Text Illustrations

A large, mulit-national, retail giant moved into a new city. We’ll call it “Stuff Mart.” They put an add in the paper inviting applications for people to work for one month to stock their shelves, and received 100 applications. The manager went through them all, chose the best 25, and offered them a job. “At the end of the month,” he said, “I’ll pay you $2000 cash.” They agreed, and went to work.

One week into the month, he phoned another 25. “Come and work, and at the end of the month I’ll pay you a fair wage.” The next week he phoned the next 25, and made the same offer.

Finally, the last week, he phoned the last 25. The ones with no education, lousy references, a series of bad jobs, many of whom hadn’t even filled out their application properly and obviously couldn’t spell. They too came and worked.

At the end of the month, he called everyone together and lined them up to pay them. The lowly, poor workers who had come for only one week were first. They hadn’t been particularly productive, due to their lack of many very basic skills. But as they approached the table, the manager handed them each 20, $100 dollar bills. (for those of you struggling with the math, that’s $2000…).

Imagine their reaction! Those who had been hired at the beginning of the month got excited!! We slaved all month long, we worked much harder and accomplished much more, I wonder what we will get paid!!! When their turn came, they also received 20, $100 dollar bills.

They got upset, called Buzz Hargrove and the international StuffMart Union, and lodged a protest. “It’s not fair!” they cried. “We worked all month and accomplished much more than the losers you hired the last week. We deserve more than them.” The manager replied, “Friend, I am not being unfair to you. Didn’t you agree to work for $2000? Take your pay and go. I want to give those who were hired last the same as I gave you. Don’t I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?”

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