Out of the Fog Blog

fun at the beach (with a cell phone)

19 July 2009. A keen ability to focus on a task becomes my Achilles' heel at the beach. Multitaskers get one point.

by Robert Perry

A few weeks ago, I went to Crissy Field and walked along the beach with my friends Mark and Jon, and their eight-month-old pup, Toby. There was a cool breeze as we tossed a frisbee for Toby. We enjoyed watching the dog's excitement and the splendid view of the Golden Gate Bridge against a clear blue sky in the late afternoon. Then, I accidentally threw the frisbee too far into the bay. And, because it could have been too deep and swift for the puppy to get the frisbee, I became focused on fetching the thing myself. I slowly stepped deeper and deeper into the bay until the surface of the water was at the base of my cargo shorts. The frisbee was about five feet in front of me. So, I stepped in further and into a wave that went above my waste. I got the frisbee!

Then I realized...

In my cargo shorts, was my 80-dollar cell phone. "Robert, your wallet!" Jon shouted at me from the shore. I look behind me and my wallet is floating on the surface of the water. I grabbed that and came to shore completely angry with myself for doing something so stupid... for a frisbee! I got my wallet back, soggy, but my cell phone was dead.

I cannot multitask. At all. I am person who usually does well because I am focused on the task at hand. Anything unrelated to what I'm working on is a distraction. I was so focused on retrieving that frisbee, that all other thought is considered a hinderence. And I don't think I'm the only one like this. Last weekend, my dad told me that he is the same way. Some people can multitask successfully every day. I consider those people to be very talented (and possibly very dangerous drivers on the highway). But, I don't think most of us have that multitasking talent. Usually, this ability to focus is perfect for completing quality design work and beating deadlines. Unfortunately, in the case of the cell phone at the beach, this singular focus resulted in my cell phone's demise.

©2009 Chromozoa

Dead Cell Phone

Photo source: Robert Perry

At home, my dead cell phone in a fish bowl. My current phone that has replaced this one cost me only $29. It's a cheapy, but will smart less the next time I ruin it.

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© 2009 Chromozoa, Robert J. Perry