A young professional’s take on the trials and tribulations of everyday life in New York City.

By Nina Pajak

Our BlackBerries aren’t working.


For the last few days, BlackBerry server company Research in Motion (RIM) has been on the fritz, causing ‘Berry outages across continents and leaving people the world over weeping and running around in confused circles as they check their BBMs for the fiftieth time in ten minutes.

Perhaps it’s our fault for having put our very lives in the hands of an organization that ineptly gave itself a meaningless name and thus cornering themselves into a ridiculously mockable and suggestive acronym. First sign of bad judgment: RIM. Come on.

Anyway, much hay has been made in the press of RIM’s financial floundering of late, and with the iPhone 4S about to land and Apple love at a seemingly all-time high, perhaps they should have thought twice about, you know, ruining all of our lives. Or at least, our week. Come to think of it, the timing is awfully convenient. Perhaps that’s not such a coincidence after all . . . conspiracy theory, anyone?

Since I got my BlackBerry, I’ve spent a lot of time lamenting my 24/7 availability and my newfound utter inability to willfully disconnect from work or friends. Every time I see that little red light blinking, alerting me to new messages, my fingers go flying. I’m powerless to its draw. I’m not so bad as some, worse than others. But I’ve fooled myself into thinking that I was better off before I had the damn thing, when I was unfettered and free of the expectations that are now upon me. Now that it’s not working, I realize how wrong I was. And that’s not the withdrawal talking, I’m 95% sure.

No, without my email steadily flowing into my purse, I am a slave to my desk! I take a lunch break and am filled with dread at what may be lurking in my inbox, waiting for me to return to my office so it can ambush me and ruin my afternoon. Too much connectivity (ugh, that word!) is better than too little when it means taking the element of surprise out of your workday. Plus, I really like BBMing!

So now what are we supposed to do? Wait for RIM to fix it? That could take day(s)! By the time this is all settled in North America, who knows what mayhem will have been wrought? Who knows what inconveniences we may have suffered? Then again, what’s the alternative? Buying a different phone, or giving into peer pressure and battling the iNerds to buy the 4S so we can finally play Angry Birds on our own devices rather than having to commandeer others’ phones? I’m sure some of our husbands would just loooove that. As would the cell phone companies. That would represent a nice little windfall for them, wouldn’t it?

Oooh! New conspiracy theory!

See what this CrackBerry meltdown has done? I’m losing my grip on reality. Thanks a lot, RIM.

<insert “rim” joke here>


Dear Readers: While I am rarely at a loss for words, I’m always grateful for column ideas. Please feel free to e-mail me your suggestions.

Nina Pajak is a writer and publishing professional living with her husband on the Upper West Side.

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