Turns Out, NONE of Us Can Multitask

  1. Multitasking is a farce. Tests have shown that it decreases productivity and each task at hand is diminished.
  2. Pretty girls are SUPPOSED to cause guys to wreck their bicycles. I mean, c’mon – pretty girl, you know?
  3. I have been on the other, near-tragic side of such an event.

I live I Florida so we have lots and LOTS of your grandparents here, driving however the hell they want, causing all sorts of chaos as they make left turns from the far right lane, drive down one-way streets the wrong way, and drive onto THE AIRPORT RUNWAY when they miss a turn. (To this day, nobody’s certain how the blue hair managed that last one.)

When it rains, god, just stay inside. They’re bad enough in dry weather.

I had the pleasure of driving my daughter to her grandmother’s to spend the day just about four weeks ago. The next day, we realized she’d forgotten some toy or other can’t-live-without-it, 5 year old must-have item. So we drove the three miles to grandma’s house at lunch.

Me, my wife, and our young daughter. Then, the plan was, go to a movie. The one that has since cause my child to constantly ask if I have emotions in my head. (My standard answer after the 500th time is now Yes – but just Anger.)

As we left the innocence that is grandma’s house, we traversed the long, straight drive toward the bigger main road. In the distance, I saw a gray sedan start to hug the yellow line as he approached us.

We got closer and closer, he got more and more into the center line.

A painted stripe down the middle of the road, I realized, would not stop a two ton vehicle from doing anything.

His tires crossed into our lane a few feet. Now we were looking at a head on collision.

So far, I have not alerted the passengers, but I’m doing the math on my options. He’ll wake up and swerve back into his lane at the last terrifying second, avoiding a head-on collision – or not. He’ll NOT wake up, and I’ll have to run off the road into somebody’s front yard. He’ll NOT swerve, in which case I will swerve into HIS lane because we have these terrific ditches dug along the sides of the road to let rain water into, causing a car to almost guaranteed flip over if you drive into it faster than 3 miles per hour. A distant thought was to stop, but he’d just kill us then, so that wasn’t ever really on the table, as wasn’t the Vin Deisel parking brake/reverse swerve 180. (Although I’m sure I could have done it.)

The car gets closer. He is now 99% IN OUR LANE, as in almost completely. I have taken my foot off the gas and I’m getting ready to brake, swerve, and alert my wife and kid, wondering which impact will cause the least amount of damage to a five year old in a car seat.

He’s STILL COMING. I know, it’s incredible. Even if I completely stopped, he’s now 100% going to hit us. We ARE going to wreck.

Time to alert the wife.

“Honey- ”


Wife pushes imaginary brakes on her side of car, daughter screams from back seat.

Idiot driver finally looks up from texting or tuning radio or dropped cigarette. (Maybe he heard her screams, who knows. Let’s go with that.) HIS EYES GO PIE-PLATE WIDE.

He swerves, nearly flipping his own car (hey, better him than me) and barely misses us.

Glares all around as he speeds past, apology on his face, hatred on ours.

Texting, I think. I was just happy to avoid a big time wreck.

I could have understood it if he’d have been staring at a pretty girl.

He’d probably at least have slowed down.

So, no more multitasking.

Published by Dan Alatorre AUTHOR

International bestselling author Dan Alatorre has 17 titles published in over a dozen languages. From Romance in Poggibonsi to action and adventure in the sci-fi thriller The Navigators, to comedies like Night Of The Colonoscopy: A Horror Story (Sort Of) and the heartwarming and humorous anecdotes about parenting in the popular Savvy Stories series, his knack for surprising audiences and making you laugh or cry - or hang onto the edge of your seat - has been enjoyed by audiences around the world. And you are guaranteed to get a page turner every time. “That’s my style,” Dan says. “Grab you on page one and then send you on a roller coaster ride, regardless of the story or genre.” Readers agree, making his string of #1 bestsellers popular across the globe. He will make you chuckle or shed tears, sometimes on the same page. His novels always contain twists and turns, and his nonfiction will stay in your heart forever. Dan resides in the Tampa area with his wife and daughter. You can find him blogging away almost every day on www.DanAlatorre or watch his hilarious YouTube show every week Writers Off Task With Friends. Dan’s marketing book 25 eBook Marketing Tips You Wish You Knew has been a valuable tool for new authors (it’s free if you subscribe to his newsletter) and his dedication to helping other authors is evident in his helpful blog.

17 thoughts on “Turns Out, NONE of Us Can Multitask

    1. Hmm… I like being able to read articles while waiting in line at the bank or the dentist office. Or when I’m stuck waiting for a train to pass. Or at long red lights.

      I’m a bit of a techno-dinosaur, though. I’ve always been pretty happy with my OLD phone while my wife upgraded three or four times to the newest, latest, greatest model. I usually get a new phone when the old one rusts up and stops doing anything. Even then, if it’ll take an incoming call, I’ll stay with it. I’m loyal that way. I typically upgrade after my wife borrows my phone and can’t teleport to Rigel 4 – whereupon she states: you’re getting a new phone.

      In my defense, she can’t work the DVR but I can.

      So I rarely blame the tool, I blame the user. A screwdriver can fix a wobbly desk chair or pierce the beating heart of a robbery victim on a subway if held in the hands of a madman. It’s probably not the screwdriver’s fault; it was just sitting there minding its own business…

      But I do have a friend who has every app on her phone and will reply to a tweet or email or FB post seconds after receiving it, while I mostly prefer to be in front of my computer to do such things. For me, I’m most productive when I limit interruptions, and guarantee NO email from my personal account need to be dealt with during business hours. But since I have lots of gaps in my crazy schedule, it’s nice to be able to see a 30 minute space and move other work up or relax and read a post from a friend.

      Control is the key: control what you can control. We decide where we spend our time. If we’re looking down at a smart phone, we are missing a lot of the world, but that same phone can bring us things we’d never see otherwise. It’s a balancing act.

      1. Yea 🙂 I understand. I even enjoy using old phone. Now, I upgrade to smart phone is to save time. Same here, when I queue I tend to read from my phone. I’m attempting to be more productive by limiting my time. My problem is I need a long attention span to be more productive.

  1. Ever tried write or die? If you stop typing for more than a certain amount of time (you set the clock) it starts to delete your words. Yip! Some people swear by it, that it forces you to have complete focus on the work in front of you.

    1. That just sounds terrible. What if I go to the bathroom, when I come back, my MS is gone? What evil people thought that up?

      My dad called and my kid spilled her milk; when I came back a whole chapter had been eaten! Noooooo!

  2. Years before we had smartphones to turn us into idiots, I was on Florida’s Turnpike and almost rear-ended a guy who was BACKING UP because he missed his exit. That was fun…

  3. It’s mind-boggling to see the things people do while driving. I saw one guy reading the paper. Needless to say I kept a wide berth from him. Glad you all made it out okay.

  4. I hear you! Last year on the NJ turnpike a car beside us starting veering into our lane – it looked like the older gentleman had fallen asleep at the wheel…my husband sped the car up, beeping his horn but he didn’t wake up until he hit the side wall – amazingly enough he had a car full of people (all around his age) and none of them seemed to notice his drifting?! Fortunately they were all okay..and so were we 🙂 Glad you and your family remained safe as well…

    1. He really was asleep? Maybe he had a stroke.

      Reminds me of that joke, I want to pass away like my grandfather did, dying peacefully in his sleep, not screaming the people in his car…

  5. It always amazes me that people think they can drive without looking at the road.

    What a horrible experience for you and your family. I’m glad you’re all safe!

  6. Idiots like that are one of the reasons I’m determined to be the last person on Earth without a cell phone of any kind. (Believe it or not I’ve never had one.) Of course, I’ll probably get plowed down by some texting and driving half wit before I achieve my goal. (It almost happened to me a couple weeks ago while I was trying to cross the street, in fact.)

    1. I held out a Looooong time before caving in and getting a cell phone, way back when. I was like, I don’t need it! I’m still not sure I do. I hate talking to people on the phone cos I do it all day at work. I like the computer stuff on my cell, though. They should make a smart phone that doesn’t have the phone part.

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