An office manager was asking a girl applicant if she had any unusual talents. She replied that she had won several prizes in crossword-puzzle and slogan-writing contests.
Her answer didn’t impress the manager. The talents she mentioned were, from his point of view, for off-hours and they were useless for work. So he told her, “Sounds good, but we want somebody who will be smart during office hours.” It was his polite way of declining her application.
It didn’t work out as he had intended, however. She retorted that she had done those things during office hours. The phrase “during office hours” had different meanings for the manager and the girl applicant. For the manager, it meant work during those hours. For her, it literally meant the period of time.
Her contention revealed that it was not only in her off-hours that she had worked on crossword puzzles and slogans. She was preoccupied with those things during office hours as well. She did not seem to have realized it yet, but that was probably the reason she was fired from her former position.