Archive for November 21st, 2008

You need to know there is a recession.

Many years ago, probably mid to late sixties, I received a printed story which allegedly came from IBM. They had prepared it for their sales force as the country was approaching a recession (again).

Fred ran a little pit-stop drive in for motorists and truck drivers along Route 66 in America. Business was good. He built an extension for his café, then he erected a big billboard 400 yards from the drive-in advertising his café. Business was good. He employed two more waitresses and an extra kitchen hand. Business was good. Just before the entrance he employed a man with a megaphone to remind drivers to “pull-in” Business was good.

They had scratched and saved to send their young son to Harvard where he was taking his MBA (Masters of Business Administration).

That day his son came home for his vacation and was aghast as he walked in through the door. “Dad” he hissed, “Don’t you know there’s a recession on?” He cancelled the Billboard advert, sacked the guy with a megaphone, got rid of the extra kitchen hand and the two waitresses and, within a few days, the customers had all but disappeared.

One night, lying in bed, Ma turned to Pa and said “Aren’t we lucky we decided to send junior to university?” Pa thought about it and answered: “Yes, we would never have realised there was a recession!”

I am sure there is a moral there somewhere – see if you can spot it?



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