Drawing a Line

I’m drawing a line with Mutala.

After several weeks of reading Peter Lynch books, learning how to use Excel, and finally doing some data entry, Mutala’s lack of math skills is hindering his progress.  Yesterday I reviewed some of the numbers he entered into an Excel spreadsheet.  It involves converting numbers that are in millions into billions.  For instance, say a company made $12.3 million in Net Income.  How much is that in billions?  Mutala entered $0.123 billion.  (Sigh)  To me, it’s so easy that I didn’t even think there would be a problem.

Then I spent an hour explaining factoring, prime numbers, and the distributive property.  Justice, the grounds keeper, was around so I invited him to the lesson as well.  Surprisingly, Justice seems to be better at counting.


Quick: What is 3 x 7? 7 x 8? 9 x 6?

As far as I’m concerned, there is a strong relationship between the ability to do math in your head and your money making potential.

“I’m slow,” replied Mutala to my assertion that he must learn how to multiply/divide before he can progress.  Seriously?  I would NEVER admit to my boss that I was slow.  Ok, perhaps “I’m slow” in learning how to clean the bathroom, mop the floor, and wipe the toilet.  Those are all tasks I might be slow at learning.  But I would never admit to being a slow using my head.

You might ask why I don’t hire someone else; however, having worked with so many people and several people who don’t work for me the same multiplication questions, I figure I’d have the same problems.  Maybe Ghanaians don’t want to make money?

I don’t like the idea that I’ll have to constantly check his work.  Thus, I’m confining him to staying outside and learning how to multiply and divide until he’s perfect.   If he can’t do it, then perhaps he should stay outside…


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