My boss got a Blackberry three or so months ago.
Fucker's so addicted to this thing that I get replies to emails in less than 5 minutes. At any time of the day. Even in the middle of the night!!
was sitting at work attending one of those meetings where the on-shore tyrants begin by exhibiting their fake empathy for you having to stay late, and then go on to talk about stupid and irrelevant details for hours on end. I usually entertain myself in these meetings by first finishing off my emails, and then entertaining myself with online games.
In going through my email list, I came across an email sent to the entire staff of my department, telling them that the new t-shirts had arrived. My boss had replied to that email. "Thx", he said.
Then I saw an email that had been sent out by production support to members from my division who had requested a particular software install to be completed, telling them the job was done. My boss had replied to that email as well. "Grt work", apparently (even though the damned thing was done 5 days late.
There were many other spurious emails which should actually never be sent: over-eager reminders, meaningless internal surveys, hyperactive celebrations, unintelligible information updates, unnecessary announcements and so on. And my boss had replied to every one of them, expressing satisfaction, dissatisfaction, agreement, disagreement, or enforcements and exhortations.
He was making a mockery of himself. Coming across as a trigger-happy, clueless, mindless, nitwit, who had nothing better to do than send out unnecessary comments on things that didn't matter to anybody.
There were two causes.
The first was obviously the Crackberry. In the new Crackberry universe, every email came with insta-alert, and for the frail minded, this means every email comes with a reply. And in this universe, every reply came shortened spellings that mocked the wonderful and whimsical relationships between vowels and pronunciation in the English language. 'Thanks' becomes 'Thx', 'Great' becomes 'grt' or *shudder* 'gr8', and 'Please do not ever confuse efforts with actions' becomes 'Pls efforts <> actions'
The second was that so often when bastards send out emails, certain key points of note are buried in obfuscation of tons of words. The job has progressed, but will will miss it's deadline? There will be an email of Vikram Mehta proportions about how the job is being done, while the risk to completion on time will be in an incomprehensible sentence in the middle of the email and surrounded by conditional words and false platitudes. E.G "While the team realizes that the detailed analysis necessitated by inanities may cause us to finish on December 14th, quality always comes first." (Note that nowhere else in the email, will the original commit date of September 1st, 2007 be mentioned). And when these emails require you to scroll down till your thumb bleeds, there is only so much you can take before you reply: 'Thx, gr8 tmwrk.'
Just because of his inability to deal with the immediacy afforded by technology he was not earlier used to, my otherwise brilliant handsome and ever so effervescent boss who only rarely, but sometimes does, read blogs, was turned into a caricature of his former formidable self.
I fixed that yesterday.
He was out of his office, and his berry was on the table. I modified his settings that emails don't have any audible or vibrate alerts any more. Last night was probably the first night in three months that he has had uninterrupted sleep.
I did him a service.
And hundreds of employees will agree.