The four of us sat at the table awaiting our waiter's arrival. Light conversation ensued and we were happy to gather together to solidify newly-established relationships. Our waiter stood patiently by until a lull appeared and then proceeded to introduce himself and share the specials. Given that we were seated in an upscale Italian restaurant, it was no surprise when the words he released were wrapped in a thick Italian accent. As I listened and watched his bright blue eyes light up with every "R" roll, it became very apparent
that though he was merely an adequate waiter, he was a pretty decent actor that had worked very hard to perfect his accent.
His occasional stumble and light eyes belied what he so desperately wanted us to believe - that he was born and bred of the "Boot." When the wrong drink was delivered to a member of our dinner party, "Franco" blushed and blundered his way around a dropped persona before he was able to pick up his character from under the table and re-establish his role. It became quite amusing. We had no idea we were in for dinner and a show.
The meal was good, conversation even better. The ambiance merely an additive to a delightful evening. The effort was admirable but I wondered what was the worth. Would we have benefited more from an honest portrayal? After all, we weren't at Disneyland, we were simply enjoying the "real life" side of networking. "Franco" was a distraction, a silly distraction.
They, silly distractions, line our days and, sometimes, crowd out what is really important, the work we are paid to do. Some are distracted by Twitter, some are distracted by the FedEx guy, some yield the a full inbox, while others are drawn in by office gossip or golf games. Are they a necessary part of our day? Do they serve as a pressure release when stress reaches a boiling point and threatens company good or personal demeanor? Perhaps.
Perhaps not. Weighing distractions requires thought, not blind submission. It can be very easy to lose sight of important factors and required paths. Demands of work can also drive the need to release, so better work can be done. But don't over-rate your demands to justify the release. It is easy to do. But then, work is called work for a reason.