An outstanding young man applied for a managerial position in a large and well-established company. He passed the first stage of his interview easily and the second stage was an interview with the chairman of the company.
The chairman and board of directors were impressed with the young man’s resumé as he had an excellent record and great work ethics. The chairman then posed a peculiar request towards the end of the interview. Here is how the interview went:
Chairman: Did you manage to get a scholarship for your studies?
Young man: No, I’m afraid not.
Chairman: Did your father pay your tuition fees?
Young man: My father passed away when I was a child. My mother took care of my tuition fees.
Chairman: So your mother works full-time I suppose?
Young man: She washes clothes for a living, sir.
The chairman then asked to look at the young man’s hands. It was strange but he had good reason for it.
Chairman: Have you helped your mother out?
Young man: No, sir. My mother had always asked me to study in my free time. Besides, she does a better job than me. I would only slow her down.
Chairman: I need you to do something for me. When you go home today, wash your mother’s hands. We will continue the interview tomorrow morning.
The young man knew this was a strange request but also felt like he had nailed the interview. After returning home, he told his mother what he wanted to do and flattered, his mother extended her hands.
He took the frail hands in his and tears formed in his eyes. His mother’s hands were thin and wrinkled from all those years of washing people’s clothes.
He finally realized how hard she had worked to put him through high school and college without ever complaining. He embraced his mother and the two talked for a long time. The next morning he was back at the company facing the chairman.
Chairman: Can you tell me what happened yesterday?
Young man: I took my mother’s hands in mine and helped my mother wash the clothes for the day.
Chairman: How do you feel?
Young man: Overwhelmed and so very grateful. I could never have made it without my mother and all she’s done for me. I understand how hard she had to work and regret not helping her before.
The chairman nodded at this and said “As a manager, I needed you to be aware of the hard work of others.”
The young man got the job and quickly gained the respect of his staff members because he worked hard with them and recognized their labor. The company’s performance had increased substantially.
Children need to be taught the value of hard work. When parents let their children grow up self-centered, they will not know how to be compassionate when it comes to the struggles of their staff and employees in the future. Such people have great results on paper but are mediocre in the workplace.