I recently found a story about an unemployed man who applied for a janitor’s position at Microsoft quite a few years ago.

He was interviewed by HR and successfully passed all of the pre-requisite tests.

He was then asked for an email address so that the employment package could be sent through.

The man panicked and confessed to the HR Manager that he didn’t have an email address.

The manager responded that if he didn’t have an email address, then he virtually didn’t exist and couldn’t possibly work for a company like Microsoft.

The man left the interview distraught and broke.

Down to his last $10 he walked into a supermarket and bought 10 pounds of strawberries.

He then went from door to door selling the strawberries, doubling his money in a couple of hours.

He repeated the process a few times and ended the day with $60 in his pocket.

Encouraged by his small success, he got up earlier the next day and worked hard selling strawberries, making more money every day.

Over time, he was able to invest in a wheelbarrow, then a truck and after a while he had a fleet of trucks delivering produce.

As the years went on, he became the owner of a chain of stores, and became a terrific success story from such humble beginnings.

As he was now quite wealthy, the man considered his future and his family and investigated getting some life insurance.  He contacted an agent and chose a policy that met his needs.

At the conclusion of the conversation, the agent asked for his email address so that he could send him a confirmation of the policy.

The man responded, “But I don’t have an email address.”

The agent was surprised and said, “That’s amazing!  You have no email, yet you were able to build this empire.  Just imagine where you would be if you had an email address.”

The man thought for a moment and replied, “Yes, I would be cleaning toilets at Microsoft.”

I’m not sure if this is a true story or not, but it is a great reminder that sometimes we place such a strong emphasis on modern technologies like social media and smart phones that we forget about the value of hard work and resilience.

Trends will come and go, but a strong work ethic will always be valuable.

What did you take away from this story?

Previous post – How Many Times Have You Been Told No?

Next post – The Alternative to Murphy’s Law