Two-legged Cheeseburgers

A few days ago, I did some grocery shopping. Since I only had a few items, I went to the Express Czechout line.

There were two ladies in front of me in line. They were engrossed in a conversation about their pets. The first lady in line had put her items onto the conveyor and placed a yellow marker stick behind them. The second lady (directly in front of me) was so busy talking with the first that, even as the belt advanced, she didn’t put her items on the belt.

When there was plenty of space on the conveyor for her stuff, I put another yellow stick down and unloaded my items onto the belt behind it. Their lively conversation continued but the lady in front of me still didn’t put her items on the belt when it stopped at the first lady’s stick. Then the lady in front of me removed the first lady’s stick, talking all the while. Doing so let my items advance to the cashier.

After the first lady paid her bill, the two ladies continued their nonstop talking. The cashier removed my stick and started ringing up my items. The second lady was still talking and standing there with her items in her basket.

The first lady then left and the second lady turned to the cashier but realized the cashier was already ringing up my items. She stood there, clearly befuddled. I said to her, “Let’s just switch places, that will fix this.” Then I simply moved around in front of her and got my card out to pay for my groceries. When the cashier gave me my receipt, I looked at the lady and saw she was just standing there. She was still completely befuddled about what had just happened. I took my bag and off I went.

The second lady was a two-legged cheeseburger. She will most likely be oblivious to any opportunistic criminal predator in the parking lot or anywhere else. We often make a big deal about ‘situational awareness,’ but most of the time it’s not really very hard. Decide to get out of your own head and pay attention to the task at hand. Learn to stop talking and refocus on that task until it is completed. Then go back to talking if you need to.

two leg cheeseburger

Czeching out, walking to your vehicle, pulling or backing out of your parking spot, and then getting safely on your way are four separate examples of ‘tasks at hand.’ They all represent good opportunities to ‘pay attention to the task at hand.’ Although we hear a lot of blah, blah, blah about multitasking, the fact is that we’re only really good at doing one complex task at a time. Keep that in mind.

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12 responses

  1. I only occasionally follow your blog. Lately, I noticed that your are using the term “Czeching” for “Checking”, Why?

    1. Because I like to. No reason other than that.

      1. Fishing for that CZ sponsorship! 🙂

  2. You’re not your

  3. Situational awareness is key. So many times I observe people who are just plain oblivious. Good article

  4. Good observation. Life is constantly moved around us as we move though it. Interruption should bring awareness and reflection.

  5. Eye halve a spelling chequer. It came with my pea sea.
    It plainly marques four my revue miss steaks eye kin knot sea.

    Eye strike a key and type a word and weight four it two say
    Weather eye am wrong oar write. It shows me strait a weigh.

    As soon as a mist ache is maid, it nose bee fore two long
    And eye can put the error rite. Its rarely ever wrong.

    Eye have run this poem threw it, I am shore your pleased two no.
    Its letter perfect in it’s weigh. My chequer tolled me sew.

    Sauce Unknown

    1. Hahaha! That’s excellent.

  6. Also known as “Mindfulness”, a term made necessary by those who are not paying attention to what they are doing.

    Good article, and simple fix.

  7. The myth of multitasking is pernicious, and I applaud any effort to put it in it’s proper place -namely, the garbage bin. This is why we can’t safely text (or even talk) on our cell phones while driving. It is also why my cell phone addicted college students do poorly on test after test; they claim they came to class. Their bodies did, but their minds?

    The “two-legged cheeseburger” is a vivid example of the failure to mutitask. This woman is not only prey to anyone who wants her pocketbook in the parking lot, she is just the person to suddenly step in front of your car or mine, completely unaware that she has left the sidewalk and entered a parking lot or roadway.

    Thanks for sharing a great example.

  8. Good article Claude. Two mornings ago my attention on driving kept me out of a McFender Bender in the McDonald’s parking lot. The other driver couldn’t see my car, plus he was on the phone.

  9. When my wife and I saw the movie “Heat” years ago she was fascinated during the bank robbery scene that no one responded to the guys walking around with rifles. Next time at the grocery store I pointed to all the unattended purses or folks just pushing their carts out in front of you without looking. Folks that are HUA Positive.

    Good post. Regards

    John

    On Fri, Jul 12, 2019 at 7:02 AM tacticalprofessor wrote:

    > tacticalprofessor posted: “A few days ago, I did some grocery shopping. > Since I only had a few items, I went to the Express Czechout line. There > were two ladies in front of me in line. They were engrossed in a > conversation about their pets. The first lady in line had put her items” >

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