Thursday, September 25, 2008


Cell Phones are Evil and tamper with work/life balance...

I previously blogged about Work/Life balance and how cell phones and crackberries are at the center of destruction of it. Today, I will share additional tips of how I have achieved balance...

In high school, I worked for Cigna where I noticed that there were a lot of IT professionals who didn't have a college degree in IT and concluded that what you have your degree in doesn't matter as much as simply having a degree. I rationalized that the degree was something one achieved simply to satisfy arbitrarily specified HR criteria and served little other purpose.

Applying this same set of thinking, I knew early on in life that I needed to have the same thing in terms of communications when it comes to phones. Whenever you apply for a credit card, visit a business in which you are a consumer and so on, it is mandatory that you provide them with a phone number. The challenge is in convincing them that they can call you for purpose X but not for purpose Y. In fact, once you give up your phone number, it may be passed along to other parties in the due course of business.

My solution to this problem is simple. I have a phone number which I list as primary in the phone book that I give to anyone simply to satisfy the fact that they require one. The phone number though is never answered and the only thing connected to it is my DSL line. If you want my phone number, I will give it to you, only though I don't have to suffer with the Pavlovian effect of checking to see who is calling. I don't even have a voicemail connected to it and therefore won't even waste time reviewing it later.

For those who will get it twisted, I do have another number such that friends, family and other folks such as my kids' various teachers can reach us. Only twenty or so folks outside of family have it and even if it is leaked, I have a second protection mechanism to avoid the potential of Pavlov.

Many phone companies allow you to have the ability to program the number of other phones such that it results in a different ring. So, if my parents call me, I don't even have to look at caller ID and can simply pick up the phone while if it rings for others I may look and respond accordingly...

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