For anyone who has been on a job search in the past 10 years, I can only assume that the topic (or skill) of “multi-tasking” has surfaced during your interview. Employers love to hire people who are proficient multi-taskers as this ability proves that the prospective employee has the ability to handle several tasks at the same time, in essence, the boss is getting the most out of an employee.
Dictionary.com defines multi-tasking as the concurrent or interspersed execution of two or more jobs by a single CPU (Don’t ask me what that means, I just write this stuff). For those of us technology illiterates, CPU stands for Central Processing Unit, which is totally connected to something related to computers. The whole idea of multi-tasking has nothing to do with humans as its origin arrives from computers.
So when did the concept of multi-tasking become a human function? If you ask me I think multi-tasking became a human function at about the same time that cell phones began growing out of our ears. Don’t you think that the cell phone explosion in this country has gotten a bit out of hand? Okay, I agree that in certain situations cell phones serve a wonderful purpose and I myself own one. But I do believe there are certain times and places when talking on our cell phone should be postponed.
Take for example, the other day when I had to use a public restroom. There I was minding (and doing) my own business when the women in the stall next to me starts a conversation with, “Hey, how are you doing?” Being brought up to show respect to others, I replied, “just fine and you?” “Well, the woman goes on to tell me all about her recent break-up with her boyfriend and I believe we talked for several minutes before I realized that she wasn’t taking to me but to a friend on her cell phone. It was an awkward situation to say the least and, by the way, her boyfriend sounded like a real putz. I think their break up was a good thing.
Yes, the cell phone phenomenon only adds to our already over loaded lives. Surprisingly, the bathroom incident is not at the top of my list when it comes to cell phones and multi-tasking no-no’s. No, that award has to go to the person driving their car while carrying on a conversation on a cell phone. In fact, many folks are not only talking on cell phones while driving but doing other activities as well.
I recall a time when I observed a person driving her car, putting on mascara, trying to change a CD, talking on her cell phone AND trying to shift from 4th to 5th gear on her manual transmission. Good Lord! Talk about an accident waiting to happen. (It was a good thing that I noticed the light had changed from green to red because a police officer was behind me and could have been pulled me over for running a red light.)
Well, I better wrap up this column because the battery on my computer is about to run out and I don’t want to lose my document. And, the stop light just turned green, and my cell phone is ringing, and the attendant at the drive though is trying to take my order, and…yes, too much multi-tasking.