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Asia CommentTaipan

Off for the summer, see you in 2050

As someone who made his fortune in good old-fashioned banking, more and more I find that I’m losing touch with all the new-fangled technologies that keep popping up.

A few years ago it was Facebook, then everyone went crazy taking selfies and posting them on the web. This week, it’s all about having something with the questionable name of Pokemon on your phone.

While I would never be caught chasing digital creatures across town, I couldn’t help but be tickled by an unfortunate tech-related incident that befell a friend of mine.

As an accomplished banker at one of the big firms in town, she recently got her old BlackBerry swapped for a new one. I could tell she was pleased as punch about receiving this shiny new toy.

But when she took off for a vacation, things went horribly wrong. Absent-mindedly, she turned on her email autoreply without checking the default message.

Little did she know that the automatic response said something to the effect of “see you in 2050”.

Instead of enjoying a well-deserved holiday, she then spent a good part of it attending to a flood of messages and calls from horrified friends and colleagues enquiring if she was ill, or if something terrible had happened that meant she need to take a 30-year break.

Her boss was especially concerned, saying he had thought she was merely taking a week’s leave and that she was not legally allowed a three-decade sabbatical, whatever the circumstances.

It’s amazing that in an age when we’re touting driverless cars and virtual reality, we still can’t get plain old email right. Perhaps there’s an app for that somewhere.

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