Multitasking is a popular concept in today’s society. But I hold to the view that there is a time and a place for everything, and that multitasking does not usually produce positive results. In fact, multitasking can cause a germophobic nightmare.
I’m not going to mince words about this. The first time that I was at work and heard a fellow employee using her cell phone in the restroom stall, I was appalled. As the use of cell phones has become more prevalent, I have heard this happen more and more frequently at the workplace. I assume this is the case with the public in general, but I make every effort to avoid public restrooms. But I have had confirmation from others that this practice is common where they work. I am still repulsed every time I hear this take place, but I have moved past the shock of it.
Nothing good can come from this sort of multitasking. A few months ago I saw a television commercial that demonstrated what can happen in this situation. A man had his phone in a bowl of dry rice, which draws out the water. Why was his phone waterlogged? He had dropped it in the toilet! At the time, I thought to myself that surely no one would really keep and continue to use a phone that had fallen into the commode. It was one of those extreme advertisements to grab the attention of the viewers. I had never heard of this happening in real life. Until this week.
My desk is close to the break room at my workplace, and I can hear most conversations in there, unless the participants are whispering. Many times I wish that I couldn’t hear them. That was certainly the case this week. The head of the department was complaining to another employee that she didn’t have a way to get ahold of her teenage daughter because her cell phone had stopped working. And why? Because she had dropped it in the toilet the day before! But had she quarantined the filthy phone or disposed of it? No! She had continued to use it until it stopped working the day after the incident.
This story is fraught with health violations. The phone shouldn’t have been in the vicinity of the commode in the first place. Does she wash her hands and the phone after using the facilities? After hearing that she would use a toilet-contaminated phone, I question whether she washes at all. Next comes the question of how she removed the phone from the bowl. Did she put on gloves before retrieving it? Again, if she continued to use the phone, she clearly is not bothered by such germs, so it is doubtful that she protected her hands and arms. And then she brought the nasty object into the workplace to spread the filth to all of her co-workers. I’m glad to hear it stopped working, but it was a little too late to keep the germs isolated at her home. The only positive aspect is that I don’t work directly with her on a daily basis.
Do germophobes overreact? Is our obsessive cleaning unnatural behavior? In my opinion, this proves that it’s just good sense.