man is desperate to support his family. His wife watches
TV all day and his three teenage kids have dropped
out of high school to hang around with the local toughs.
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 US
$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 aback, the man protests
that he is poor and has neither a computer nor an
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 25lb
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
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
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
which 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
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
Then the adviser asks him
for his e-mail address in order to send the final
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 tomato
millionaire. "If I'd had e-mail five years ago
I would be sweeping floors at Microsoft and making
$5.15 an hour!"
us to the moral: Since you got this story by e-mail,
you're probably closer to being a janitor than a millionaire!