Bob Cole was a 15 year old boy when he started at Family Grocers as a stock boy in the grocery aisles. He was still in high school and any money was good money when you're in your teens.
Bob turned 18 and contemplated going to university but didn't really have any interests. He was a simple minded boy and content with being a worker. He had moved his way up the union pay scale and by the age of 21 he was making the top rate of 20 dollars an hour, full time with benefits. His early and mid twenties were good in his life as he had partied and travelled but by the age of 27 he realized that he wanted more from life but he didn't know what. He went to a career counselor and they told him based on their assessment that he would be a good civil servant. His survey showed that he had no great aptitudes, wasn't creative, had no leadership skills and had limited intelligence.
He wasn't satisfied with the results and was determined to make something out of his life. He was now in his early thirties, he was starting to lose his hair, gain weight and become depressed. He looked at the job postings for Family Grocers and there were many as they had expanded and now had close to a dozen locations. The jobs paid only a little more than what he was making and there was a bonus that no one really ever got. It was all a con job he said to himself and looked away at the board.
The years rolled on and he was now in his mid forties. He had been with the company for over 30 years and was given a pin and a 20 dollar gift certificate for his service. Almost everyone he knew had moved on to better positions and were either store managers or moved on to other companies. But for Bob Cole he was still a stock boy. Again he looked at the job postings and he was asked repeatedly by his store manager to move up in the company, but he always turned it down because it didn't pay enough. In truth he just didn't have the confidence and didn't want the responsibility. As he got older he became less confident in himself and started to suffer from intense anxiety. Then at the age of 50, grossly overweight and in poor condition he suffered a heart attack. The doctor told him to stop drinking and smoking and to start exercising, but he did not listen.
He fell into deeper depression and by the age of 55 he became a decrepit man. Once again he asked himself what he could do with his life and walked over to the job postings in the lunch room. There was plenty of opportunity out there, but he decided to wait until his health got better.
He turned 60, still plugging away in the grocery aisles at the pace of a sloth. He was offered early retirement and he sensed that they were trying to get rid of him as his production declined. "But they owe me I've been here 45 years," he said to himself.
He turned 65 and they told him he could retire but he didn't want to. Fifty years had passed since he first started at Family Grocers and he was still doing the same job in the same store never increasing his knowledge or challenging himself. Just a man consumed by the rut of daily life.
Once again he looked at the job postings and there was only one posting and that was for assistant store manager at his current work location. He made up his mind that he going was to apply.
He did up his resume that night and went by the human resources office to apply. He walked in and said to the human resource lady. "I have come to apply for the job of assistant manager. Here is my resume."
She responded, "That was the last posting. The position has been filled."
He then said enthusiastically, "Well, I'll just apply when the next posting comes up."
"Mr. Cole, you don't understand. That was the last posting..."