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Terrylin Backpackers
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Sweeping the Floors

26 April 2014, 18:15

I read an article submitted by Dennis Ngango, entitled - You are a Masterpiece.

He writes - YOU are more than good enough.  YOU are great.  YOU have the power to be anything YOU want to be and YOU can change your surroundings.  YOUR future is great.

We may listen to Motivational Speakers and read their books about Following Your Passion and Realising Your Dreams and There is No Plan B.

This obviously excludes Idols Contestants who are booted off after the first round and those who are not motivated to get out of bed after the alarm has gone off.

Here are four South African stories which may motivate you which include passion, perseverance, opportunity, enthusiasm, sacrifice and common sense.

In the 90's I lived in a small town in the Eastern Cape.  M was employed at the local newspaper as a messenger.  His passion was carpentry and at night, over weekends and holidays he built school desks, tables, cupboards and chairs.  He did not tell anybody about this and quietly invested his money.

One morning M resigned.  The following day he bought the one of two hotels on an auction and insisted on paying cash.

The townsfolk spoke about this for years.

Z worked in the vehicle finance department of a bank and F applied for a loan to buy a taxi.  In Z's words, her manager was a racist and misogynist who interviewed F for longer than was necessary before showing her the door.  Z nagged and argued with him until he said:  "Fine, give her the loan, and when she does not pay it back, you will be held responsible."

F paid the loan within two months and applied for another loan for three more taxis.  Z's manager couldn't look her in the eyes when he approved the application, which Z said was better than receiving her annual bonus.

 F eventually owned a fleet of forty taxis.

I also worked in a bank where H was employed as a Client Services clerk.  Every lunch break he would pull up a chair at someone's desk and ask:  "Please show me what you are doing?"

Today H is a director of that Bank.

The best story, I believe, whether it is true or not, is about A, a factory worker who was retrenched after ten years service.  He went home, sat on the stoep and thought - What Now?

The following morning he applied for a position at Microsoft as a floor sweeper.  He was successful and the HR clerk asked him for his e-mail address so she could forward his Conditions of Employment.

"But, I don't have e-mail," A said.  "Where I live I don't even have electricity.

"Well, then I'm afraid we can't employ you," replied the clerk.  It is a pre-requisite at Microsoft that our staff have a computer."

The following morning A woke up with the idea that he was going to grow tomatoes in his small garden and sell them as a street vendor.

A's wife worked in the city for a Market Trader, N, and took a packet of tomatoes for his approval.  N was beside himself with excitement, saying:  "These are the best tomatoes I have ever tasted."

N visited A and they devised a business plan.  A would grow the tomatoes at N's farm.  N supplied the tomatoes to supermarkets where they flew off the shelves.

They decided to expand the business and export to England.  A meeting was set up and after everything was finalised, D said to A:  "Please let me have your e-mail address so that I can send you the documents."

"What is this always with e-mail?" replied A.  "I don't have a computer.  Where I live, I don't even have electricity."

"You don't have e-mail?" exclaimed D.  "How do you run a business without e-mail?  If you had a e-mail, imagine where you'd be now!"

"Yes,"  replied A.  "I'd be sweeping the floors at Microsoft."

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