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Secondary: Current Assemblies

Stay alert
By Stuart Kerner


It was 1870.  The position of wireless operator had recently become available at the local Steamship Office in Southampton.  On the day of the interviews a large group of hopeful candidates filled the little waiting room with such a drone of conversation that they were unaware to the dots and dashes that began coming over the loudspeaker.

About this time another man entered and sat down quietly by himself. Suddenly he jumped to attention, walked into the private office, and then came out smiling.

'Oi,' one of the group called out, 'how did you get in there ahead of us? We were all here first.'

'One of you would certainly have got the job,' he replied, 'if you had listened to the message from the loudspeaker.'

'What message?' they all asked in surprise.

'Why, the morse code,' the stranger answered. 'It said: "The man I need must always be on the alert. The man who gets this message and comes directly into my private office will be placed on one of my ships as an operator."'

Are you always alert to opportunities or do you allow your attention to wander to unimportant things?



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