An investment firm is hiring mathematicians. After the first round of interviews, three hopeful recent graduates - a pure mathematician, an applied mathematician, and a graduate in mathematical finance - are asked what starting salary they are expecting.
The pure mathematician: "Would $30,000 be too much?"
The applied mathematician: "I think $60,000 would be OK."
The math finance person: "What about $300,000?"
The personnel officer is flabbergasted: "Do you know that we have a graduate in pure mathematics who is willing to do the same work for a tenth of what you are demanding!?"
"Well, I thought of $135,000 for me, $135,000 for you - and $30,000 for the pure mathematician who will do the work."
Source: Jerry Becker's Sayings XXXVIII, 8/31/2011