A few years later, in Boston, a young man came to us, well dressed, happy, and prosperous. He said he wished to consult us. After a few minutes’ talk with him, we said: “We have given you advice somewhere before. This is not the first time you have consulted us.” He smiled, and said: “Yes. I consulted you in St. Paul, some years ago. At that time you advised me to secure an executive position in the automobile business. This advice struck me at the time as being wise, and satisfied my own desires and ambitions. I lost no time in following your directions and was soon engaged as a mechanic in an automobile factory. I attended night-school at first, but finally made arrangements to spend half my time in school and the other half in the factory, learning every part of the business. At the present time I am the vice-president and treasurer of the —— Motor Company, and one of the designers of the —— Motor Car. We are doing an excellent business and making money. Whereas I was certainly misfit in my old job, I am well and happily placed since I have learned my true vocation.”
D.B., of Chicago, was a young man admirably endowed with mechanical ability. From his earliest years he was especially interested in matters electrical. His father told us that he always had dry-cell and other batteries around the house. He used to try to make magnetos out of horseshoe magnets, and at one time attempted to build a dynamo. When he was sixteen years of age, having finished grammar school and having had one or two years of high school training, young B. became so ambitious to get into electrical work that his father, thinking that he was intended for exactly this vocation, consented to his leaving high school and taking a position as assistant to the linemen of a telephone company. He worked at this a year or two, and finally became a full-fledged lineman. He did well as a lineman and after a year or so attracted the attention of an electric light and power company, who enticed him away from the telephone company and gave him charge of poles and wires in a residential district. Here his unusual ingenuity and quickness soon became so manifest that he was taken off the outside and placed in charge of a gang of men wiring houses and installing electric fixtures. This was a pretty good job for a young fellow and paid good wages; at least, the wages seemed quite large to young B. at the time. By this time, however, he was twenty-one and decided to marry. He needed more money.
He had a long talk with a very kind and wise advisor, who finally said to him: “See here, B., you have abilities that ought to be put to use at something better than stringing wires and hanging bells.”
“Why, I am a foreman now,” said B.
“Yes, I know you are a foreman, but who plans all the work you do?”