Many times I think I frustrate people because my mind works unusually. My mind does work, but I’ve noticed after 47 years of alleged thought that my cognitive path seems different than people I know in how I solve problems and manage tasks. It seems most people prefer to start and complete a task/chore/problem before proceeding to the next task/chore/problem at hand. I do everything at once. This affects all aspects of my life. Housecleaning, my job, budgeting, etc. It has come to my attention that this pathway to problem solving may irk some co-workers. I tend to assume everyone else thinks and deconstructs puzzles and situations as I would. It’s not so. I’m the type of person (I’m not presuming to be unique or superior…there are plenty of people who function as I do and it’s not a question of wrong or right) who on my computer at any one time will have multiple windows lying in wait simultaneously while I cycle through each one as needed. I possess a Chaotic Mind. There are multiple intersecting, contrasting, combining, colliding, overlapping streams of thought and deliberation entering and exiting my brain constantly. I realize now that some people get stressed by this kind of simultaneous throughput. I underestimate how troubled people can be by that which I find normal and nonthreatening. The other day at work I reported a figure to a co-worker across the country. She emailed me back a couple of days later with a patronizing message that she didn’t understand what I told her. The bitch made it sound like I had made a mistake or deviated from procedural blah-blah. No, no, I had to reply calmly. I explained that I had merely given her half of the info in the previous email (knowing in my head that I would have the rest of the info for her eventually). I didn’t tell her that I work like this. I work piecemeal. My cross-country co-worker does not. She expects that all the facts will be presented to her at once, and I think this is rather typical. I can’t function like that. In my head there is a data point today, and there is one tomorrow. Once the data is all in, having arrived in different time and context streams, I will now recombine the disparate information into a holistic unified whole later. I prefer this method for optimum efficiency. I hate holding on to info when I can simply relay it now. If it’s incomplete, oh well. I’ll send you the rest later. I don’t expect you to get flustered that you are not receiving all the information together, I sure wouldn’t. This is my failure. Failure to empathize. This is what frustrates a lot of people about me. My mind is a junction of many, many roads and whereas many people might feel overwhelmed by so many concurrent and random information flows, I am not. In my little head I have a cerebral “router” of sorts that subconsciously prioritizes and categorizes all live stimuli and then recalls the necessary data residing in my memory bank when the full package has been confirmed arrived, and I’m able, as I said, to “reassemble” everything that had been disordered during its intermediate journey. Disorder does not bother me. Disorder is merely a challenge to be put together again. Half the problem is the emotional aspect of this that is inflicted on most people; they don’t want a lot of “open” items floundering around in their head. This is why they just want to finish the entire task at once. People don’t like leaving stuff undone. Sometimes this is reasonable, sometimes it’s not. This is why I frustrate people when I feed them information that is a merely a parcel of the whole shipment that has not all arrived yet. The organizational scheme of my mind mystifies a lot of people. They seem to be asking, under their breath, why start this, and then that, and that; why not just finish it first? I give them info (like my cross-country co-worker) that they assume, from their perspective, to be whole but it’s not because I gave it to them, so they think something is missing, which it is, of course, but that’s by design, my design, and they don’t get that since it’s by design, it’s not due to neglect, so they react to correct and admonish the “incompletion” as they see it. That’s just the way my mind rolls. I can’t change. I’ll continue confusing people forever and ever. I cannot start and finish a job, will not, if there are other concurrent jobs going on and to stagger the timeline of each would essentially be the most efficient, timely manner. I believe that taking job 1 from beginning to end before tackling job 2, beginning to end, before proceeding to job 3, is the slowest route possible. Especially if extraneous factors are present which may intercede to disrupt the job’s continual smooth flow, as is most often the case in our human element. In such a case, the quickest solution is to run all 3 jobs simultaneously and finish them up as the final data is provided. It’s like downloading 5 mp3’s at once. Your computer handles all 5 at once but they are staggered accordingly based on the total data involved. If you were to download one song at a time (which is that standard human perceiving/thinking model), I believe you’ll spend more time downloading than if you downloaded the 5 simultaneously. That’s just me.