Ho, Ho, Ho, Merry... Hang On, I've Got An Email On My Blackberry

from the checking-in dept

Just last week, we wrote about how the concept of a vacation was quickly fading for many, as it just made more sense to stay connected even while officially "off" from work. On that note, a new study has asked Blackberry users whether or not they'll be disconnecting for the holiday season, and the answer is not so much. Hell, 26% (mockingly, supposedly) expressed shock at the idea a Blackberry even could be turned off. Like any such study, the results may be questioned, but it seems clear that many will at least be glancing at their emails throughout the holiday season.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    MCeeP, Nov 30th, 2006 @ 9:04pm

    disconnect

    they can be turned off???? blasphemy says you ;)


    I know I'll be connected over the holidays, since I'm the only IT guy for our region, I don't have much choice...

     

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  2.  
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    Mousky, Nov 30th, 2006 @ 9:07pm

    What The Heck?

    You mean there is an on/off switch on this...sorry gotta go, have an email I need to read on my crackberry.

     

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  3.  
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    Jdaik, Nov 30th, 2006 @ 9:11pm

    When I go on vacation, I "cut-off," but I guess many people have jobs where it's understood that they can be reached anywhere and anytime.

     

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  4.  
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    misanthropic humanist, Nov 30th, 2006 @ 10:13pm

    dog collars

    ".. I guess many people have jobs where it's understood that they can be reached anywhere and anytime."

    Aha, the old slave chain argument.

    If you are not self employed and you put yourself in this situation you're either an idiot for signing the contract or need to get a spine and stand up for yourself.

    Taking back, or for many people establishing for the first time, healthy boundaries is essential for spiritual and mental health. Face it, unless you're a firefighter, lifeguard or specialist doctor there is no job in the world that *requires* you to reached outside your contracted hours. Such jobs are the result of cheapskate employers who won't dip in their pockets to hire sufficient staff to cover the work shifts.

    There is an off button on your corporate mobile, use it early, use it often, like the moment you walk out of the office door.

    Of course many people don't see through the clever trick when they are given "free" mobile devices. They treat the device as their own, and so long as the company turn a blind eye to you making personal
    calls they can pretty much guarantee you will be reachable (and trackable) at a whim. Why use a stick when a carrot will do? The same goes for company cars and subsidised accomodation, all designed to make your work your life, not just a job.

     

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  5.  
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    Brad, Nov 30th, 2006 @ 10:26pm

    Turn it off?

    So the only people who turn off their blackberries (or other email-devices) are the ones that don't matter. If you're able to walk away from your job for two or three weeks, you can be replaced in just as much time.

    So figure out where you fall. I'll keep mine on.

     

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  6.  
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    Rico J. Halo, Nov 30th, 2006 @ 10:36pm

    I hate to admit it...

    But I was on vacation to Mexico last year for my 50th birthday with a very hot 30 year old girlfriend. When we got on board the BlackBerry went into a nighstand drawer I had assumed for the remainder of the trip. But 2 days later I heard a muffled but familiar sound signaling emails and voice mails both. I checked and evidently we were wandering in and out of a maritime cell zone even several miles off the coast of Baja Mexico. I did check voicemails and emails and I hate to admit it but even browsed to and posted in a couple of my fav forums briefly about my cruise. I hated the BlackBerry at first but absolutely couldnt survive without it now. No wonder they are so often called "CrackBerrys". Only problem is the spammers are hammering me on it lately, bastards.

     

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  7.  
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    misanthropic humanist, Nov 30th, 2006 @ 10:56pm

    Re: Turn it off?

    Brad wrote: "So the only people who turn off their blackberries (or other email-devices) are the ones that don't matter. If you're able to walk away from your job for two or three weeks, you can be replaced in just as much time"

    Brad, that is terrible reaoning. Your premise is pulled out of thin air. Where has anyone said that people who exercise their correct rights to turn off these devices in their free time "don't matter". It's not in the summary or the linked story, and I certainly didn't say it.

    Your conclusion is crass. Were it the case nobody would ever take a vacation. You should also consider the employers perspective. I would never hire one single individual who was so essential to the company that I couldn't let them leave several weeks. What if they became sick? Nobody is ever that indespensible. To think otherwise is either deep insecurity or egotistical.

    The blatent fear you are espousing tells me you have swallowed the very toxic mind control crap I'm trying to warn you of. I hope you don't really beleive such rubbish and for the sake of your family and friends I hope you don't live your life according to those fears. Please get over your outdated protestant guilt trip. You are worthy of better. Switch the fucker off and go fishing or something. The world will survive without you.

     

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  8.  
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    bald_eagle, Nov 30th, 2006 @ 11:04pm

    Moderate the Crackberry

    I have been supporting users as a computer technician in a major company for over ten years, and it seems that I have seen the different users from CEO's and Sales that live off of emails and meetings. I can understand why they would need a "Crackberry" only to keep a small handle on the mass amounts of emails. It is something easy to do while sitting on the can, or any other vacation wait time. No big deal.
    But there is another type of Blackberry user that really just annoys the hell out of me. They are the type that really do not need one, but have one only to feel important. These types love it when they can interrupt whomever they are with to say "Excuse me, I have to check this critical email." Puh lease!! You clowns know who you are and who I am talking about. They love to show others around them that they have a Blackberry and have to "show" everyone how important they are. I actually think they are the ones that really do not want to be at that particular family function.
    The bottom line is that there will always be technology that will help make someone money, and the managers are more than happy enough to let you continue working after hours and during vacation time. Some will be forced to use the devices during vacation time, some will love to show it off during that time. Others will just be simply addicted to checking it every two minutes.
    All of which are choices that friends and families have to deal with one way or another. My only advice is to show some common courtesy to friends and family when using the device.

     

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  9.  
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    H. Peter Mead, Nov 30th, 2006 @ 11:07pm

    Re: Turn it off?

    Unless, of course, you are sufficiently high enough (read at the top) of the food chain as to be beyond replacement. If I am with my family I turn off the blackberry and cell phone. They can live without me. thats what I employ them for!!!!

     

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  10.  
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    The big picture, Dec 1st, 2006 @ 12:31am

    Brad

    If your really that good you should have no problem finding anoher job within a few weeks.

     

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  11.  
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    Forced Crackberry Addict, Dec 1st, 2006 @ 3:22am

    Re: Re: Turn it off?

    misanthropic humanist -- You seem to have very little knowledge of the real world corporate society or you work at a very small company. If you did, you wouldn't be making comments like this.

    My job requires me to be available 24/7 because my business runs in an 24/7 environment. It's not 24/7 because were I work uses it but because we have people in Europe, Asia and Australia who also use our environment.

    I'll admit that most of the people at my work who use Blackberries probably don't need to have it on all the time, but there are a few of us who really do.

    You can take back your small time comments any time now.

     

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  12.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 1st, 2006 @ 6:15am

    Re: Re: Turn it off?

    "I hope you don't really beleive such rubbish and for the sake of your family and friends I hope you don't live your life according to those fears."

    Unfortunately those who truly remain switched on 24/7/365 rarely have friends, partners, and even family. I've worked with far too many sad losers like this that they just depress the hell out of me. They have no where to go after work or at the weekend so they stay at work all hours and then expect you to do the same.

    GET A LIFE YOU LOSERS. Then see how connected you really want to be.

     

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  13.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 1st, 2006 @ 6:17am

    Re: Moderate the Crackberry

    I don't think technology is really the problem here. The real problem is as you say:

    "managers are more than happy enough to let you continue working after hours and during vacation time"

    The problem is when this becomes expected because the losers who have no life continue to work like slaves in their free time for no pay. For many companies this becomes the norm and then those normal people who have a life get screwed because they refuse to give their soul to the company, I'm sorry be pro-active....

     

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  14.  
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    Unknowledgeable Geek, Dec 1st, 2006 @ 7:13am

    I assume all of you that turn these devices off during vacation and after work hours all are from Europe. This is why America is leading the was in Economics, it is called job dedication. How long does it really take to check an email when you stay on top of it all the time. The problem comes when you were gone for 2 weeks on vacation and didn't check your email and now you have 2000 emails, granted 1750 of them are junk, but you still have to look at them.

    I don't see how checking your email when you are on vacation is a way of bowing down to an employer.

    I would much rather check my email on vacation then come back to that, because while you are on vacation that is what you are going to be thinking about, I have to check all that email when I get back.

    Plus, are you going to tell me you don't check your personal email on vacation, so if you check that don't you have it all coming into one location, if not, you don't deserve a blackberry.

    To all you people that think these devices should be turned off on vacation, go ahead and turn yours off, but to those that want to use it, go ahead and use it.

    Pro-Choice!!!!

     

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  15.  
    identicon
    AC, Dec 1st, 2006 @ 8:17am

    Re:

    "This is why America is leading the was in Economics, it is called job dedication."

    I assume was = war? Maybe? Who cares?
    In regards to "leading" I would like some clarification on that? It seems that since Bush got in office our economy has gone down the drain. Finishing daddy's war is more important than the health of our nation I guess.

    Gas prices have gone from

     

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  16.  
    identicon
    ac, Dec 1st, 2006 @ 8:19am

    (stupid html)

    Gas prices have gone from less than $1.00 per gallon to over $3.00 and our american dollar is losing value every day.

    You're right though - we are the clear winners of "the was in Economics"

    lol idiot

     

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  17.  
    identicon
    BananaFish, Dec 1st, 2006 @ 9:21am

    Re: Re: Re: Turn it off?

    "GET A LIFE YOU LOSERS. Then see how connected you really want to be."

    Yeah! Give up the mobile devices and become a resident poster here at Techdirt! LOSERS!

     

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

  18.  
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    Chris Maresca, Dec 1st, 2006 @ 11:35am

    Blackberries have a killer feature for this...

    Unlike any other mobile device I've ever had, it actually supports the concept of 'working hours' as you can set it to automatically turn off during weekday nights and weekends.

    Besides, checking a Blackberry is a great way to avoid conversations, something everyone needs in certain social situations....

    Chris.
    P.S. If you're a BB user, it's under Options -> Auto On/Off

     

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  19.  
    identicon
    Ryann, Dec 1st, 2006 @ 1:31pm

    I live in fear...

    of the day I get a job that requires me to carry around one of those sick, obsessive devices.

    I'm a recent graduate and don't have or need one yet, but I watch my directors and upper level management peck away at them during meetings and while walking down the hall. It makes me want to flick paper wads at them or stretch out my leg and trip them to bring them back to reality!

    How can they run a company when they aren't even listening to what's going on around them? They just can't help to sit the darn thing down for 30 minutes to show their subordinates that they care about what they are saying.

    Believe me, the business world is NOT moving so fast that they can't spare that moment.

    And as for going on vacation and staying connected - I think people like that are just hurting themselves in the end. Vacation is given to employees for a reason. Constantly "working" even when you aren't takes a toll on your mind and body, and I'm just not willing to make that sacrifice.

     

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  20.  
    identicon
    A non-slave IT guy, Dec 1st, 2006 @ 4:16pm

    Re: dog collars

    Post #4; Such jobs are the result of cheapskate employers who won't dip in their pockets to hire sufficient staff to cover the work shifts.

    Such employers are the result of cheapskate customers who want low price over quality and or service. Of course they then complain about bad quality and service - not seeing the connection between their choices and the reality of busisness and competition. These are the same people who bitch about high prices and corporate profiteering while buying more shares in the stock of Company XYZ and demanding greater dividends on same. Most Americans are self-centered, ignorant, greedy, short-sighted bigots. And no, I'm not a foreigner. I'm a US citizen, born and raised.

     

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  21.  
    identicon
    A non-slave IT guy, Dec 1st, 2006 @ 4:30pm

    Re: Re: Re: Turn it off?

    Sorry to break it to you, FCA, but Misanthropic has the clue you lack.

    Corporate America is selling you a load of hooey. They are passing on the workload that comes from being overextended, from making unreasonable promises, from trying to compete overaggressively, onto you. They COULD cover the other 16 hours a day without YOU. They could hire two more IT guys, possibly overseas employees or US shift workers. They could hire an outsourcing service provider that covers the rare afterhours outage. They could just tell people that they have to wait.

    But, the guys at the top know that they can leverage the culture of fear that has seeped into our workworld. They've got you convinced that if you don't do their bidding, they will replace you in a heartbeat. And they are not wrong. There are a hundred sheep like you who are willing to forego having sane and reasonable boundaries. Your job is not secure because you are not valued. You are not valued because you do not value yourself. But, it risky to stand up, because around here, you will stand alone.

    I can envision a world where all workers insist that employers treat them well, have reasonable expectations, pay fair wages, give opportunity to those that earn it and so on. But, not in America. We are greedy and selfish. We will sell our souls to get a little more than the other guy. To get more, someone has to take less. Who is that going to be?

    Misan has it right. We're afraid - therefore they've won.

     

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  22.  
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    Stu, Dec 2nd, 2006 @ 10:23am

    Misanthropic does have it right. If they have you thinking you're indispensable, you're beiong misused.

    As an employer, the last thing I want is an indispensable employee. Anyone who really is that important can hold me hostage in many ways, small and large.

     

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  23.  
    identicon
    Donna, Dec 2nd, 2006 @ 6:40pm

    Blackberries

    There are some of us who have jobs where a missed call could mean a lot of money. A multi-million dollar opportunity missed. That's the truth of it. You could say - if you got the email - you could answer it a week later. But it is the luck of being at the right place at the right time that makes many deals happen. And if you are ignoring your email for a week - that perfect moment in time could be missed....along with millions. I realize most people don't have a job like this but I do. An email ignored could mean as much as a kids college tuition, and that's a fact. I will keep mine on, and my family fortunately understands. Like wise, my husband is a doctor and can ONLY go away if he makes himself easily available. Our PDAs allow us to spend time away where we would normally never leave. That's a fact.

     

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