Presence of Mind while ‘on the job’

Much has been splashed on the front pages of newspapers and magazines, TV agencies have displayed detailed coverage and on the whole, the Bombay blasts have been covered by every conceivable news agency. But what is perhaps more intriguing than the act of terror itself are those who laid down their lives for others while ‘on the job’.

Hotel employees had enough presence of mind and sense of duty to not only take bullets for their guests, but to put their safety before their own in every way. Reuters had an article on the same in which they said:

Mangeshikar, his wife and daughter were in the foyer of the 105-year-old hotel on Wednesday night when Islamist gunmen opened indiscriminate fire in one of a series of coordinated attacks in India’s financial capital. The staff often proved essential, knowing short cuts to safety and where emergency exits were located.

Recovering from the initial shock and chaos, hotel staff shepherded the guests, including the Mangeshikar family, through the service section upstairs — only suddenly to come face to face with one of the gunmen.

“He looked young and did not speak to us. He just fired. We were in sort of a single file,” Mangeshikar, a 52-year-old gynecologist, told Reuters. “The man in front of my wife shielded us. He was a maintenance section staff. He took the bullets.”

The tale of the unnamed staff member has echoed across Mumbai where, time after time, hotel workers have emerged as the people who shielded, hid or evacuated their wealthy guests from militants at the Taj and Trident/Oberoi hotels.

Hotel workers in one case ushered guests into a conference room and then locked the doors to protect them from the militants. The guests were later rescued by the fire brigade.


I highly doubt acts like this come from training received on induction day. It is clear to see that these employees were level-headed and had a good presence of mind – even in spite of terror – to do the seemingly unthinkable and do their job of looking out for guests. explains the meaning of ‘presence of mind’ clearly:

Even if we are most efficient in performing our works, the presence of mind is often required. What is meant by “presence of mind”? It is the capacity to think quickly, to act wisely and solve the problem, in case of emergency. If a crisis comes, we should not overflow with emotions, creating a tension mood in the atmosphere. We should stay calm and act sensibly.

The self-control is very much necessary, to act with presence of mind. We should not say whatever we think and do whatever we like, in case of emergency. Thinking in the right path and doing the right thing are most important. For using intelligence correctly, presence of mind is required.

All in all, if employees should this much dedication, loyalty and presence of mind at the work place, things would go smoother, clients would be happier, and unforeseen events would be less likely to rock the business world with their whims and fancies.

If you have any tips on how to achieve presence of the mind, do write in and share them!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: