Telegraph Operator


A delightful story is told about a young man who applied for a job as a telegraph operator. He answered an ad in the newspaper and went to the telegraph office for an interview. Though he knew Morse Code and was qualified in every other way, seven other applicants were also waiting in the large, noisy office.

He saw customers coming and going and heard a telegraph clacking away in the background. He also noticed a sign on the receptionist's counter instructing applicants to fill out a form and wait to be summoned to an inner office for an interview. He filled out the form and sat down to wait.

After a few minutes, the young man stood up, crossed the room to the door of the inner office, and walked right in. Naturally the other applicants perked up, wondering why he had been so bold. They talked among themselves and finally determined that, since nobody had been summoned to interview yet, the man would likely be reprimanded for not following instructions and possibly disqualified for the job.

Telegraph Operator

Within a few minutes, however, the young man emerged from the inner office escorted by the interviewer, who announced to the other applicants, “Thank you all very much for coming, but the job has just been filled.”

They were all confused and one man spoke up: “Wait a minute- I don’t understand. We have been waiting longer than he and we never even got a chance to be interviewed.” The employer responded, “All the time you've been sitting here, the telegraph has been ticking out the following message: “If you understand this, then come right in. The job is yours.”

This man knew a valuable life-lesson that most people miss:

Wherever You Are, Be There. You are there physically, but also be there emotionally.

Be there mentally. Be there attentively. Be there as fully as you can.

Wherever you are, be there. When you are completely present, you will make the most of every minute. And minutes lived fully add up to a life lived magnificently.