"From our laptops we learn that there are three main keys that we must use if we are to enjoy life; CTRL+ALT+DEL. These three little keys to life's enjoyment remind us to first control ourselves, next to look for alternative solutions in every problem area that we encounter and finally to delete all situations from our life that invariably gives us tension!
I recall many years ago, a friend called Ron in Canada who gave me some excellent advice that I have used ever since. He told me that we tend to be too serious and are always needing to be in control of life around us. 'Don't seek to control life, Bill; it happens!' he told me. 'Far better to react more positively and efficiently to the problem at hand.'
Ron believed that every problem contained its own 'distraction' which was preventing a resolution. He argued, that if we identifed the 'distraction' and removed it from the problem equation, the problem would become invariably easier to resolve.
He said that the 'distraction' could be an object, an attitude, an irrational belief; even a person or anything else you can think of. The year was 1963 and I was the Desk Clerk at 'The Glenview Terrace Hotel' in Toronto, Canada. This hotel was the nearest one to the Kennedy Airport and when fog descended and flights were delayed, we could fill up the three hundred plus rooms within an hour.
I had worked at the hotel less than one week and had secured the post by false pretences, which gave my suitability for the job priority over the other three job applicants who I'd beaten to the post. To get the job, I needed to be like the disciple Peter and deny the truth three times. I told them at interview that I'd worked at an hotel in London, that I was familiar with the operation of an IBM computer and that I could work a forty-line telephone switchboard. I'd initially figured out that if I learned at super speed on the job, it would take them months to chase up bogus references and I would know the ropes before anyone found out.
One week into my new post on nights, the airport became fogbound and every hotel room was soon occupied. Naturally, the guests who couldn't get back home as originally anticipated wanted to to tell their families and loved ones of the unfortunate delay. Some guests lived in New Zealand and South Africa, but most lived across different States in the USA. As they phoned down to the switchboard that I was managing, all forty lines in and out were soon 'buzzing' loudly for my attention. In the panic I got my lines crossed far too often and put many guests through to the wrong respondent and wrong destination. I was no doubt responsible that night for the start and end of many relationships.
When the lowly Bell Hop saw my feeble attempt to sort things out, he said,'You've never done this before, Bill, have you?' and after I told him the truth he sat me down, gave me a cigarette to smoke and took over. 'First, get rid of the distraction,' he said as he turned off the sound of the loud buzzers with the simple flick of a switch. Then he casually answered every hotel guest attempting to phone out, identified to them the problem of having only forty lines to cater for all incoming and outgoing calls and allocated each guest a phone slot at a precise and designated time over the next four hours. This suggestion by Ron proved acceptable to all, 'That way' he told them, 'you will all get your turn and will not need to hang about needlessly.' Naturally, all time slots allocated were spaced three minutes apart from the one preceeding and following it.
In the above manner, Ron showed me how to first identify the distraction, then get rid of it before going on to solve or manage the problem. This method has never failed me, even when I have discovered that a girlfriend here or a wife there happened to be 'the distraction'. Believe me, it works every time." William Forde: February 20th, 2015