Companies Now Banning The Crackberries They Forced Everyone To Carry

from the what's-good-for-me... dept

Over the last few years, many companies have been gleefully handing out Blackberry devices to all their employees, hoping to have them "on call" 24/7. Of course, that's created a new problem. Employees are bringing those Blackberry devices to meetings and can't put them down, leading companies to institute new policies banning the devices from meeting rooms. This shouldn't come as a huge surprise, as there were already questions about mobile phone etiquette in the office, but it's extra amusing to see it with the so-called "Crackberries," since so many companies eagerly gave them out to people to "keep them working."


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
    identicon
    Known Coward, Aug 22nd, 2006 @ 3:06am

    Typical. notice that no one accepts the blame for pushing the devices on people before banning them

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    waitasec, Aug 22nd, 2006 @ 3:39am

    misleading

    Hang on there sparky. The title of the article and the content don't jive. Companies are not banning crackberries as the title suggests. They are asking employees to focus on the problem at hand and give some respect to their fellow workers during meetings. I see no issue with that. I have been in plenty of meeting where the addicts sit and play and then later question decisions that were made. I personally like pulling out meeting minutes and crushing the low attention types. After once maybe twice they start paying attention.

    oh, and this was posted from my mobile device but not during a meeting, I'm in the john.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Comboman, Aug 22nd, 2006 @ 5:33am

      Re: misleading

      oh, and this was posted from my mobile device but not during a meeting, I'm in the john.

      Too much information!

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Nathan, Aug 22nd, 2006 @ 7:35am

      Re: misleading

      Here's my issue and this article does support it. Sure, they're asking the workers to focus on the task at hand...when executives are talking. However, feel free to interrupt your wife and kids, the people in the line at the coffee shop, and everyone else on God's green earth. I disagree with being tethered to work 24/7. You can't have it both ways. Either I multi-task 24/7 and you get ignored sometimes. Or I specialize and you can have my attention, while my family gets my attention other times.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      shableep, Aug 22nd, 2006 @ 8:52am

      Re: misleading

      Yah. I gotta agree with this guy. I was pretty mislead from the title. I've read a lot of your stuff. I don't remember any of your previous post titles being this misleading.

      I mean, it seems you're trying to protest something... but it's just banning in meetings. The title lead me to believe that it was something worthy of protest.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Kevin Mills, Aug 22nd, 2006 @ 9:31am

      Re: misleading

      Haha you rock.....ive done just about everything while on the toilet, but I have yet to use the mobile device


      Kudos to you =)

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Wyatt Barnett, Aug 22nd, 2006 @ 4:36am

    Damn skippy

    Amen to this.

    We have one very ADD-addled person whom I actually disable her blackberry during important meetings. At least the ones where I need her undivided attention.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    VBWyrde, Aug 22nd, 2006 @ 5:23am

    Let the Market Solve the Problem

    I suggest a new product line: camouflaged crackberries shaped like cups of coffee. :)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Junyo, Aug 22nd, 2006 @ 5:35am

    Blackberry's invented the phenomenon of company's expecting you to always be on call? I worked for a company years ago that invested in Iridium sat phones/pagers so support would be constantly available. I've had a cellphone/laptop/PC Anywhere/expected to have it at all times tether for longer than I care to remember, and so have a good portion of the people in the mission critical end of most industries. If my Blackberry blows up, I need to leave the meeting, because something's probably on fire. The fact that Blackberries became a poser status symbol, that those people have short attention spans, and/or don't have enough actual work so their still facinated by their BB's, is more likely what 'created a new problem'. (And of course no one played downloaded games, texted, of left on their obnoxious ringtone in a meeting before BBs were invented.) If you're a serious person, you act seriously; if you're a jackass, you act like a jackass.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    RedBeard, Aug 22nd, 2006 @ 5:46am

    I think the consensus is that we agree there a time for Blackberries and a time to them to turn them off…

    If someone can assist, in one of the golfing mag’s this year, wasn’t it like Donald Trump, or equivalent billionaire, that couldn’t stand people to use cell phones when playing in his group on the course. The way it was quoted, he said something like no one is so important as to need to be on call all the time. This goes the same for the BlackBerry.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      BlueBeard, Aug 22nd, 2006 @ 5:57am

      Re:

      What if Donald Trump's golf cart broke on the golf course? Would he call someone using his cell phone to come fix it or pick them up? Should the guy that fixes billionaires golf carts be on call? He's not very important, is he? ;-)

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Aug 22nd, 2006 @ 6:04am

        Re: Re:

        Uhh, yeah, I think the golf course should have somebody available to take the Donald's call. Assuming the Donald plays while the course is open for business, it would be appropriate that somebody is at the desk answering the phone. It doesn't have to be a SPECIFIC person.

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 22nd, 2006 @ 6:07am

    Oh well, I got one - they expect me to be available, so they'll have to live with it (if I gotta live with being available all the time, they have to live with it too). I hate stupid meetings (95% of them) anyway.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Sanguine Dream, Aug 22nd, 2006 @ 6:25am

    Addiction to status...

    Cell phones make people feel important. I don't understand why. Personally the only reason I bought a cell is because I had people complaining that they couldn't find me when they needed me. I work in the IT department in a bank and we get lots of people that want laptops but are located in stationary offices and dont go on business trips or work from home. We've even had some requesting Blackberries and PDAs. As much as I hate to say it the bank I work for is not that big that its corporate officers need that stuff. Hell my department is the only one that has company cell phones and two of the six of us (myself and another) don't use them we just use our personal cells.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Zorn, Aug 22nd, 2006 @ 7:32am

    My crazy ex-boss...

    Got himself, the CEO, and myself (Ops manager) blackberrys, he and the CEO being on the road a lot, myself being in warehouses a mile from my pc alot...

    Then months later he says 'Im going to get X and Y both blackberrys too!' He and our CEO smiled at their genius, get more workers blackberrys, they helped us, they should help everyone!

    X and Y were two women that worked in the office, NEVER left their desks, didnt work from home, and didnt have jobs that required constant contact, if there even is such a thing. They already had cell phones on the company plan. Would they get email and check their blackberry calendar while at their desk? :) We didnt have an exchange server either, so the emails didnt sync, and we had to delete emails from blackberrys and our pcs... Goes to show how stupid people can be.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Global Guy, Aug 22nd, 2006 @ 7:37am

    banning crackberries

    yes. we sit at home at night on the couch at 11PM getting dirty looks from our wives but if we use them in a meeting, it's $10 per offense into the petty cash drawer,,, another downside? Once you begin to respond to customers almost instantly, instead of when you are back in the office,,,they begin to expect that level of response ALL the time. Still, I'll pay the $10 but the phone side of the device is sub par

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Philip, Aug 22nd, 2006 @ 7:43am

    It's going mad in the UK too now. A recent survey says that nine our of 10 blackberry owners reckon the little lovelies helped them out of a tricky business situation.... http://www.itpro.co.uk/applications/news/92417/uk-businesses-gripped-by-blackberry- fever.html Personally, I prefer the Nokia E61.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Brad, Aug 22nd, 2006 @ 7:45am

    Are they worth it though?

    I have had my company try to get me to carry devices so I can be on call before. I puposly loose said devices. When I'm at work I'm at work when I'm not I am not. Why make your blood pressure skyrocket because people think they are entitled to call and ask you stupid questions while you are trying to spend time with your family?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    xxl3w, Aug 22nd, 2006 @ 8:01am

    Interesting..

    I like the guy who said "I hate meetings." Your meetings must be about the new burger-of-the-month? or maybe the new policy about you have wear black pants and black slip-resistant shoes? Looks like someone needs to find a new job. All of my meetings at my job either educate me or are very interesting ideas. GO away troll. Why do people hate working? Think of it as life... Not an Never-ending hell machine. Life/Work is what you make of it. Most people rush home, clock out early just to go home and cut the grass/take out the trash/wash dishes/etc. Ohh wait, most of you guys complaining about work prolly still live with mommy and daddy. Hurry up with reading the news, Billy, Pokemon is on! (Yes, I was very off-topic, but I enjoy ruining Life-Troll's day.)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Sanguine Dream, Aug 22nd, 2006 @ 8:17am

      Re: Interesting..

      Pretty generic description aint it? Just because you have to do something doesn't mean it won't be boring. I'm thankful our weekly department meetings kinda faded away because they were just that, boring.

      And there's nothing wrong with still living with the parents...it's freeloading off the parents that makes you a loser. It also helps if you are at least actively trying to move.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Joy, Aug 22nd, 2006 @ 8:28am

      Re: Interesting..

      Wait a few years and see if all of your meetings are so great my dear ;-)

      I can make a blackberry skip at least 5 times across a pond

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      kevin, Aug 22nd, 2006 @ 9:06am

      Re: Interesting..

      I can't understand how you can call someone a troll just because they indicate they don't like meetings. I find it very hard to believe that ALL your meetings are productive. I think that's a stretch. You insult someone you don't even know 'probably' to make yourself feel better. And YES, the word is PROBABLY, not prolly. Also, if you're going to insult someone, you should probably spell-check before you post something. It should be 'a' before Never-ending, not 'an'. Of course, you're so educated from all your meetings, you don't need a spell-checker, right? Give it up xxl3w, stop thinking of work as life, and you'll probably be a happier person. Work should be just that; work. It's not supposed to be fun. I consider my job as a means to an end; a paycheck. I like what I do, but I find happiness with my family, not my job.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Tonald Drump, Aug 22nd, 2006 @ 9:17am

      Re: Interesting..

      Hey xxl3w, You must be the asshole that calls the stupid meetings. Don't call him a troll just because he'd rather be productive than sit through another assinine meeting. Your meetings educate you. Great! Me, I already know everything so I hate meetings too.

      I have a life. It isn't work. It's my family. its my kids. YOU get a life, loser.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      kforce, Aug 22nd, 2006 @ 9:29am

      Re: Interesting..

      Majority of meetings are held because managers gets bored, that is "PROLLY" why people play with their blackberry's and cell phones during meetings. If I am at home I don't want anyone contacting me about work, I enjoy what I do but not when I am at home.

      Most people are glad to go home to see their family and spend any amount of time left in the day with them. People I know who doesn't like to go home early are people without any families or who don't want to see their wife/husband.

      What the f*** is the word "PROLLY", are people so ignorant to learn the english language that they spell the way they speak.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Work for a major company some time, Aug 22nd, 2006 @ 10:10am

      Re: Interesting..

      Clearly you've never worked for a large company. We have meetings about the meeting we had 2 days ago.

      Perhaps if the managers had something to do they wouldn't schedule the workers to meet every 5 minutes and they could get their jobs done during the regular work day....

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Jitter, Aug 22nd, 2006 @ 11:18am

      Re: Interesting..

      *Sigh* You're a troll too, bud.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Balanced, Aug 22nd, 2006 @ 8:21am

    Give And Take

    I gladly accept your Blackberry, sir. Since there is now no need for me to be in the office to get my work done, I'll be working my inbox from Six Flags or Disney tomorrow while the kids play.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    D, Aug 22nd, 2006 @ 8:50am

    Crackberry

    I automatically have mine going off at 6 pm and on at 7:30 when I'm working. It's BS to be on call 7/24 without pay. Another CORP game.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    John Q Public, Aug 22nd, 2006 @ 9:23am

    I want all my slaves to have them

    We have a small business and I want all our reps to have them, because in sales, Image counts for more than it should.

    On that same note, we've fired two admins for their IM habits; if its not work related, your not working for the money I'm paying you, so good-bye (and I have the proof when you file for unemployment so my ass is covered).

    There are a lot of articles on Tech-Dirt that come down to etiquite issues, and one of the big issues seems to be when members the younger generation think there's no conflict between communication technology and the work that needs to be done.

    Speaking on behalf of other business owners; focus on your work, do it well, and I will promote you and pay you well. Focus on your personal life on my time, and I will look for ways to get rid of you and replace you with someone who "gets it."

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Aug 22nd, 2006 @ 9:54am

      Re: I want all my slaves to have them

      You've fired 2 admins for IMing while you were busy at your desk replying to techdirt articles.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Eric Parmater, Aug 22nd, 2006 @ 9:36am

    Crackberries...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 22nd, 2006 @ 9:44am

    Hey Mike, 1999 called - they want their hot topic

    Seriously, could this story BE any more tired & dated?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Not for me!, Aug 22nd, 2006 @ 10:03am

    Speak for yourself...

    'Focus on your personal life on my time, and I will look for ways to get rid of you and replace you with someone who "gets it." '
    -- John Q Public

    Dear John,

    My "Personal" life is far more important than anything I do or could be expected to do at work. I work at a regional bank and am solely responsible for the real-time online banking systems (hardware and software) for over 30,000 customers and I am on call 24/7/365. If a friend or family member contacts me in the middle of a work day with an emergency, you'd better believe that they will be given priority over "Work" with no contest. If work calls me in the middle of the night, and something isn't on fire, I go back to sleep, it can wait. There's always another job, no matter how "important" you might think you are at your current one, and Friends and Family far outweight my employer.

    If you feel otherwise, then I'd hate to be your friend, family, or employee.

    Maybe we could schedule an uneducational and boring meeting to discuss it... oh wait, that's my wife calling.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    xxl3w, Aug 22nd, 2006 @ 10:29am

    My god. Once again, internet trolls strike again. I hate when people try to make you look stupid because of spellings. I'm not writing an article in a magazine/newspaper. Who spellchecks forum topics? Are you that scared of someone insulting your intelligence? It must be vital to your internet reputation to never misspell a word. I don't hire editors for my comments, but since we are so quick to jump on improper english, let's talk about your many run-on sentences and your, what my english teach would call "comma crazy syndrome." Let's not forget, many english teachers consider conjunctions a bad habit and not good for writings. Also, I'm not the angry one, I just hate people always complaining about their work and meetings. They're held for a purpose. If not your company prolly *snickers* needs to do some work on their company. BTW, prolly takes less typing/movement of my fingers and I like the message it gives across.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      xxl3w, Aug 22nd, 2006 @ 10:31am

      Re:

      uh OHHH I forgot to capitalize English in English teacher. AHHHHHH!!!!! freakin' losers. notice I didn't put a g in freaking. It's because that was the message I was trying to give off with my elite internet slang *sarcasm*

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    trollbain, Aug 22nd, 2006 @ 10:44am

    Hey xxl3w, who's the troll?

    As an experienced lurker, it seems that it is always the accuser of a troll who is really the troll. Just look at the posts in this thread for the proof. Oh yeah, and when you use such a broad brush to paint "everyone complaining about work" you only make yourself look like an unhappy, lonely, work-a-holic.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      xxl3w, Aug 22nd, 2006 @ 10:49am

      Re: Hey xxl3w, who's the troll?

      How does it make me look like unhappy/lonely when I'm telling people to stop complaining and being unhappy? Your statement about the "accuser of troll" reminds me of the famous PeeWee Herman "I know you are but what am I." I do work much when I'm in the office, but I'm one of the lucky few who doesn't have to deal with being on-call. So, weekends and after 5 are my playtime. I have a pretty fixed schedule because my company is understandable with the two lil' ones *OHH GOD, HE DID IT AGAIN*.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    xxl3w, Aug 22nd, 2006 @ 10:45am

    They just keep coming.

    Workers always complain about working. You call a meeting for them to express their ideas. If they don't want to express ideas, all they have to do is sit there and nod their head. Then they complain about that. Have you ever thought the frustration built up inside of you is caused by yourself and not your job? All of you say "I have a life, I have wife and kids." So do I, but that's not an excuse to hate work meetings. That's a little fly ball to left-field if you ask me. Do meetings take up time with your family or is it your career path?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Tonald Drump, Aug 23rd, 2006 @ 9:11am

      Re: They just keep coming.

      You were the dipshit who told us meeting haters to "get a life". We responded about family and kids because THEY are our lives. Read your own back post before you jump on us dumbass.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Brad Eleven, Aug 22nd, 2006 @ 10:54am

    same old problems, amplified by tech

    Oh, come now. None of you've been around long enough to have experienced meeting pushback?? It's not the Blackberry device per se; it's whatever the meeting members can find to occupy their attention so that they don't actually have to "be" at the meeting.

    Yes, it's ironic that the very same devices were issued/pushed onto these employees, for the purpose of having them available more often.

    "Hear, hear", waitasec. People will continue to find ways to not actually participate, much less *listen* at meetings. This is a two-way street, though: It's silly to simply expect people to listen without being attracted, enrollled, or otherwise interested.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    xxl3w, Aug 22nd, 2006 @ 11:58am

    Let the trolling BEGIN! That's all I wanted to reply to that, but I just can't help myself. *falls to the ground holding his chest in pain* you called me dumb. *SHUTTERS* no one cares for me *OUCH*. Since you were banging my wife while I was in meetings, want to come up with some child support money? Ohh yea, you're too busy living your ohh so ever "important" life.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    xxl3w, Aug 22nd, 2006 @ 1:42pm

    grammer powa? i hope you're referring to the power of Grammer, IN 47236.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    xxl3w, Aug 22nd, 2006 @ 1:45pm

    I don't think when i said "shutters" it was a typo. I think I'm really that retarded. I don't write/read too many scary Goosebumps novels anymore so my use of neat0 verbs is slacking.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    meeting minder, Aug 22nd, 2006 @ 4:17pm

    umm, can we talk?

    I've found that most meetings I attend contain 10 percent useful discussion interspersed with 90 percent off-topic wasting of time. It depends on who is running the meeting. The best folks keep it on topic and terminate when clearly the discussion is "done". But... there are plenty of meeting minders who allow the discussion to wander, or who feel the meeting has to go for the whole hour because that is what the room is scheduled for. Come on folks... an experienced employee's brain can figure out the point that is being made and the obvious implications thereof much faster than the speaker and responders can generate the words it takes to make all that explicit. Embrace multitasking! It enhances productivity!!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 22nd, 2006 @ 4:43pm

    Not sure, but I think it was a Pfizer VP who said they hire consultants to do the work because their day is filled with internal meetings.

    Bad meetings cause people to answer cell phones or write emails. If a person does these they either shouldn't have to be at the meting or the meeting sucks.

    Course, sales should be reachable, because you never know.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    david logan, Aug 23rd, 2006 @ 10:33am

    misleading by waitasec on Aug 22nd, 2006 @ 3:39am

    I love using my treo 650 in the shittah.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    xxl3ww, Aug 24th, 2006 @ 10:01am

    So the reason you don't like meetings is because of your kids? I don't think you're getting the concept buddy. STOP trying to make someone look stupid and actually read/listen to what they're saying. I think your problem is you don't like WORK. if you don't like work, then you don't like money. You know they sell books to teach you how to farm/raise livestock. Why not get a couple and buy a chunk of land? You can have a lil' house on the prairie. No more meetings for you! Just long nights of plowing fields, milking cows, and collecting eggs. Do you kinda feel what I'm talking about now? Don't blame your emotional problems with work on "I have kids!! I have a life!!" Over half of the US has kids. I'm not sure that defines a "life."

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Balanced (precariously), Aug 27th, 2006 @ 7:58pm

    Trolls and Kids

    Not the same? Oh well.

    My trolls *ahem* kids love playing with my Blackberry. They come up with the craziest replies to those pesky work email things.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    BlackBerryFree.net, Aug 31st, 2006 @ 11:11pm

    Come and visit BlackBerryfree.net, where we support the balance between work and life.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    xxvicky, Jun 20th, 2007 @ 4:58am

    xx13ww sounds like a girls name, i pity ur family,
    im still in college so i dont have 1, but thats better than being in urs, (rest of u, ledgends!) xxoxox

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    xxvicky, Jun 20th, 2007 @ 5:01am

    hahah, y do u always reply so fast? do u lurk on this page xx13ww??? even a 16 yr old girl thinks ur a loser!!!!! XOXO

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This