Niel Patrick Harris would be proud. I had one of those moments yesterday when you say to yourself "Wow, I really was being [insert word here]". The epiphany came when I went to the doctor this morning. I had to go in for some kind of funky ultrasound on my liver because they think it is a "fatty" one. First off, what the hell is a "fatty" liver? I always thought that only people who drink a lot had trouble with their liver; since I don't drink much does it mean that I'm a big 'ol fatty and my liver is trying to give me signals? Thankfully there appears to be nothing major that can happen with a one of these but it certainly needed to be looked at.
So there I was chilling at the Insight Diagnostic Center to get some insight into my liver. It was early, about 8am, and I realized that I needed to be on a bi-weekly conference call that the Developer Evangelist team has from 8-9am. No problem, I had signed in already. Did I mention that I was so out of it that I put my name on one slot and my other information two slots down. Yep, I was one alert puppy.
Not wanting to disturb the other folks I decided to walk outside for the call. It never really occurred to me that they might actually call my name anytime soon. So I get on the call with Chris and Phil to talk about what we are doing and how we are doing it and if we like pie--the usual stuff. About 30 minutes into the conversation I start thinking that maybe they have called my name already.
Now, picture this, I have my Motorola Bluetooth earpiece on and am holding my BlackJack (don't get me started on the many ways I hate my phone) in one hand. I am still on the con call when I walk into the building and ask the receptionist if they have come for me yet. Sure enough they had. Damn. So I tell them I'll be in the lobby and I'm wondering if they will make me wait a gazillion years to get the ultrasound. Nope. They called me in about 5 minutes. Surprised the heck outta me.
The nurse that meets me doesn't look happy. She told me they had called my name for 15 minutes and I hadn't been there. Okay so I apologized to the nurse and said I was on a conference call then and was still on that same conference call. So as I'm talking to my teammates she says I have to get off the phone during the ultrasound. Makes sense to me as I don't want the phone messing up the results somehow.
We get though the process just fine (except for the goo they put on you, at least they warm it up first) and I get to see pics of my liver. Not sure if it is just me but all I really saw was some blobs on a black and white screen--nothing special. I wonder if it is one of those things that if you stare at it long enough it will show you something. Unfortunately, I didn't have time to find out as the nurse was hurrying me up to get ready for the next patient.
Now comes the moment: I asked the nurse what it is about cell phones that messes up ultrasounds. She responds, "Nothing, it's just rude." WOW. Of all the things that I was thinking that was not one of them. When I am with other MS employees we are constantly checking emails, on phone calls, etc... even while we are with each other doing stuff. It's just the way we live our lives. I would even go so far as to say it is a survival mechanism we have to have in order to try and stay on top of the mountain of info coming at us all the time. Being rude just never occurred to me and that bothered me a great deal. I decided to make some changes.
I went to dinner later that night with my wife and decided to put the phone on silent. I also ditched the earpiece and resolved to not check my email at dinner. I managed to get through dinner that way but did have a weak moment during the movie we went to where I checked my email real quick. I guess we all need to think about not just who we are talking to but who is right there in the room with us. I am reminded of an exchange from Star Wars Episode I:
"But Master Yoda said I should be mindful of the future..."
"But not at the expense of the moment. Be mindful of the living Force, my young Padawan."
--Obi-Wan Kenobi and Qui-Gon Jinn
I guess we could all pay a little more attention to the moment...