An unemployed man is desperate to support his family of a wife and three kids. He applies for a janitor’s
job at a large firm and easily passes an aptitude test.
The human resources manager tells 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 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.”
Taken back, the man protests that he is poor and has neither a computer nor an e-mail address. To this the
manager replies, “You must understand that to a company like ours that means that 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 leaves. Not knowing where to turn and having $10 in his wallet, he walks past a farmers’
market and sees a stand selling 25-lb crates of beautiful red tomatoes. He buys a crate, carries it
to a busy corner and displays the tomatoes. In less than 2 hours he sells all the tomatoes and makes 100%
profit. Repeating the process several times more that day, he ends up with almost $100 and arrives home that
night with several bags of groceries for his family.
During the night he decides to repeat the tomato business the next day. By the end of the week he is
getting up early every day and working into the night. He multiplies his profits quickly. Early in the second
week he acquires a cart to transport several boxes of tomatoes at a time, but before a month is up he sells
the cart to buy a broken-down pickup truck.
At the end of a year he owns three old trucks. His two sons have left their neighborhood gangs to help him
with the tomato business, his wife is buying the tomatoes, and his daughter is taking night courses at
the community college so she can keep books for him.
By the end of the second year he has a dozen very nice used trucks and employs fifteen previously unemployed
people, all selling tomatoes. He continues to work hard.
Time passes and at the end of the fifth year he owns a fleet of nice trucks and a warehouse that his wife
supervises, plus two tomato farms that the boys manage. The tomato company’s payroll has put hundreds
of homeless and jobless people to work. His daughter reports that the business grossed a million dollars.
Planning for the future, he decides to buy some life insurance. Consulting with an insurance adviser, he
picks an insurance plan to fit his new circumstances. Then the adviser asks him for his e-mail address in
order to send the final documents electronically.
When the man replies that he doesn’t have time to mess with 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!” snorts the man. “If I’d had e-mail five years ago I would still be sweeping floors at Microsoft and making
$5.15 an hour.”