Sunday, September 27, 2009

Multitasking as Rudeness

We're all tempted to multitask. As moms, many of us multitask almost constantly--we have to.

But there are times when it's just plain rude to do that.

Over the past two weekends, I have taken Big Brother to visit two universities that he's thinking of attending next year. We've taken campus tours; we've sat through presentations; we've checked out the curriculum fairs.

When short people like me don't wind up in or near the front row during a presentation, we can't always see the speaker or TV screen well. Sometimes our eyes wander in other directions while our ears listen to the speech. And when our eyes wander, we observe some colossally rude behavior.

Cell phone users, of course, were among the most obvious offenders. I've sat behind kids sending texts (and showing their neighbors the responses they got) and parents typing with their thumbs on Blackberries.

During an overly-long class on financial aid today, the woman in front of me took some hand lotion from her purse. I smelled this before I saw it (I'm extremely fragrance-sensitive.) After putting it on her hands and giving some to her daughter, she slipped off her shoes and put it on her feet as well.

In all charity, I don't think that any of the people who did these things intended to be rude. They were just not thinking. Which leads me to wonder: how many times have I been unintentionally rude to someone, just because I wasn't thinking?

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