FREE ENTERPRISE AND WORK ETHIC

Forwarded by Airburd. No original source, title, author given.

An unemployed father, desperate to support his wife and three kids, applied for a janitor's job at a large firm and easily passed an aptitude test.

The human resources manager told him, “You will be hired at minimum wage of $5.15 an hour. Let me have your e-mail address so that we can get you in the computer. Our system will automatically e-mail you all the forms and advise you when to start and where to report on your first day.”

Taken aback, the man protested that he is poor and had neither a computer nor an e-mail address.

To this the manager replied, “You must understand, to a company like ours, that means you virtually do not exist. Without an e-mail address you can hardly expect to be employed by a high-tech firm. Good day.”

Stunned, the man left. Not knowing where to turn and having only $10 in his wallet, he walked past a farmers' market and saw a stand selling 25 lb. crates of beautiful red tomatoes.

He bought a crate, carried it to a busy corner and displayed the tomatoes. In less than two hours he sold all the tomatoes and made 100% profit. Repeating the process several times more that day, he ended up with almost $100 and arrived home that night with several bags of groceries for his family.

During the night he decided to repeat the tomato business the next day. By the end of the week he was rising early every day and working into the night. His profits multiplied quickly.

Early in the second week he acquired a cart to transport several boxes of tomatoes at a time, and by the end of the month sold the cart to buy a broken-down pickup truck.

At the end of a year he owned three old trucks. His two sons had left their neighborhood gangs to help him with the tomato business, his wife was buying the tomatoes, and his daughter was taking night courses at the community college so she could keep books for him.

By the end of the second year he owned a dozen very nice used trucks and employed 15 previously unemployed people, all selling tomatoes. He continued to work hard.

Time passed and at the end of the fifth year he owned a fleet of nice trucks and a warehouse which his wife supervised, plus two tomato farms that the boys managed. The tomato company's payroll included hundreds of former homeless and jobless people. His daughter reported that the business grossed a million dollars.

Planning for the future, he decided to buy some life insurance. Consulting with an insurance adviser, he selected an insurance plan to fit his circumstances. Then the adviser asked him for his e-mail address in order to send the final documents electronically.

When the man replied that he doesn't have time to learn how to operate a computer and has no e-mail address, the insurance man is stunned, “What, you don't have e-mail? No computer? No Internet? 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 Microsoft and making $5.15 an hour”.

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Which brings us to the moral: Since we received this story by e-mail, we're probably closer to being a janitor than a millionaire.