000 work for you?”.  I spent about two seconds trying to figure what the trick was before suppressing a smile and responding with “yes, that will be acceptable”.  The vice-president’s dumbfounded sideways glance at the president sticks with me even today.

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