A lot of the time I'll pretend like I'm offended when someone like Nicole tells me that I am entirely unable to multi-task. I act shocked and make the ridiculous claim that I can, in fact, multi-task. For example, I'm pretty sure I can carry on a conversation while watching something on TV. I can solve complex mathematical problems while playing Tetris. I can walk and chew gum at the same time.
The reality of the situation is that I really can't multi-task. If I'm watching something on television and someone's trying to talk to me, I really need to divert my attention from the tube, otherwise I won't comprehend a word of what was just said. I'm good at Tetris. I'm good at math. But ne'er the two shall mix. And I rarely chew gum, just so I can avoid any embarassment whilst walking.
I say all that because of an issue I constantly come across in the workplace: answering the phone. I'm not a phone person. I don't like talking on the phone very much. I'm not good at it. There are the rare occasions when someone will be able to have an intelligent conversation with me via telephone, but for the most part, it's best not to try.
Now, I'll answer the phone if I'm not busy. I feel awkward when I do so, but I'll do it anyway. But if I'm helping a customer, whether it be in their car or in the lobby, I will ignore that blasted ringing. And I have no doubt that my coworkers sigh heavily when they are forced to pick up the phone rather than waiting for me answer. But they seem to have the multi-tasking down to an art.
In the few times that I have attempted to answer the phone while helping a client, I have become frustrated and tongue tied. I forget what I'm doing for the person that's actually in front of me and get caught up in whatever problem the person on the phone is having.
Let's just make this another reason why I am unable to meet my ridiculous referral goals. In order to not take up a lot of time and get the customers in and out in an efficient manner, it makes sense to do one's sales pitch while working on the transaction. I can't do that. So I need to wait to give the pitch after I've properly handled the client's money. But at the drive-thru, that's like wasted time. And people at the drive-thru do not like to wait. They've made that abundantly clear from time to time.
So, to my employer, and to my future employers: I may make wild claims in my interviews that I can multi-task, but it's all a farce. I can be organized, yes. But multi-task, no.