I got the following email from someoneback in 2007:
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
The human resources manager tells him, “You will be hired at minimum wage of $5.35 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 over one 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 be
sweeping floors at Microsoft and making $5.35 an hour.”
Which brings us to the moral of the story:
Since you got this story by e-mail, you’re probably closer to being a janitor than a millionaire.
Sadly, I received it also.
If a company brings in $1 million NET (not gross) and has “hundreds of employees” (let’s say 200), and every penny goes to them, they are making $5000 per year. That’s under minimum wage even if they work only 20 hours per week.
So by not having email, the guy is arrested for illegal workers, and the daughter is implicated for cooking the books, and the whole family gets slammed for tax evasion. They spend every asset they own in court costs, which ends in jail time for them, shame and the poor house for the rest of them.
Maybe being closer to a janitor isn’t so bad …
My point is that a lot of stories sound great to illustrate qa point, but that’s all they are, stories. Not even anecdotal examples, but fictitious hypotheticals.
The next time you hear something about a famous person ranting, or some terrible deed by youer favorite politician to hate, don’t just do the homework, do the math. And sometimes that doesn’t even add up.