A middle aged man named Joe worked for a nunnery as a janitor, and had worked there for 25 years. He did his job to perfection, everything was always clean and tidy, in working order. He was never late, never messed up. Perfect employee.
The policy of the church changed for it’s un-ordained employees (or it might have been state or city policy, I can’t remember which), and it required that each person was ‘certified’. Form filling, legal crap, that kind of thing.
So they said:
“Joe, you’ve got get certified.”
“What on earth for? Am I not doing my work as you want it?”
“It’s not that Joe. Not that at all. They’re just making sure everyones certified. Fill out some forms, that sorta thing. Simple stuff.”
“Well I can’t fill out any forms. Can’t read or write. Never got round to learning.”
“Joe, you know, we can’t keep you if you’re not certified.”
So they let him go.
After that he went on to work at a small fruit stand to make ends meet, seeing as he felt unable to do anything else. He worked hard, eventually buying his own stand, and was successful at it. He eventually bought another, and continued to do well. He bought more and more until he decided to go into business for himself with a proper ‘bricks n’ mortar’ grocery store. All he needed was the money.
Joe went to the bank and asked them for a loan of $250,000 dollars. Seeing how well he was doing and the fact that Joe was an honest hardworking guy, they agreed to loan him the sum. Passing the forms across the nice mahogany table, with an expensive pen, the bank manager asked him to sign on the dotted line.
“But I don’t know how to write. I never had time for that stuff.”
The bank manager was aghast. “Joe! How can you not know how to read or write? Look how well you’re doing. Just think how successful you would have been if you could read and write!”
Joe replied, “True. I think about it like this though; If I had known how to do that, I wouldn’t be here talking to you. I’d still be at the nunnery.”
Some of life is about hard work. Some of it is about natural talent. Some of it blind luck. Maybe a mixture of all three.
image courtesy of colourblind.ca