Why don’t they just turn it off?

Apparently some genius German workers have cut a deal with their bosses to stop getting management emails on their Blackberrys after hours:

The tyranny of the out-of-hours email from the boss has plagued workers the world over ever since the introduction of the BlackBerry.

Now, after years of subjugation, one group of workers has struck a blow for freedom: 1000 employees of the German car giant Volkswagen.

In a move designed to restore the sacred Teutonic concept of “feierabend” – strictly no work out of factory hours – the vehicle maker’s works council, backed by its most powerful trade union, this year struck an agreement with the company that from now on email will be disabled for the selected BlackBerry-equipped staff when they are not in the office.

These employees now receive emails only from half an hour before the start of working hours and half an hour after they end. They can still receive and make phone calls.

Hans-Joachim Thust, a workers’ spokesman, suggested that mobile phones and BlackBerry handsets could disrupt family life and lead to employee burn-out. “The new possibilities of communication also contain inherent dangers.”

Volkswagen staff were said to have become fed up with being treated as if they were permanently available to their bosses. There were reports of employees having romantic evenings or a relaxing bath disrupted by infuriating management messages.

As is usual from a race of people who don’t even have a word for fluffy, they have over engineered the solution. Why couldn’t these cunning German workers simply have turned off the phone?

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