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Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Parable of the Hot Dog Vendor

The Parable of the Hot Dog Vendor

Author Unknown to Me

There was this hot dog vendor who sold hotdogs by the roadside. He was illiterate, so he never read newspapers. He was hard of hearing, so he never listened to the radio. His eyes were weak, so he never watched television.

But, enthusiastically, he sold lots of hotdogs. His sales and profit went up. He used only the finest wieners and the freshest buns. People came from miles around to eat his hot dogs. All day long the hot dog vendor would sing beautiful songs and sell his hot dogs.

He ordered more meat and got himself a bigger and better stove. As his business was growing, the son, who had recently graduated from college, joined his father.

Then something strange happened. The son asked, "Dad, aren't you aware of the great recession that is coming our way?" The hot dog vendor replied, "No, but tell me about it." The son said, "The international situation is terrible. The domestic condition is even worse. We should be prepared for the coming bad time."

The hot dog vendor thought that since his son had been to college, read the papers, and listened to radio, he ought to know and that his advice was not to be taken lightly. So the next day, the hot dog vendor cut down his order for the meat and buns, took down the sign, and was no longer enthusiastic.
Business got worse and the hot dog vendor stopped singing.
Very often he ran out of wieners and buns so his customers had nothing to buy when they stopped by his stand and had to take their business elsewhere.

Very soon, fewer and fewer people bothered to stop at his hotdog stand and his sales started coming down rapidly. He again cut his orders and switched to lower quality wieners and used cheaper buns.

Business dropped even still and he stopped being friendly  with his customers and talked only about how bad business was with the few remaining customers he had, which reminded them of how bad things were and made them begin to think that they, too, should cut back on their spending.
Soon the hot dog vendor was ordering so few wieners and so few buns that he did not have anything to sell to the very few remaining customers he had, so he closed the hot dog stand.

The hot dog vendor said to his son, "Son, you were right. We are in the middle of a recession. I am glad you warned me ahead of time."
Never engage in self-defeating patterns of behavior. If you think that you will fail, or always only expect the negative or worst, nothing in this world can save you.

The preceding story was posted on the wall at my family’s Western Auto Store in Iva, South Carolina. 

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