I first heard this story for the first time from Tony Robbins. I’m not sure if it actually was FedEx because I’ve heard other familiar stories since, but that’s the company he named.
The story goes like this:
FedEx operations shut down one day, a mechanical failure in one of the shipping operations. All the machines for packages had halted. They didn’t know how to fix the problem so the manager of the plant called in their service guy. He showed up, looked around for a few minutes, then took out his screw driver and turned one screw on a column 1/4 of a turn. The machines fired back up and everything was running smoothly again.
The manager of the plant was very grateful and asked, “How much do I owe you?”
Manager: “$10,000?!? You were here for 3 minutes and turned one screw!”
Technician: “Would you like an itemized bill? I can write one up for you right now.”
Manager: “Yes, please! I have to see this.”
So the technician writes up a bill and hands it to him.
He looks at it, agrees to the bill pricing, and tells his assistant to pay the tech.
Here’s how the bill was itemized:
Labor ….. $1.00
Knowing which screw to turn …… $9,999.00
It had nothing to do with his time. He was being paid for his knowledge and expertise.