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Ringing in the New Year on mute

By Taipan
05 Jan 2017

I think the French got it right when they recently decided that employees should be able to ignore work emails after hours.

I’ve often thought technology is as much of a ball and chain as a benefit. But a recent night out showed me that the younger generation has adapted to abusing technology as much as it abuses them.

Just a few days after Christmas I met up with a couple of old colleagues for a drink. The poor schmucks had the misfortune of being assigned to cover the desk over the holiday week and were even more put out when they were asked to take part in a company-wide call with their New York office at 8pm Hong Kong time.

Back in my day, we would have easily skipped the call, making a junior stay in the office to dial in from the conference room for us all. But these chaps’ supervisors were wise to such possible truancy. Everyone was given a personalised pin number to call in from their mobiles, so the bosses knew exactly who was dialled in to the call, and when they left.

However, rather than spoil our holiday cheer for the sake of work, my friends continued to sip their drinks. They dialled in to the call but then immediately hit the mute buttons and flipped their phone screens down on the bar.

As the muffled call droned on, we continued our celebrations, pausing only occasionally to check that the call was still going on, before finally, tipsily signing off. Happy New Year!

By Taipan
05 Jan 2017