I had an appointment in the New York City yesterday that would require me to spend several hours in a waiting room, followed by several more hours in another waiting room. The night before, faced with this prospect (and the one and half hours that I’d be spending on the train into and out of New York City) and thinking about other “wasted” times spent sitting around, I started to wonder: is it time to get a Blackberry?
As you all know, I work from home. Technically, although I do work for other people on a freelance basis, I work for myself. Should time spent sitting in a waiting room be productive, or should this be the time I catch up on my reading, make new friends (people in waiting rooms tend to want to talk to other people in the waiting room), or just meditate? I haven’t decided. But the pull toward the personal data assistant or whatever PDA stands for, is getting greater, and I turn to you, oh venerated Stiletto Gang readers for advice.
My sister, who works for a company who offers these devices and calling plans, said, “They’re great. But you are married to them then.” Another friend couldn’t live without hers. Would I become a slave to the PDA or forget I even had it? Do I really need to check my email every few minutes throughout the day, regardless of where I am? I’m undecided.
I returned from New York City yesterday to more than forty emails. Those of you in the corporate world are probably laughing, thinking to yourselves, “Forty? That’s bush league, sister. Try coming back to two hundred!” But in my world, forty is a lot. Especially since all of them include information that is necessary and meaningful. You in corporate America get at least twenty responses that say “I’ll be there” to the email that circulated about some meeting taking place Friday morning at ten. Those, my friends, do not count in your overall total. Would it have been better for me to sit in the waiting room and respond to at least twenty of those emails? Or does it not matter? Should my clients have to wait until I return or should I be available to them twenty four/seven? I leave these weighty questions in your hands.
I know that the Southern half of Evelyn David has a Blackberry, so I’m hoping she weighs in with the plusses and minuses of PDA ownership. I do know that I will have to invest in the device that has the largest key pad because even though I do not possess overly-large hands, I can’t imagine that I’ll be able to write messages with any kind of ease unless the keys on the keypad approach the size of those on my laptop. I know the keys are larger than those of my cell phone, but exactly how large do they need to be? All I know is that it took me ten minutes to text my daughter these two words, “not sure,” in response to her message to me, “What time will you be home?” I do not have that kind of time, people. And if you need an immediate answer from me on an important issue, do not—I repeat, do not—text me. It will be hours before I’m able to type a comprehensible reply.
I await your wise counsel. To Blackberry or not—that is the question.