You've probably seen those Dilbert cartoons where the boss does something that, in Dilbert's mind, makes no sense at all. Dilbert must wonder how the boss became the boss since he seems to know so little.
Have you ever wondered why your boss is the boss, and makes more money than you do? Are you frustrated because you're convinced you know more than your boss, yet you make less money? I've certainly been in Dilbert's shoes once or twice in my career.
There's a simple explanation for your predicament: You know too much. Sounds impossible, right? Let me prove, through simple math, that knowing too much is costing you money, no matter how hard you work.
While at a conference this summer, I heard a speaker give the following hypothesis:
We've all heard the phrases "knowledge is power" and "time is money." These two concepts are the keys to the explanation. You may recall that the definition of power is work per unit time. Expressed mathematically,
Power = Work / Time
Now, substitute knowledge for power and money for time. You get:
Knowledge = Work / Money
Solve for money, and you get:
Money = Work / Knowledge
Look at this equation. It says that money is inversely proportional to knowledge. The less you know, the more you make. Carried to extremes, as knowledge approaches zero, money approaches infinity, regardless of how much work you do.
You can also interpret the equation such that the more you work, the more money you make. But, that's where the equation breaks down. When was the last time you were paid for working nights and weekends?
There you have it. The equations clearly prove that your boss makes more money than you do because he or she possesses less knowledge than you. Don't, however, think that all your knowledge is wasted. A friend of mine reasoned the equations yet another way. Creswell's Corollary states that if you set up the equation such that:Knowledge = Work / Time
Then the less time you spend working, the smarter you are.
— Martin Rowe, Senior Technical Editor