Wednesday, February 9, 2011

I'd Like to Schedule Some Alone Time With Fred Karlinsky.

All of us struggle with striking a balance between the 24/7 demands of our jobs and maintaining positive and life-affirming relationships with our significant others, our family, our peers, our community, the world at large and yes, even with ourselves.

Fred Karlinsky has an answer to this dilemma:
“Fred says he can’t avoid working evenings, sometimes even in the middle of the night – as head of Colodny, Fass, Talenfeld, Karlinsky & Abate’s insurance regulatory practice, he communicates with clients and lawyers in time zones around the world. “I’m on 24/7. I know my wife gets annoyed, but I owe it to clients to respond when they need an answer.”
Ok, I agree that insurance regulatory clients are important and they are "owed" a reasonably prompt response.

But what about the spouse?  She surely is "owed' something as well:
After more than 12 hours at the office, Fred Karlinsky has arrived home to share the details of his day with his wife, Autumn. But just as she sets the roasted chicken on the dinner table, Fred’s BlackBerry pings, announcing the arrival of a new e-mail. A quick glance down and Fred’s back in work mode, shooting off a response.
“Remember,” Autumn pipes up: “Your BlackBerry is NOT invited to dinner.” By now, Autumn is realistic enough to know it may take a second reminder -- and possibly even a third nudge a few hours later when she and her husband finally have some alone time.
Much has been written about Crackberry addiction -- the need to be constantly "connected," the feeling that you are missing something if you don't immediately check your email to learn there is another bullcrap CLE available or that LexisNexis really wants you back as a customer.

In other words, it is possible that the desire to be "plugged in" at all times does not exactly coincide with the business necessity to check every nonsense email or text message at every possible moment.

In Fred's case, his wife has to schedule alone time with him, via -- what else -- email:
Autumn Karlinsky, a mother of two young children, says she, too, supports her husband’s efforts to stay at the top of his game. “It has afforded me the ability not to have to work right now.” The tradeoff, she says, is that he brings work home. When she wants one-on-one time with him, she schedules it. And, she embraces his BlackBerry addiction to communicate with him. “We send e-mail back and forth all day.”
This is interesting also -- David Brooks  just yesterday wrote about the difference between electronic contact and the real, live human kind:
[H]umans communicate best when they are physically brought together. Two University of Michigan researchers brought groups of people together face to face and asked them to play a difficult cooperation game. Then they organized other groups and had them communicate electronically. The face-to-face groups thrived. The electronic groups fractured and struggled. 
That reminds me -- I need to text my wife about this.


Anonymous said...

Give me electronic contact over speaking to my wife.

Anonymous said...

She has a good life. Doesn't have to work because he's a workaholic named partner [at a pretty obscure law firm].

A few things this intellectually lazy article doesn't address: (1) his "workaholism's" effect on his 2small children; and (2) his need to email 24/7's effect on his co-workers.

If he's one of those asshats who bill 3,000 hours per year and expect his associates to respond to his after hours emails, then that's got to be a shitty place to work. Alternatively, he doesn't cross others' boundaries and will wait for replies during business hours. That might be a healthy balance but the reporter doesn't even address... said...

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