But I don’t think any of this is really about smartphones.
I am in the expensively furnished living room of Al Gilbertson*, the creator of the "blue box." Gilbertson is holding one of his shiny black-and-silver "blue boxes" comfortably in the palm of his hand, pointing out the thirteen little red push buttons sticking up from the console. Bell has had them all red-tagged and withdrawn from circulation," Gilbertson tells me. And he can do it in less than the twelve hours it took us. They can't build anything as precise and compact as my beeper box, but theirs can do anything mine can do." "How? They decided to use some very simple tones the tone for each number is just two fixed single-frequency tones played simultaneously to create a certain beat frequency. " I ask the Captain what kind of device he was using to accomplish all his feats. "I slipped into the line and there she was talking to another boyfriend. "Listen," he says, his spirits somewhat cheered, "listen.
Is she really saying you need a smartphone, or is she saying you need to check email more in your off hours?
I enjoy this phone because it’s durable (I’ve had it for 6 years), cheap (it costs me a month to have) and convenient (I only need to charge it once weekly or biweekly).
On weekends or on vacation, I would love to be able to leave this phone behind or off, but I guess that would defeat the purpose of them providing it to me.
My concern is that she will come back to say “corporate won’t let us pay for it.” I don’t think it will come to this, as I’ve been recently been promoted and (hopefully) am in good graces, but I would hate for them to fire me over my refusal to increase my cell bill by /month to get a smart phone.
So I don’t think changing my phone is the answer; it sounds like what I need to get more clarity on is how often you want me to be checking email during off hours — whether it’s from a phone or from a computer.” You’re likely to get one of two responses: Your boss might tell you that you do need to be checking email more often during off hours, in which case that’s the issue to explore here, not what technology you use to do it.
Or you might get a vaguer answer — if your boss doesn’t actually think you need to check email X times per weekend but just has a hazy feeling of discomfort that you’re not more connected. At that point, it’s a judgment call about how much your boss is really going to push it, what kind of rapport you have with her, and whether your relationship will allow you to push back.