Some of you will know I have been travelling the last couple of weeks and New York was on the agenda. I got a chance to go on one of those bus tours and one place I did go to was the Empire State Building and took the tour to the top. Standing in line, I asked the usherette how many people she managed to get “to the top” everyday.
Her reply… 18,000 at $16USD a head. Now that’s what I call toll position. Interestingly enough, apart from a few shops on the ground floor, the building was completely empty. I suspect suffering some deterioration, but wasn’t necessarily obvious to the naked eye.
But who cares when you make $288,000 a day from closed “boarded up” old building!
Anyway, in a previous Rant I talked about toll position, by that I mean how to be in a position to make money whether you are working or not, I often refer to it also as future banking. It’s where I spend most of my time in a business sense. How can I be in the toll position? How can I build my future bank? All that said, we got to visit Trump Tower. When I say we, Platinum member Chen Tay was with me on what was predominantly a business trip. Anyway, back to Trump and his “You’re Fired!” catchphrase.
I watch The Apprentice and Trump’s pretty much got it right every time he’s uttered those fateful words. I’d go so far as to say he’s actually done those being fired a favour. Once the writing’s on the wall (You’re Fired!) there is no point or profit in sitting there for either you or them. People need to be told to “take charge of your life, assert yourself, you are not guaranteed lifetime employment.”
If you are going to employ people my advice is to keep saying “You’re Fired!” as many times as it takes, as quickly and decisively as required until you wind up being surrounded and supported by a few who step up to the plate, take charge, get it done do-it types. You want people alert enough to see something that needs doing with enough initiative to go ahead and do it. Fortunately, generally my staff don’t wait to be told, in fact they do what they do better than me anyway, you just want people take the message to Garcia. I’ll reprint the message to Garcia here for your benefit.
My printer is one such company. And so is a courier company I use regularly to get pallet loads of stuff delivered in a hurry around the country. I’ve set them some enormous tasks this week for example, printing 1000 28 page glossy catalogues in 2 days and delivered to both Melbourne and the Gold Coast where I will be speaking to roughly 1000 people over the weekend. Never did they say “But” or “How am I going to do that?”. They simply took the message to Garcia.
“A Message To Garcia”
In all this Cuban business there is one man who stands out on the horizon of my memory like Mars at perihelion.
When war broke out between Spain and the United States, it was very necessary to communicate quickly with the leader of the Insurgents. Garcia was somewhere in the mountain vastness of Cuba – no one knew where. No mail or telegraph message could reach him. The President must secure his cooperation, and quickly.
“What to do!” Someone said to the President. “There is a fellow by the name of Rowan will find Garcia for you, if anybody can.”
Rowan was sent for and given a letter to be delivered to Garcia. How the “fellow by the name of Rowan” took the letter, sealed it up in an oilskin pouch, strapped it over his heart, in four days and landed by night off the coast of Cuba from an open boat, disappeared into the jungle, and in three weeks came out on the other side of the island, having traversed a hostile country on foot, and delivered his letter to Garcia – are things I have no special desire now to tell in detail. The point that I wish to make is this: McKinley gave Rowan a letter to be delivered to Garcia; Rowan took the letter and did not ask, “Where is he at?”
By the Eternal, there is a man whose form should be cast in deathless bronze and the statue placed in every college of the land. It is not book-learning young men need, nor instruction about this and that, but a stiffening of the vertebrae which will cause them to be loyal to a trust, to act promptly, concentrate their energies, do the thing “Carry a message to Garcia.”
General Garcia is dead now, but there are other Garcias. No man who has endeavoured to carry out an enterprise where many hands were needed, but has been well-nigh appalled at times by the imbecility of the average man, the inability or unwillingness to concentrate on a thing and do it.
Slipshod assistance, foolish inattention, dowdy indifference, and half-hearted work seem the rule; and no man succeeds, unless by hook or crook or threat he forced or bribes other men to assist him; or mayhap, God in His goodness performs a miracle, and sends him an Angel of Light for an assistant.
You, reader, put this matter to a test: You are sitting now in your office – six clerks are within call. Summon any one and make this request: “Please look in the encyclopaedia and make a brief memorandum for me concerning the life of Correggio.”
Will the clerk quietly say, “Yes, sir,” and go do the task?
On your life he will not. He will look at you out of a fishy eye and ask one or more of:
Who was he?
Where is the encyclopaedia?
Was I hired for that?
Don’t you mean Bismarck?
What’s the matter with Charlie doing it?
Is he dead?
Is there any hurry?
Shan’t I bring you the book and let you look it up yourself?
What do you want to know for?
And I will lay you ten to one that after you have answered the questions, and explained how to find the information, and why you want it, the clerk will go off and get one of the other clerks to help him try to find Garcia and then come back and tell you there is no such man. Of course I may lose my bet, but according to the Law of Averages I will not.
Now, if you are wise, you will not bother to explain to your “assistant” that Correggio is indexed under the C’s, not in the K’s, but you will smile very sweetly and say, “Never mind,” and go look it up yourself. And this incapacity for independent action, this moral stupidity, this infirmity of the will, this unwillingness to cheerfully catch hold and lift – these are the things that put pure Socialism so far into the future. If men will not act for themselves, what will they do when the benefit of their effort is for all?
A first mate with knotted club seems necessary; and the dread of getting “the bounce” on Saturday night holds many a worker to his place. Advertise for a stenographer, and nine out of ten who apply can neither spell nor punctuate – and do not think it necessary to.
Can such a one write a letter to Garcia?
“You see that bookkeeper,” said the foreman to me in a large factory,
“Yes. What about him?
“Well, he’s a fine accountant, but if I’d send him up town on an errand, he might accomplish the errand all right, and on the other hand, he might stop at four saloons on the way, and when he got to Main Street would forget what he had been sent for.”
Can such a man be entrusted to carry a message to Garcia?
We have recently been hearing much maudlin sympathy expressed for the “downtrodden denizens of the sweatshop” and the “homeless wanderer searching for honest employment,” and with it all often go many hard words for the men in power.
Nothing is said about the employer who grows old before his time in a vain attempt to get frowzy ne’er-do-wells to do intelligent work; and his long, patient striving after “help” that does nothing but loaf when his back is turned. In every store and factory there is a constant weeding-out process going on. The employer is constantly sending away “help” that have shown their incapacity to further the interests of the business, and others are being taken on. No matter how good times are, this sorting continues: only, if times are hard and work is scarce, the sorting is done finer – but out and forever out the incompetent and unworthy go. It is the survival of the fittest. Self-interest prompts every employer to keep the best – those who can carry a message to Garcia.
I know one man of really brilliant parts who has not the ability to manage a business of his own, and yet who is absolutely’ worthless to anyone else, because he carries with him constantly the insane suspicion that his employer is oppressing, or intending to oppress him. He cannot give orders and will not receive them. Should a message be given him, to take to Garcia, his answer would probably be, “Take it yourself!”
Tonight this man walks the streets looking for work, the wind whistling through his threadbare coat. No one who knows him dare employ him, for he is a regular firebrand of discontent. He is impervious to reason, and the only thing that can impress him is the toe of thick soled Number Nine boot.
Of course, I know that one so morally deformed is no less to be pitied than a physical cripple; but in our pitying let us drop a tear, too, for the men who are striving to carry on a great enterprise, whose working hours are not limited by the whistle, and whose hair is fast turning white through the struggle to hold in line dowdy indifference, slipshod imbecility, and the heartless ingratitude which, but for their enterprise, would be both hungry and homeless.
Have I put the matter too strongly? Possibly I have; but when all the world has gone a-slumming I wish to speak a word of sympathy for the man who succeeds – the man who, against great odds, has directed the efforts of others, and having succeeded, finds there’s nothing in it, nothing but bare board and clothes. I have carried a dinner-pail and worked for day’s wages, and I have also been an employer of labour, and I know there is something to be said on both sides. There is no excellence, per se, in poverty. Rags are no recommendation; and all employers are not rapacious and high-handed, any more than all poor men are virtuous. My heart goes out to the man who does his work when the “boss” is away, as well as when he is at home. And the man who, when given a letter for Garcia, quietly takes the missive, without asking any idiotic questions, and with no lurking intention of chucking it into the nearest sewer, or of doing naught else but deliver it, never gets “laid off,” nor has to go on a strike for higher wages. Civilisation is one long, anxious search for just such individuals.
Anything such a man asks shall be granted. He is wanted in every city, town and village – in every office, shop, store and factory. The world cries out for such; he-is needed and needed badly – the man-who can “Carry a Message to Garcia.”