I got an e-mail from the Big Man demanding an immediate meeting in our company’s latest idea – the breakout zone. It struck me that today was the day his new Scandinavian mahogany desk was due to arrive. This meant there was no way he could have sent me an e-mail as his office was being feng shui’d by a chap from Croydon called Mystic Dave.
Having broken in to the breakout zone (only board members are allowed in and they won’t give me a key) I found Lord H with his hands buried in his lap. A wave of nausea swept over me until he raised his ruddy cheeks and waved the BlackBerry he had furiously been typing away on.
Suddenly the mobile e-mail conundrum was solved and the colour could come back to my own cheeks.
“Hartley,” said he, “These blackberry mobile phones allow employees to access their e-mail remotely, don’t you know? Should we start handing them out? No excuse for the drones not to stay in touch.”
I warned him that they’re not cheap and using them poses a risk of repetitive strain injury, which would leave us open to health and safety claims. Also people might think they must be available at all times, which could cause resentment.
You could see his dilemma. Employees available 24-hours a-day versus the potential cost of ‘BlackBerry thumb’ to the company. As always, money talks and we’ve decided to stick to the old way of doing things – no BlackBerries for the staff, just the usual raspberry or two.