Life Via E-Mail: 'Who Moved My Blackberry?'A new book skewers today's mindless corporate culture via the e-mails of Martin Lukes, a fictitious, ambitious, forty-something middle manager who works for a company that makes nothing in particular.
'Who Moved My Blackberry?': Scroll down to read an excerpt.hide caption
E-mail pervades the white-collar workday. The new-mail icon constantly beckons in the corner of millions of computer screens. So if you're writing a novel skewering today's mindless corporate culture, why not have the main character tell his story via e-mails — messages to his boss, his secretary, his wife, his best friend?
That's what author Lucy Kellaway does in the satiric Who Moved My Blackberry? The book gets inside the mind of the imaginary Martin Lukes (listed as the co-author), a forty-something middle manager striving to break into the top ranks of corporate life.
Kellaway first introduced Martin in her column for the Financial Times newspaper in London.
"He's viciously ambitious," the author says. "He thinks he's great fun. He thinks he's got a terrific sense of humor. He's desperately un-PC but thinks he's a huge diversity champion." And he's "absolutely clueless" about his shortcomings, Kellaway says.
All perfect traits for someone who works for a company that's very busy making nothing in particular. In a bid to stand out, he devises a whole new concept, which he dubs "creovation" — half creativity, half innovation.
"Creativity and innovation are the two great things that all corporations make such a song and dance about...," Kellaway says. "They all talk in such a ghastly way, which is often a substitute for thinking. And when they come up with an idea that they genuinely think is creative, it's laughable."