How-To Deal With A Business Emergency

A True Story With A Practical Solution

This story was told by a family friend, José, the proud owner of a Spanish Fruits Packing Automated Factory.

I must confess that this story, told forty plus years ago, served me as a very important “streetwise” lesson, and was part of my “life is not serious” approach to life.

“So you want to know how do I handle an emergency?” said José, “Here are the actions I take, step by step.

I was in the factory right after lunch, when an urgent, very serious problem was presented to me. It is not important what type of emergency it is, the solution is always the same. The normal reaction to this emergency is to think of solutions, make hasty actions, and feel trapped and devastated.

Not me. Here is what I do in the case of an emergency.

The first step, I am ashamed to say, is to curse a bit and maybe kick the table. That lets out a bit of steam and anger,

Step two is the realization that there is nothing whatsoever that is so serious that I should get into a hysterical mode! Now I am calmer and can think logically.

Step three is to get out of the office and stroll to the village bar where lots of old people and some friends are having a drink and loud conversations..

Step four is to have a drink or two.

Step five is telling, explaining. discussing the emergency with anybody that was willing to listen (and there are always a lot of clients in the local bar). We go over all the impossible solutions friends and strangers are suggesting, and each time we arrive at the conclusion that nothing can be done about it.

This step also included some wine-drinking to calm the nerves, and whet my dry throat from all the multiple discussions.

Step six. Time to close the bar and go home, to some heavy sleeping.

Step seven is waking up in the morning, realizing that the sun still shines, and that life goes on. By the time I arrive at the office either the emergency situation has resolved and all is well. or it is, for sure, not an emergency anymore.and can be dealt with.

The solution, my friends, is that nothing is too serious and that the best way to treat life is not by being serious and hysterical but by not treating every damn thing as the end of the world. Life and the problems it throws at us is much better dealt with a sense of humor and a bit aloof (Unserious – the opposite of serious).”

That is it! The way to deal with emergencies.

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