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ILL. The story is told about 3 brothers who started working at the same time for a fur company owned by an old friend of their father.

After working there for more than a year, one son was still receiving the same salary as when he started, & seemed to be unhappy with his job. The second son had received a raise; while the third son had received a very generous raise.

Curious about this, the father went to see his old friend, the president of the company & said, "Jim, my 3 boys all work for you & I appreciate your giving them positions in your company. But I have a question. You pay one of them $2,500 a month, another $3,000, & the third $5,000. Why the difference?"

The president leaned back in his chair & was silent for a few moments. Then he answered, "Well, maybe I can show you why. Do you have enough spare time to wait around here for a while?"

"I can stay all day," the father said. "Well, I hope it won’t take that long, but let’s see." He picked up the phone & called the $2,500 a month son & told him, "I hear the Ontario has just docked at the wharf, loaded with furs. Please go down there & see what cargo she’s carrying & let me know."

About 3 minutes later the president’s phone rang & the young fellow said, "I didn’t have to go down there to get the information. I just telephoned them. They’re carrying 1,500 sealskins." The president said, "Thank you."

He buzzed the next son, the $3,000 one, & said, "The Ontario has just docked. Will you please go down & see what she has on board & let me know at your earliest convenience? About an hour later the phone rang & the son reported, "I just went down & checked the Ontario. She has 1,500 sealskins & some miscellaneous skins on board."

Then the president called the third son, the $5,000 one. He said, "The Ontario has docked," & told him the same story & made the same request. Four hours later the young man was back & came right to the president’s office. He said, "Well, she had 1,500 sealskins on board & all are in good shape. I contracted to buy them for $25 apiece, & filled that order we had from one of our customers. He bought all of them from us at $40 apiece."

"The Ontario also had 500 red fox pelts. Of course, we don’t handle red fox, but I knew someone who did, so I called him long distance & made a sale. That deal will net us about $6,000. There were also 39 mink skins on board. I went in & examined them. They’re beautiful. Since you always like to handle the mink trade yourself, I took an option on them for the rest of today so I could report to you."

The president said, "Thank you. You did exactly right, & I’ll check them out immediately." Then the young man left. Turning to the father, he asked, "Is your question answered?"

"Yes," replied the father, "the first one didn’t even follow your instructions, the second did exactly what you asked, but the last one gave you his very best."

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