The concept of multi-tasking is all the rage. The technology obsessed among us in the workforce think they have everything under control while trying to simultaneously process 32 different things. Recent studies, however, are showing that not to be the case. The best proof of the dangers of multi-tasking sometimes come from the unlikeliest of places; like a 13-time felon in Washington state who shot himself in the testicles while smuggling drugs in his anus.
And you thought your workday was not going well.
Completely ignoring the age-old advice to “do one thing, and do it well,” our miscreant subject just had to push the envelope. He was carrying a pistol in his front pocket when it discharged, piercing his groin and thigh. He told his girlfriend to dispose of the weapon before heading to the hospital.
To compound his problems, a “balloon of marijuana slipped out of his anus” while a doctor was busy patching his package. The police, alerted to the gunshot wound, searched his car and discovered a bag of meth in the blood-stained jeans he was wearing when he shot himself. And finally, while he was being strip-searched in the jail's intake center, another balloon of marijuana slipped from his anus.
Some guys just can't hold their pot. This guy must have looked like the world's worst vending machine.
Now, here is my question. Isn't marijuana legal in Washington state? If that is the case, then why would one feel compelled to pack his rectum concealing what has now become a rather benign substance? It seems to me that the meth they found in his car would have been better suited for the concealment then the marijuana. Even more so, as a 13-time felon he probably should have hidden his gun in there as well.
Then again, maybe not. Accidentally discharging then could have been far worse.
His last big mistake (for this round of stupidity, anyway) was that while in jail, he made several calls to his girlfriend and asked her not to cooperate with investigators working on his case. He probably didn't realize that those calls are monitored.
He has been charged with possession of a firearm, unlawful possession of meth, possession of a controlled substance in a correctional facility, and four counts of tampering with a witness. It is fortunate for him that being a colossal moron is currently not illegal in the state.
But it should be.
The lesson on multi-tasking, on the other hand, could not be stronger. According to the American Psychological Association, “Doing more than one task at a time, especially more than one complex task, takes a toll on productivity…. Psychologists who study what happens to cognition (mental processes) when people try to perform more than one task at a time have found that the mind and brain were not designed for heavy-duty multitasking. Psychologists tend to liken the job to choreography or air-traffic control, noting that in these operations, as in others, mental overload can result in catastrophe.”
This means that workers would be best to leave their phones out of meetings, not type that report while listening to a podcast, or eat their lunch while on that delivery route. In addition to lost productivity, safety challenges are paramount in the world of the habitual multi-tasker. Employers would be wise to educate their staff on the benefits of “doing just one thing well” at a time.
But if your employee happens to be a gun toting, meth carrying, pot packing 13-time criminal loser, you probably have bigger issues to concern yourself with. Some people just never learn, no matter how many things they try to do at once.
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Robert Wilson is President & CEO of WorkersCompensation.com, and "From Bob's Cluttered Desk" comes his (often incoherent) thoughts, ramblings, observations and rants - often on workers' comp or employment issues, but occasionally not.
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