No, I am not asking the SEIU to have me stop writing about its use of corporate campaigns or its desire to eliminate secret ballot elections. No, I am not asking other hospitals in Boston to have me stop writing about transparency and reducing patient harm.
I am asking someone to make me stop talking on my cell phone while driving. I will admit that I am Jessica Lipnack's "one friend". I know the evidence is overwhelming that people are distracted and even have a lower effective IQ when talking on a cell phone while driving.
I remember a Boston Coach limo driver telling me that they are trained to look in their rear-view mirrors to see if the driver behind is on a cell phone. If so, they take extra precautions to avoid be rear-ended by the distracted driver. He said, "It our major cause of accidents."
But the Boston Globe editorial writers have it wrong when they say: "Cellphone use at the wheel is almost an addiction." Not almost. Is.
I do not use the phone because the business or personal purpose is urgent. In fact, just the opposite. I usually do it to fill the time.
I am reminded of teenagers I see in the mall or walking along the street who can not abide the thought of having quiet time in their head. They have to fill the void by calling their friends. Me, too.
I've tried turning on the car radio and listening to music. But it soon goes into the background. Ditto for the news. After all, it is pretty much the same thing all the time. So, let's use the "spare time" to catch up with friends or with staff members, just to check in or to say something I forgot to mention last time we were together.
If you are a friend or colleague who detects that I am talking with you on a mobile phone while driving, please hang up on me.
But we need more than that. Please, Governor Patrick and MA legislators. Pass a law with real penalties. Catch me in the act, and make me stop. And, while you are at it, stop everyone else, too.