"The aeroplane snafu in Mumbai, which could have been easily avoided if the engineer had done his duty rather than chat on his mobile, is a clear reminder for all of us to wake up and do something.
Many years ago, I was supposed to face a job interview by a firebrand writer who had exposed some scams in the past. I called up this gentleman on his mobile and got no response for quite a while. When I met him later and asked him if his mobile had conked off, he grinned and said that I had called him while he had gone out for lunch, deliberately locking the mobile in his office desk because he didn't want to be disturbed when he ate.
This is something that one appreciates a lot, but how many people follow this? Many people are almost wedded to their mobiles, and are always chatting away, with scant regard for etiquette. As the person who interviewed me told me later, there is no club for mobile phone users because you need manners for a club.
Death is in the air
While a lapse of etiquette is something that one can live with, a matter of safety is something that is unpardonable. And this is exactly what happened in Mumbai yesterday, when an engineer, instead of doing some important work himself, delegated it to a subordinate because he was on a mobile call. As a result, it caused damage to the plane's nose.
Fortunately, this happened on the ground, and though there was damage, nobody was injured. But can you imagine a member of the ground staff tightening a bolt while on a mobile, not doing a good job of it, and causing something to come apart while the plane is in the air? Frightening!
While one hasn't read about such things happening yet there are a lot of dangers associated with driving and talking, something that is unfortunately way too common in India. This is bad because the dangers associated with this are overwhelming.
According to the quarterly journal Human Factors, which is published by the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, cell phone distraction causes 2,600 deaths and 330,000 injuries in the United States every year and this is from a study that dates back to 2005." (Continued via Mid Day, Balaji Narasimhan) [Ergonomics Resources]