Cord-related injuries are on the rise. Not spinal cord, thank God, but injuries related to the malevolent spaghetti that are the myriad and growing number of cords needed to plug laptop computers back into the cyber world at work.
Cord-related injuries are on the rise.
Not spinal cord, thank God, but injuries related to the malevolent spaghetti that are the myriad and growing number of cords needed to plug laptop computers back into the cyber world at work.
Sure, there are other dangerous jobs.
Being a professional bodyguard must be tough. And fishing for king crab off the coast of Alaska probably presents certain risks. Sword juggling seems kind of dangerous, too.
But we simply can’t ignore the dangers lurking within our nation’s cubicles, beneath our very desks.
Let’s take a closer look at what hazards are faced by the unheralded warriors who sit at these desks every workday.
First off, the cubicle dweller must retrieve the cords from the place in the laptop bag he had crammed them the night before. They’re a tangled, crazed cat’s cradle, causing the worker’s heart rate to accelerate alarmingly due to aggravation.
Next, he must plug the now freed cords into outlets beneath his desk. It’s a strange subterranean world with which heretofore he’d been wholly unfamiliar. The risk of painfully banging his head both upon entering and exiting this claustrophobic netherworld is obvious.
Imagine he’s successfully reemerged and has seated himself in front of the now functional, corded-up laptop.
He immerses himself in his work, as always, an obvious asset to the company probably deserving of recognition in the form of stock options or a private Jacuzzi.
But that’s when the hazards reach their highest levels.
This devoted worker fails to notice the cords have conspired to curl around his unsuspecting legs, much like hungry boa constrictors, albeit lots thinner.
The ensuing nightmare I recount from personal experience. The unwary worker abruptly stands to retrieve his fifth cup of coffee.
Too late he realizes the cords have tethered him to the laptop. The ensuing effort to keep from tearing the laptop off the desk has compromised his equilibrium and he goes careening clumsily into a neighboring cubicle with enough force to relocate it several feet.
The office’s tranquility is shattered, and though the worker has reacted to the crisis with a ninja’s stoicism he is subjected to the feigned solicitude of co-workers – who aren’t fooling anyone, by the way.
What can be done?
Well certainly the Occupational Safety and Health Administration should be notified so that a massive investigative effort can be launched that will lead to legislation protecting us all from the perils posed by this previously hidden menace.
In short, it’s time to cut the cord.
Or the cord just may cut you.
Frank Mulligan is an editor in GateHouse Media New England’s Plymouth, Mass., office, and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.