Follow Rajiv and watch his videos on Facebook and Twitter.

Rajiv Patel is economic attaché at the Embassy of India in Berne and business columnist for Swiss Radio and Television. He has a degree in finance from the University of Delhi and does management consultancy for large corporations worldwide. He enjoys cricket, sudoku and love songs.

Should smartphones be allowed in the meeting room?

Dear Rajiv,

Should smartphones be allowed in the meeting room?

Peter T., Paris

In a perfect world, popcorn, video games, home cinema, karaoke machines, basketball hoops, synthetic drugs and free foot massages would all be allowed in the meeting room. Basically, I welcome anything that eases the pain of having to listen to all the yakety-yak that pours out of peoples’ mouths every time they sit down in a group and begin discussing some sort of issue which seems to be crucial to the company’s survival. The invention of the smartphone, in this respect, is like a gift from the gods. These little machines have the power to free our minds from the shackles of boredom. Forever!

Just think of how the iPhone, the Samsung Galaxy and other similar devices have revolutionized the way we spend our day at the office. For starters, they offer us a wonderful excuse for avoiding those dreadful conversations in the lift (“Sorry Sanjay, I just need to send this message…”). They are also something of a status symbol: ambitious employees often spend their first months in the company filling out application forms and trying to convince their managers that they must be equipped with a Blackberry. It gives real meaning to their life. 

Top-level managers are especially grateful to have their smartphones with them during meetings. This allows them to get on with their daily business – or watch a quick video on spankbang.com  – while the bootlickers do their worthless Powerpoint presentations in the hope that they will keep their overpaid jobs. Of course, ideally, top-level managers would stop attending useless meetings in the first place. There would be a 15-minute time limit and only intelligent people would be talking, so no one would ever be tempted to check tomorrow’s weather on their smartphone. That is, in a perfect world.

Follow Rajiv and watch his videos on Facebook and Twitter.


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