Oh, the thrill of the New Year! We shuffle in, sluggish from holiday sloth until our faces light up with wonder as-one by one-our teammates trot out their new toys. Is that 4G?, we ask. Look at that screen!, we exclaim. And the apps, the glorious apps...never again will we make an uninformed decision.
The showing off continues all week. Shiny gadgets are conspicuously placed on conference tables, ever ready to help inform and remind. Tried and true lunch spots are passed over for purveyors with better search engine placements. Resolutions are more easily met with apps that encourage and track. Optimism abounds as productivity seems to soar.
And then reality sets in. Those once-friendly beeps reminding one to run and the other to breathe start to irritate. Cube neighbors begin to grumble about alarms set to buzz louder when ignored. Why isn't there an app that can sense when gadget and gadget owner are separated? Why can't there be a more intuitive way for frustrated coworkers to silence those beepity beasts?
Productivity doesn't just seem to plummet as beleaguered teammates conspire to stop the insanity without harming man or machine. Drastic measures are discussed until practicality once again reigns in silent mode. By the second week in January, new toys are less shiny and blissfully mute. Tossed into backpacks, left in the car, they do no more harm.
Save them for measuring distance to golf pins, finding the name to that obscure Warren Zevon song, or comparing prices of new high-def speakers. In the office, the only buzzer we should hear indicates the place is on fire.
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