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Office Protocol

The usual ways of interrupting in polite society are just too long and clumsy for efficient collaboration. “Excuse me. Are you busy? I hope you don't mind. I just have a quick question. It will only take a second.” A second? It has already taken six and a half! By this point, the interruption is a fait accompli. By the time your brain has parsed and processed all that noise and reached a decision on what to do about it, you've forgotten which line of code you were looking at and which method of which subclass you were intending to invoke.

Working groups need a vocabulary of interruptions that is short, sweet, and simple. What works for hardware seems to work for people, so in our offices we IRQ, we ACK, and we NAK.


  

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