I get in the car twenty minutes before my interview because if it takes any longer to get there I don't want the job. At sharp corners I do math problems: 20=1000=40, 25=1250=50, 30=1500=60, 35=2000=70.

I wear jeans and a T-shirt. The guy who opens the door is in torn jeans and an untucked T-shirt. His long stringy hair hasn't been combed since last week, which is probably the last time he left his office. I untuck my shirt when he's not looking.

He says management and I think: 30.

He says conceptualizing and I think: 40.

He says, "Can you tell me the functional difference between ActiveX and Java?"

I give a wrong answer and I think: 20.

He says, "What sort of salary are you thinking of?"

"Forty-five," I say. There's a long enough silence for me to think maybe I should have said twenty-five.

"Forty-five a year?" he says.

"No," I say, "an hour."

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