This story about oranges will help you succeed in your career
Keep your eyes open - there is something to learn everywhere.
Some time ago I went with my family to eat at a well-known Mexican hamburger chain in Guadalajara. The meal passed normally, and when I went to pay at the checkout, peeking behind the counter, I noticed that on the wall that led to the kitchen (I think), there was a medium-sized sign, perhaps with instructions or some cleaning protocol aimed at employees.
Curiosity killed the cat, they say. But my cat has nine lives, so I closed my eyes a little so I could better read what the sign said. To my surprise, they were not simple instructions or something similar, but something much better: a story.
We've talked before about the power of storytelling to convey an idea, drive purpose, or create a relationship. A story was the last thing I expected to find on that wall and if they were curious before, now they had my full attention.
I read the story of a hit, while waiting for my change. It caught me immediately and left me wondering. In my own story, sometimes I had been Juan, sometimes Fernando, and sometimes the manager. After thinking about it for many days, I thought it would be great to share it.
When I wanted to put it in black and white, I realized that I did not remember it perfectly. So I managed to contact one of the business partners and asked him to share it with me. He gave me the complete text, which he ended up as part of the book Como Pez en el Agua . This is a simple story, which also has different versions in popular culture. Learning is the same: the law of minimums and maximums, or how we can reach different places from the same place if we decide to use our intelligence and creativity to give more.
Without further ado, I reproduce the full text and submit it for your consideration. Who are you in the story?
The History of Oranges
Juan had been working in a company for two years. He was always very serious, dedicated and compliant with his obligations. He was always very punctual and was proud that in a year he had not received a warning.
One day, he sought out the manager to make a complaint: “Sir, I have been working in the company for two years with a lot of effort and I am very comfortable with my position, but I feel that I have been treated with a certain injustice. Fernando, my partner, entered a position like mine just six months ago and has already been promoted to supervisor ”.
The manager replied. “Juan, while we solve this, I would like to ask you to help me solve a problem. I want to give the staff fruit for lunch today. Find out if they have oranges in the cellar on the corner ”.
Juan went out of his way to fulfill the order and in just five minutes he was back. The manager asked:
- Juan, what did you find out?
- Sir, they do have oranges for sale.
- And how much do they cost?
- Ah, I didn't ask that.
- Ok, but did you see if they had enough oranges for all the staff?
- I didn't ask that either, sir.
- Ok, is there any fruit that can substitute for the orange?
- I don't know, sir, but I think ...
"Well," said the manager, "don't worry." Sit down for a moment please.
The manager picked up the phone and sent for Fernando. When he introduced himself, he gave him the same instructions as Juan, and in ten minutes he was back.
- Sir, they have oranges for all the staff; and if you prefer, they also have banana, papaya, melon and mango. The orange is at $ 10 pesos per kilo, the banana at $ 12, the papaya and the melon at $ 13; and they tell me that if we buy in bulk, they give us a discount of 8%. I have put the orange aside, but if you choose another fruit I must return to pick up the order.
"Thank you very much, Fernando," said the manager, "but wait a minute."
And turning back to Juan, he asked him:
- So, Juan, what were you telling me?
- Um, nothing sir, that's all. Thank you very much and with your permission.
Juan withdrew. And you ... have you done your best work with intelligence today, or just with enthusiasm? For this reason, always do your best even in the simplest tasks, be curious and be passionate about what you do, since otherwise no one will entrust you with the most important tasks.