No E-Mail Address

Kirk Reiser kirk at
Thu Sep 8 07:07:34 EDT 2005

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 $5.35 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

Stunned, the man leaves. Not knowing where to turn and having only $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 more times 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
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

Sadly, I received it too!


Kirk Reiser				The Computer Braille Facility
e-mail: kirk at		University of Western Ontario
phone: (519) 661-3061

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