Take a deep breath and pause

I read somewhere that in the reactor control area of nuclear submarines there is a long brass grab-rail. In case of emergency, submariners are required to grab the rail with both hands and count to ten before they do anything else. The story may or may not be true (I can’t find where I read it), but it does make a good point. When faced with a problem, our first instinct is often to do something, dammit! Taking a second to calm down a bit and then to actually look at the problem is time well spent. To remind myself, I posted a label on an equipment rack near where most panic situations are likely to occur.


When in danger
Or in doubt,
Run in circles,
Scream and shout.

(I respond well to sarcasm)

3 thoughts on “Take a deep breath and pause

  1. I have heard that doctors and nurses have a saying, “In a cardiac arrest, the first procedure is to take your own pulse.”

  2. Good thing I’m not a medical professional – I don’t think I can count that fast.

  3. Dr. Sidney Freedman: “Ladies and gentlemen, take my advice, pull down your pants and slide on the ice.”

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