As I mentioned in a previous blog my mornings are disturbing. After being abruptly awakened and going through a stumbling, bumbling constantly rehearsed but badly orchestrated set of moves, my wife is on her way and I return to the relative calm of what needs to be done each day. Unfortunately lately it is the pressure of getting an already late project out the door. I humbly thank my client for understanding, but it does not diminish my need to complete their delivery.
As my wife was leaving she mentioned a paper that had been lying on the kitchen counter and I had put away for her. Winds up she had intended to place it in one of the many bags she carries each day to and fro her workplace. But only as she is scurrying out the door does she remember. Fortunately I recognized the paper she was describing and showed her where I had moved it. Instead of thanks I got criticized once again. But that led to this blog and my idea that in our lives we deal with many interrupts.
A well designed OS (operating system) may or may not have interrupts. Some rely on what is termed a loosely coupled architecture. They are message based and nothing they are doing is time critical. This is in contrast to humans who often live lives based on the clock where certain tasks must be done at a certain time and even completed by what they call a deadline. Those people and they are in the majority I believe operate like a RTOS (Real Time Operating System).
They do what they doing and are interrupted by a phone call or unexpected visitor, which often leads to tasks that they had not planned on doing, but must now do. People are wanting this. I say this because everywhere I look I see how popular cell phones have become. When I was young I used to think “Where is this number I am calling located?”. Now I think “Who is this number connected to?”. These interrupts are even enabled in public places with the side effect of bystanders being treated to a loud, one-way conversation.
But most people run on wetware and thus have a poorly constructed RTOS. That is to say that when they get interrupted they sometimes forget what it was they were doing. They may miss appointments becoming completely unaware due to their distraction. As the number of interruptions increase and their severity to deal with new issues demand attention, the likelihood of getting anything else done severely diminishes.
When you are even slightly dyslexic it is that much more worse. I noticed in my mom that she would often confuse one person’s name for another. I could follow her conversation but sometimes needed to clarify exactly who we are speaking about. I have seen it in me as well. It is a real effort to listen and copy correctly what someone wishes me to relay or even remember. So much so that I normally let the answering machine answer most of my calls. Now if you have been paying attention you should notice that there are many mini-topics, hyperlinks and pictures in this blog entry. All of which together provide a fine example of multi-level interrupts!