Construction Worker Math Test

A construction site boss was interviewing men for a job, when along came Smith.

The boss took an instant dislike to him and thought to himself, “I’m not hiring that lazy bum!”

So he decides to set a test for Smith, hoping he wouldn’t be able to answer the questions, and the boss would be able to refuse him the job without getting into an argument.

The first question was, “Without using numbers, represent the number 9.”

So Smith says, “Dat’s easy,” and proceeds to draw three tall, leafy trees.

The boss says, “What the hell’s that?” Smith says, “Tree ‘n tree n’ tree makes nine.” Fair enough, says the boss.

Second question, same rules, but represent 99. Smith stares into space for a while, then makes a smudge on each tree. “Dere ya go sir,” he says.

The boss scratches his head and says, “How on earth do you get that to represent 99?” Smith says, “Each tree’s dirty now! So it’s dirty tree, n’ dirty tree n’ dirty tree, dats 99.”

The boss is getting worried he’s going to have to actually hire Smith, so he decides to up the ante. “Alright, question three. Same rules again, but represent the number 100.”

Smith stares into space again, then he shouts, “Got it!” He makes a little mark at the base of each tree, and says, “Dere ya go sir, 100.”

The boss looks at Smith’ attempt and thinks ‘Ha! got him this time.’ Go on Smith, you must be mad if you think that represents a hundred.”

Smith leans forward and points to the marks at the tree bases, and says, “A little dog comes along and craps by each tree, see? So now ya gots dirty tree an’ a turd, dirty tree an’ a turd, an’ dirty tree an’ a turd, which makes one hunnerd. When do I start me job?”