Friday, 1 March 2013

I don't want to alarm you, but...

Waking Up

How did people ever get up on time before the invention of the alarm clock?

I swear, if it wasn't for mine, I'd sleep until 10 or 11 every day. It's not that I'm an unmotivated person, as soon as I'm up I get things done, but bed is soooo comfortable. Like being wrapped in a warm hug.  

As useful as alarm clocks are, they aren't without their problems.  

So here's a countdown of the 5 ways the alarm clock can make you late.

Oh, and there's some hunter guy after me.  And watch out for rhinos.  And you'll be a monkey boy before all this is over.

1. Hitting Snooze Over and Over

When alarms clocks were first invented in the 1600s, they were simple devices. It made noise until you shut it off.  But in 1956 G.E. produced a great, terrible idea. The snooze button. From that point on you could wake up, say to yourself, "Just 5 more minutes," hit a button and go back to sleep.

It might be indirectly responsible for North America losing it's way. Hours of productivity lost.  

The snooze button is by far the most common way an alarm clock can make you late.

2. Turning Off the Alarm and then going back to sleep

The sinister cousin of the snooze button.

You ever wake up, say to yourself, "Okay, I'm getting up," and then turn off your alarm clock, only to then convince yourself that you can rest your head for a minute before actually getting up?

It's a fools choice, one that you only make once or twice in your life, because we all know that if your head hits that pillow again you are going to be late.

3. Setting it to PM instead of AM

This one mostly happens with new alarm clocks, or when you set a new alarm right before you go to sleep.

Toggling between AM and PM seems so simple. So obvious. Who would mistake the morning for the evening?

But we've all been there. You wake up and you're an hour late because your alarm clock hasn't gone off.  It's a sinking feeling, isn't it? In the pit of your stomach you know that something has gone wrong and now you're going to have to scramble to start your day on time.

All because of one little mistake.

7pm!? Well, better reschedule the wedding.

4. Not setting it at all

Rare, but it happens.

I bet it happens the most often on Friday nights. You stay up late because the weekend is finally here, but you don't have a lazy Saturday planned, no! You've got things to do, places to see, friends to visit.

Well, you better call your friends and tell them you'll be late because on Friday night your weekend brain said, "Bah, it's the weekend! I'll get up when I get up."

You can always spot this person at the get together, you know. They're the last one to arrive and they usually have a cup of to-go coffee in their hand.

They could at least bring some for everyone else.

Don't forget the donuts!
5. Power Outage!

The only way the alarm clock can mess up your morning that you can blame on something other than yourself.

Power outages are the best reason for the alarm to not go off, because you can usually find someone you know who started their day with the exact same experience for the exact same reason.

You ever have a power outage knock out your alarm, and then when you sheepishly drag yourself into work 30 minutes late the boss says that you're one of a few who's late this morning?

Such a good feeling. Like rolling doubles 3 times but having a get out of jail free card.

Visual representation of what your boss wants to do when you give that excuse.

You know, looking back on this list it becomes clear that the main problem isn't the alarm clock, but human error. It seems like this is a place where software could really improve the experience. Compensate for the mistakes people tend to make.

If we set the alarm for 7pm, it could have a little message that says, "Hey I noticed that you set your alarm for PM.  Did you really mean AM?"

If you want to find out more on the history of alarm clocks, here's a little article I found.

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