This is an old book, but its message is timeless. It tells the story of William Peck, a discharged private form the military who lost an arm, and had one leg shortened while serving curing WWI. However he says he can sell anything, and now that he is finally out of the hospital, he calls for his job at Pacific Coast Lumber. He goes over the head of the managers, to the owner, who can’t turn him away. However, much more important than this, Cappy Ricks, the owner is looking for a leader who can take over shipping operations in Shanghai. It is interesting to note that on the day he was hired, he shares with Mr. Ricks his business card, which would have taken a couple days to print in those days. He decides to get right to work:
“Count that day lost whose low descending sun
Finds prices shot to glory and business done for fun.”
He quickly proves his worth as a salesman, but then Cappy has greater plans for him, and proposes the test of the “blue vase.” This is in exercise where the individual is given and impossible task, if he completes it he will be offered a high paying job. The task is to purchase a vase on Sunday, and bring it to Mr. Ricks. The instructions are vague, and purposefully slow. Additionally it is impossible to get a hold of the store own or manager. His leg hurts, and his amputated hand itches, but he eventually gets the vase for $2000. He doesn’t meet the train at the agreed upon time, but overtakes it before it arrives at its destination. He explains why he completed the task, even though it seemed impossible. His commander in the services had a motto, “It shall be done.” It is that attitude and kept him going to surpass the odds against him. “It shall be done.” How many of us could use such a motto in our own lives.