Blankie reboots my brain

Burt's Eye View

Lately, it seems that every time I attempt to commit an act of work, whatever computer I open flashes a message that I need to shut it down right now for very extremely super vital important upgrades. Do not pass F12. Do not collect hashtags.

In other words, computers are like cranky kindergarteners begging for time on the sleep mats.

So I wait.

The printer gets so many orders from all over the office for copies of various sizes, numbers and styles that it gets confused and stalls. Punching buttons madly no longer fazes the beast. It refuses to budge until someone first presses the “off” button and it basks in a period of silence.

Production is postponed.

Even my cellphone gets fussy. It doesn’t matter what priority level my supervisor places on the text message sent, my phone freezes. All apps turn to digital stone, and no programs will load until I first power it down to reset.

Communication is lost.

And yet, despite all the obstinance of all the tools my job requires, my bosses still frown whenever I drift off.

“Cole, what are you doing?” my boss will bark.

I’ll crawl out from under my desk, blankie tucked under my arm, and mumble, “My hard drive stalled. I’m resetting the connections, just like my computer does.”

“Your computer doesn’t snore. Get back to work.”

It’s unfair.

If the network gets a bug, the system gets shut down for hours, sometimes days. But if the program in my brain stumbles, my superiors get perturbed when I go down for a couple hours for a patch, which in my case, strongly resembles a pillow.

I think my machines, which aren’t supposed to need them, sneak in more breaks than I do.

But here’s the thing: Science says it’s us, the humans, who need to shut down.

I pointed this out to my boss. “Look at this article. It says that the human body cools slightly in the afternoon, causing the brain to produce melatonin — the sleep hormone.”

“And when does this happen?”

“Between 2 and 4 p.m.”

“Your shift starts at 4:30 p.m. Change out of those pajamas and get back to work.”

But it’s true. Science says we require naps to reset our synapses. It’s like running the defrag program on your hard drive. The brain in sleep mode eliminates disconnected and overcrowded synapses and files away all that jumble of information we’ve uploaded into our craniums.

You know how when you turn off a sluggardly computer, it gets right rip-snortin’ when you fire it back up? Same thing with the brain. The slumbering gray matter sorts through problems, comes up with solutions, and when we yawn and scratch ourselves awake a couple hours later, we’re ready to go.

This is the problem with having bosses who are not scientists. They get huffy when I try to run experiments to prove my usefulness by taking a siesta.

That’s OK. Pretty soon, my computer’s going to insist on being rebooted to load more upgrades. And then so will I. I’m learning how to nap with my eyes open staring at a blank screen.

— Snore with Burt at or at the Burton W. Cole page on Facebook.