Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Crackberry Rules of Engagement

I've gone & done it.

I'm not proud, but less-than-secretly, I really am. It's just sooo pretty... [swoon]

[Composure regained] I'm not going to go into a whole lot of justification, etc. Suffice to say: it's for work & I had to make a case for it & I expect it will make a difference, if only for my organizational peace of mind. [Shut up. It will. Shut up.]

After approximately a week with my new toy tool [don't want to be associated with that one] baby office assistant, I have to say that I'm totally hooked. A co-worker told me that he was waiting to see how it worked for me before he took the plunge. I had to say that it was not without its frustrations (it's new & I'm old), but I likened it to when desktop computers first became normalized, but people were still using them as replacement typewriters (e.g. retyping letters for changes). It's a cool tool that can do some good stuff for you but you have to be open to it, and not a slave to it. It's a fine line. [Famous last words from a N00B]

So. That said, everyone has their tale of horror of the out-of-control crackberry addict in their life - or the periphery. I've seen them. Held up meetings for them. Driven behind & beside them. I don't want to be "that guy", so I've come up with:

Harmzie's Crackberry Pledge

I will:

  • NOT whip it out & wave it around. That's so 90s [FAIL - I'm talking about it right now. That's kind of like waving it around]

  • NOT talk on the phone whilst driving w/o the headset [FAIL - I don't have the headset yet & I've done this already]

  • Avoid talking on the phone whilst driving even WITH the headset

  • NOT wear the headset out of the car [I'll be leaving it in the car - that's what it's for]

  • NOT text while driving [OMGWTFBBQ!!???]

  • NOT dial while driving [yay voice dialling! my old phone had that too, but y'know, the learning]

  • Avoid "Crackin' thru StupidStore" (almost direct texted quote from my first CB text buddy!) But hey, if I'm bored & someone interesting texts me, what do I care about strangers around me who I don't have to interact with [hmmm...starting to see the source of the whole "doesn't let many in" issue]

  • Switch everything to vibrate or even [gasp] off in a group or meeting. If I forget, you can believe that I'm actually very embarrassed. This isn't too difficult, since I usually wear it & usually leave it on vibrate. [Relax, it doesn't feel that good]

  • NOT be drawn into its attention vortex during a meeting. It will be out of sight as a symbol of my full attention. That goes for lunch meetings, group meetings, one-on-ones.

  • Have a ringer that is a RINGER DAMMIT! Not a thrash metal song (tempting, mind you, but no), not a "classy" Vivaldi lilt. A phone should ring. Mine will [and it will be on low]. I'll save the personal branding for my iPod.

I reserve the right to:

  • Check it when it buzzes. There's something vibrating on my hip-bone, for crying out loud! You try and ignore it! I'll be discrete and/or I'll wait until there's a moment.

  • Answer it if it is one of about five people who shall not be named here (duh). Max is not always one of them (I'll always call him back)

  • Send the caller to voice mail if I'm having a conversation or meeting with real live people [I'll do that with my desk phone too, by the way]

I'm sure I'll learn more as I go, but the learnin' was one of the reasons I was open to the idea. Comments? Suggestions? Hints? Remember, I don't want to be that guy, but it's just soooo pretty!

[UPDATE - Feb 21: Yesterday I was busted checking my email during a presentation. A collegue standing beside me - happening to be one who is on the fence about the whole CB thing, so I'd been talking to him about it a lot. Anyway he leaned over & elbowed me. I looked over and whispered "I can quit any time I want!" He laughed. And then gave me the "you're so doomed" look.]

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  1. I work with one full-fledged blackberry addict and one part addict. And an Iphone touch addict. At work, I don't care if they divert their attention to it, even if I'm talking to them about something they should be paying attention to. Maybe that's partly due to the work culture where I am though. Your mileage may vary, but people might not be bothered if you check it more often than you wish you were checking it.

    Two of these people have their ringers set low enough to not be disruptive. Number three has some song that is so distorted I can't make it out --- but it might be from some video game I've never seen so I'll never figure it out. That ring is annoying. So skip the song if you want to keep friends.

    Outside of work, answering it when we're talking is rude and I call them on it. I know sometimes it's a call worth taking, not always.

    One guy accidentally dropped his in a glass of milk. Don't do that, it broke and couldn't be repaired.

    And I'm ashamed for you now that I know that you talk on a cell phone while driving. Even my kids have picked up on it --- we see someone driving like they're drunk at 8AM, way too slow, weaving, not stopping when they should, etc., and they ask "is that car being driven by someone talking on a cell phone?". You guessed it...

    My rationale is that if I'm in a collision (they call them accidents, but most of them are not accidental) that causes serious injuries to anyone, I don't want to think that I wasn't doing my best to pay attention to driving and was instead distracted by a cell phone conversation.

    Let's make a deal, Monty. Stick to your guns on the pledge not to talk on the cell phone while driving. And I promise not to make fun of your self portrait sketch. :-)

  2. I'm just going to point and laugh at the newest member of the crackberry addiction crew. I can say this because I've never owned one, and likely never will.

    Therefore, pointing and laughing ensues! ;-}

  3. @Albert - thanks for the tips. I think saying it out loud and then having my head slapped is probably what I needed. When I see someone talking & driving I *always* think eye-swords at them. *always*. I think less that when I see someone with the borg-ear, talking to "themselves". Mostly I giggle. Although they could just be singing to the radio! Thanks also, for the "permission" (didn't know you gave it, did you?!) I do feel a little less like a dufus. I said a little.

    @Wyliekat - Please enjoy your position beside Max in the pointing & laughing. The difference is I'm still convinced I'll get him to switch to the darkside... He considers it a "leash", and I'm all, like "duh!!"

  4. As the one who dragged you into your first (face)crack addiction, then harassed you into doing this blogging thing, I'm glad you stepped into this new addiction before me.

    As someone whose spouse has suggested I permanently attach this mini-laptop to my body, I believe a blackberry would be overkill for me. For now.

    I congratulate you on your new (and very pretty, I must add) acquisition! I will not point and laugh at you. I may just BE you in the future. :)

  5. @nen - you'd be fine, so long as you stopped & breathed & made some boundaries. As a told a waivering collegue this morning "you just have to remind yourself that whatever was just sent to you, you don't need to see at 7:00 am!" if it was that important, they'd call.

    If you're already that plugged in, you already have the discipline in place. Or you don't & you're screwed anyway.

    Just sayin'

  6. Were you giving the presentation? Because that's a bad sign if you had to check your little box during your own presentation.

    At least you're not using twitter. Now there's a useless application if I ever saw one...

  7. @albert -- no. And I was in the back. I was actually just a "presence" as in it was a presentation for external others, on information I already had. I was there to field questions, should there be any. However, far be it from me to just stand there and be a presence. I interrupted (with my vocal talents) the speaker at least three times. All necessarily, of course.

    As for your second comment... erm... don't look up to the right...