Wednesday, August 13, 2008


In the course of my busy workday, as I slave for the supreme master who provides me (and vicariously, my wife) with the monies which I trade for various and sundry goods and services that are essential to life (such as food...and TiVo), I sometimes take a short break from my labors in order to stretch my legs and perhaps find a snack and/or use the restroom. This is not an unusual activity for me - in fact, I repeat this activity several times throughout my day. It gives me a break from the tedium of my daily tasks as well as provides me with opportunities for some stress relief of a social, culinary, or even critically biological in nature. One of the nice things about these breaks is the ability to leave my work (solitaire) behind for just a few minutes, there to await my eventual return.

Just a few minutes ago, whilst on one of my "bio" breaks (not to be confused with snack or social breaks), I encountered a most unusual, yet strangely not completely surprising phenomena. As I took my place at the bank of urinals, I could not help but notice the fellow right next to me was doing some serious multi-tasking. While with the one hand he was, shall we say, "doing his business", the other was feverishly working the buttons of his Blackberry. Needless to say, his gaze was focused entirely on said Blackberry and not on the "business" he was doing. Apparently, this bathroom is for conducting more than one (or two) kinds of business.

I tried not to stare, as is rude in most situations, even more so (not to mention somewhat awkward) in the men's restroom, but this guy was, shall I say "handily" completing both tasks at once without even the subtlest appearance of awkwardness or uncertainty. He had definitely done this before - was perhaps even a seasoned pro. Is this an Olympic sport this year? If not, it should be! Takes all kinds of ambidexterity and coordination and stuff. I'm pretty sure I couldn't pull it off, and, although certainly not of Olympic caliber, I do consider myself to be somewhat athletic and coordinated. Really, this is much more than the old "pat your head and rub circles on your tummy" routine. This goes way beyond the "chewing gum whilst walking" bit. This is even bigger than throwing left-handed. Yes indeed , these are unique skills, developed over a long period of time of intense and repeated practice. I'm pretty sure this guy doesn't just do this trick at work to show off to us lesser mortals. Nay, he must have a strict training regimen after work hours, perhaps even early in the morning before work. I'll even bet that, when he awakes in the middle of the night, he takes his Blackberry into the home bathroom for an impromptu training session. I wonder how many words/minute he can type on that thing? Didn't some teenage girl from Ohio recently win a competition for the most words/minute texting? Of course, she could use both hands - not even a contest. I wonder how many words/minute I can type on mine? Should I try now? Right here, right now? Will he think me a silly amateur and scoff at my bumbling efforts to emulate?

All of this is going through my mind as I'm trying to take care of my own "business". A thought occurs to me - "Have I done what I came in here to do?" I think so. I got more than I bargained for, really. My colleague has not noticed me staring, which is a good thing. His attention is focused elsewhere. I'm to his left, and, thankfully, he's looking to his right at the Blackberry. I realize I've been trying to read his email. Looks business related. That's a good thing - it is a company issued device, you know.

I turn away and move over to the sink to wash up. He's still furiously working that thumb. Is he still "going"?! Man, that's some bladder! Or maybe he just needs to finish this train of thought before he can step away. Either way, he's still at it as I walk out the door. Who knows how long he was there before I showed up? Maybe he does his best work this way? I don't think I know him, but have I ever received an email from him? Perhaps one typed in just this way? I may never know the answers to these questions, but I do know it's time for me to get back to my desk and to the mounds of work (solitaire) that await me.

(Found this on a site called - check it out.)