e-Tomatoes

An unemployed man went to apply for a job with Microsoft as a janitor. The manager there arranges for him to take an aptitude test. After the test, the manager says, "You will be employed as a janitor at minimum wage, $8.55 an hour. Let me have your e-mail address so that I can send you a form to complete and tell you where to report for work on your first day."

Taken aback, the man protests that he has neither a computer nor an e-mail address. To this the MS manager replies, "Well, then, that means that you virtually don't exist and can therefore hardly expect to be employed by Microsoft."

Stunned, the man leaves. Not knowing where to turn and having only $10.00 in his wallet, he buys a 25 lb. flat of tomatoes at the supermarket and in less than two hours, he sell all the tomatoes individually at 100 percent profit.

Repeating the process several times more that day, he ends up with almost $160.00 before going to sleep that night. It dawns on him that he could quite easily make a living selling tomatoes.

Getting up early every day and going to bed late, he multiplies his profits quickly. After a short time he acquires a cart to transport several dozen boxes of tomatoes, only to have to trade it in again so that he can buy a pickup truck to support his expanding business. By the end of the second year, he is the owner of a fleet of pickup trucks and manages a staff of a hundred former unemployed people, all selling tomatoes.

Planning for the future of his wife and children, he decides to buy some life insurance. Consulting with an insurance adviser, he picks an insurance plan to fit his new circumstances. At the end of the telephone conversation, the adviser asks him for his e-mail address in order to send the final documents electronically. When the man replies that he has no e-mail, the adviser is stunned. "What, you don't have e-mail? How on earth have you managed to amass such wealth without the internet, e-mail and e-commerce? Just imagine where you could be now if you had been connected to the internet from the very start!"

"Well," replied the tomato millionaire, "I would be a janitor at Microsoft!"

By definition, a fable must have a moral. This one has four:

  1. The internet, e-mail and e-commerce do not need to rule your life.

  2. If you don't have e-mail, but work hard, you can still become a millionaire.

  3. Since you found this story on the Internet, you may be closer to becoming a janitor than you are to becoming a millionaire.

  4. If you do have a computer and e-mail, you have probably already helped a bunch of other guys at Microsoft get rich.

    Posted April 19, 2010

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