I laughed out loud when I read that nearly twenty percent of American workers have been reprimanded for inappropriate BlackBerry conduct. Why the laughter? I'm one of them!
I got my first BlackBerry in September 2003 when my firm started rolling them out. It was love at first use! I just couldn't stop checking the thing. This became an issue during one meeting that was particularly excruciatingly boring. I kept checking my BlackBerry every few minutes to the obvious annoyance of the senior partner that I was working for who was seated to my left.
After my fourth or fifth BlackBerry check, the senior partner reached for his. He struggled a bit with the tiny keyboard but finally typed a message. He aggressively hit "send" and slammed his BlackBerry down. Less than a second later, my BlackBerry buzzed. I picked it up and noticed that my new e-mail was from the senior partner. It read: "STOP checking your e-mail."
I looked over at the senior partner. He glared at me, his arms crossed in disapproval. I gently placed my BlackBerry on the conference room table, etiquette lesson learned. Lest you think me a girly-man, here's a photo of the senior partner in question:
You'd have put your BlackBerry down too, trust me!