I’m typically in the office (note, I said the office, not my office) for at about 9 hours a day, usually eat lunch at my desk, typically will spend another hour or so working from home before/after work, and a few minutes here and there while sitting at stoplights. This is far from out of the ordinary in today’s tech world. In fact to many, it’s a light day.
On a mild day I get over 150 emails and I do my best to whittle that down to 10-20 max left in my inbox by the end of the day. Inevitably, when I wake up and grab my mobile office, aka BlackBerry, I will find 30+ new to-do’s, urgent I need a response immediately, are you available to talk, electronic bundles of future ulcers that have arrived from around the globe while I slept.
Our business, like most, is a 24 hour gig. We have our EMEA office, our CALA office, our APAC office, our kiss-your-support-job-goodbye India outsourced office. Customers and suppliers all around the globe.
We have conference calls at 6 am and 6 pm. We have meetings at noon – all too often without food. I get text messages at all hours of the day including weekends. I’ve had coworkers ping me on Facebook at 10 pm because they saw me online and “just have a quick question.”
I’ve flown on Saturday’s, Sunday’s and redeye’s just to get there for that meeting.
I’ve taken vacations and answered just “a couple quick emails” while hiding around the corner so my wife wouldn’t kick my ass.
While I don’t like all of this, I recognize that this is life in the BlackBerry, forward your
office cube phone number to your cell, VPN, 21st Century business world. If I want to enjoy those stock options that are underwater, those 200 hours of PTO that I’ll likely never get to take, that free coffee that tastes like mud from a water buffalo’s drinking hole, I’ve gotta suck it up and put in that extra effort.
Yet, for some reason I just can’t understand why our company’s main number has an automated message after 5pm saying:
You’ve reached us after hours, please call back during normal business hours.