A messenger service hired Rob and Rich, two good friends who had a much in common in life. The messenger service was peerless, and Rob and Rich both realized how blessed they were to have new positions with the company.
What made the messenger service so successful was its training. The corporate guide the company president created was lauded in the industry. In addition, the company president outfitted each worker with the best tools available, ones he had perfected himself, and workers who fully embraced the guide, training, and tools became the best messengers in the world.
In time, both Rob and Rich ascended to the top of their class during their training. Rob, in particular, was enthralled by the corporate guide and prided himself on the fact that he had memorized it. Rich also knew the guide well.
The day came for graduation and their first courier assignment. Rob and Rich’s supervisor called them both into his office.
“Rob, I need you to go to 717 Sycamore Street and deliver these architectural blueprints for the new elementary school to Mr. Zacchaeus at Jonas Brothers & Associates,” the supervisor said.
Rob stood in place whispering to himself.
“Rob,” the supervisor said, “son, did you hear me?”
The whispering continued, so the supervisor went over to the newly charged messenger and repeated his instructions. Nothing. Unnerved, he bent closer to hear what Rob was whispering to himself. The words were well known to the supervisor: the step by step instructions of the corporate guide.
“Son?” the supervisor asked.
Frustrated, the supervisor turned to Rich and said, “What’s with your friend?”
Rich turned to Rob and said, “Hey, Rob, we’re getting our instructions. Pay attention.”
“Everything I need to know to do my job is in the corporate guide,” Rob answered, as if waking up.
“Yes, it can fully equip you to be a fantastic messenger,” Rich acknowledged.
“‘A good messenger never diverts from the optimum path to delivery,’ Entry 172a,” Rob replied.
“That’s true,” Rich said, “but our supervisor is trying to tell you where that delivery goes.”
“He is? Where?”
“717 Sycamore Street, blueprints for the new elementary school, Mr. Zacchaeus at Jonas Brothers & Associates,” Rich said.
Rob went back to whispering entries from the guide.
“Rob?” Rich asked.
“There’s no entry for that in the guide,” Rob said, exasperation creeping into his voice.
Rich replied, “But we can’t do our job if we don’t take the rules of the guide and use them together with with what our supervisor tells us.”
“How do we know we can trust him?” Rob asked.
“He represents the company president—”
“—and I wrote the guide together with him and with his son,” the supervisor said. “Can’t you recognize that voice of authority? Now, do you want to hear me out on this specific job or not?”
Once again, Rob went back to reciting the guide as if the supervisor were not present. “‘Treat each recipient with respect,’ Entry 202d. ‘Always maintain a smiling face and extend your hand warmly to whomever greets you,’ Entry 202e.”
The supervisor turned to Rich. “You got my instructions, son?”
“Yes, sir, Jonas Brothers.”
“Good. Thank you for listening. Make me proud.”
It was said on that day that no one delivered a package more effectively than Rich did those blueprints. In the course of his time with the company, he received numerous Employee of the Month honors, became the personal assistant to the supervisor, and received the most generous retirement in the company’s history.
Of Rob it was said that he gave excellent tours of the company headquarters. And no one could stump him on the contents of the corporate guide. But he never made a single delivery.