An unemployed man was desperate to support his family. His options limited, he applied for a janitor’s job at a large company and easily passed the aptitude test.
The human resources manager told him: “You will be hired at a minimum wage of $5.05 an hour. Let me know your e-mail address so that we can get you in the loop. Our system will automatically e-mail you all the forms, and advise you when to start and where to report on your first day.”
But the man pointed out that he was too poor to afford a computer, and that therefore he didn’t have an e-mail address. The manager replied icily: “Surely you must realise that to a company like ours, not having an e-mail address means that you virtually cease to exist. Without e-mail you can hardly expect to be employed by a hi-tech firm. Good day.”
Stunned and dismayed, the man left. Not knowing which way to turn and with just $10 left in his wallet, he walked past a market wholesaler and saw a trader selling 25lb crates of beautiful red tomatoes. So he bought a crate, carried it to a busy street corner and began selling them. In less than two hours he sold all the tomatoes and made a 100 per cent profit. Repeating the process several more times a day, he finished up with nearly $100 and arrived home that night with several bags of groceries for his hungry family.
Unsurprisingly, he decided to resume the tomato business the next day and, by working long hours, he quickly multiplied his profits. During the second week he had invested in a car and two weeks later he had bought a broken pickup. By the end of the year, he owned three trucks. His two sons had left their neighborhood gang to help him in the tomato business, his wife had bought the tomatoes, and his daughter had taken evening accounting classes at the local college to keep her books.
Five years later, he owned a fleet of trucks and warehouses overseen by his wife and two tomato farms run by boys. The payroll of the tomato company has created jobs for hundreds of homeless and unemployed people. His daughter reported that the company had raised $ 1 million. When he prepared for the future, he decided to take out a life insurance policy and, with the help of an insurance advisor, chose a plan suited to his newly discovered fortune. The advisor then asked for his email address to send the final documents electronically.
When the man replied that he didn’t have time to mess with a computer and had no e-mail address, the insurance advisor was stunned. “What? No computer? No Internet? No e-mail? Just think where you would be today if you’d had all of that five years ago!”
“Ha!” snorted the man. “If I’d had e-mail five years ago, I would be sweeping floors at a multinational computer company and making $5.05 an hour.”
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