It was a cold, windy, rainy October day when Sol Weinstein left his Brooklyn apartment for the subway. Sol ignored the weather. At 24, with a fresh master's in accounting, he was on his own and headed for his first full time job.
On the morning of that October day in 1962 Sol thought that he was one of the luckiest people in the world. The accounting firm of Leno, Marx, Davis and Abbot, a small firm specializing in maritime accounts, had hired him fresh out of Montana State University. His new job was working for the Director of Client Services where he would be part of a team that helped clients improve business practices, increase efficiency, and maximize profits.
Once at work Sol met with his immediate supervisor, then was taken around and introduced to the rest of the team. After that he had to complete all the necessary paperwork for Human Resources. Between completing City, County, State, and Federal tax forms, insurance options, next of kin notifications and the rest of the paperwork required time passed quickly. By the time he was completed he realized that the office was virtually empty and that he was hungry for lunch.
Sol asked one of the few remaining people in the office where the nearest place to eat was. She told him that he had a couple of choices, either a buffet a block to the left as he left the building or he could turn right, make the corner and there was a Jewish Delicatessen where he could eat. She went on to say that the deli had the better food.
Sol went to the deli, mainly because the weather was still horrible and it was closer. As he looked at the menu he realized that he had a bit of a problem. Prices were much higher than he had expected and he was going to have to watch his money very carefully until he started getting paid. As it turned out the cheapest meal on the menu was something that he really enjoyed, home-made chicken soup. That's what he ordered, the chicken soup and a glass of water.
Once it arrived and he tasted it he was more than satisfied. It was, truly, better than his mother's soup and she was considered to be an exceptional cook.
Back at work after lunch Sol demonstrated the first of his three major virtues; concentration. As he settled in to his work he concentrated on his task to the point where he totally tuned out the world. All that he was aware of was the task in front of him and the telephone on his desk. As days, months, then years went on this degree of concentration stayed with him, causing him to have little or no social life at work.
The second virtue, at least to the partners at Leno, Marx, Davis and Abbot, was the fact that Sol was a workaholic. While he was supposed to work from eight until five with an hour for lunch. Sol didn't pay attention to his scheduled hours. Usually he came in to work about quarter to seven, took half an hour for lunch at the local deli, then worked until about seven in the evening.
The third virtue was contentment with the way things were. That showed at the deli where he had been so content with the chicken soup the first day that he ate there that he never changed, never tried anything else. Every day he walked in to the deli, found a seat in the back, and ordered his chicken soup.
It also showed at work as, despite his concentration and the hours he put in, Sol did not receive promotions. Pay raises for quality of work were given. Recognition for outstanding work were given. Still, everyone agreed that Sol was just not management quality. Sol, apparently, didn't care.
Ten years went by, then another ten. Sol was still married to his job, still living in the same Brooklyn apartment and still a team member. He was a valued team member, a well paid team member, but it was realized by everyone that Sol would never be one of the stars that would become a partner. Sol would be the eternal associate.