SOURCE: "I Give Up," Perspective; March 9, 2015 http://us2.campaign-archive1.com/?u=32c0b17df5bdf741f3f3f75bf&id=1a1f4880c2&e=1570f7dbf3
KEYWORDS: overwhelmed, surprise, love, pursuit, lost and found,
Many years ago, executives of the Time-Life publishing organization discovered that the company’s profit margin had shrunk to an alarmingly low level. Consequently, they began an intensive effort to try to cut costs.
Efficiency experts suggested that substantial savings could be effected in the renewal department. There were 350 people working full time sending heartbreaking pleas to readers whose subscriptions were about to expire.
In any case, enormous quantities of these letters were being prepared manually. It was calculated that if a machine could be found to replace the manual labor, millions of dollars in overhead would be saved. In time, IBM came to the rescue with an enormous computer, delivered to Time-Life in a blaze of klieg lights and fanfare. Then the new system was installed so that these letters could be sent by machine, completely without human intervention.
The system worked flawlessly for a while, until that fateful, hot, humid, sticky day in New York City when one of the nameplates stuck in the machine. A few days later a lone sheepherder in Montana received 12,634 tear jerking letters asking him to subscribe to "Life" magazine.
The sheepherder, who hadn't received a letter in years, took his knife, carefully slit open one of the mailbags and began reading his mail. Three weeks later, red-eyed, weary and up to his hips in 12,634 opened pieces of mail, he made out a check for $6.00, filled out a subscription coupon and sent it to the President of Time-Life personally, with the following note:
"I give up!"