Instant Annoyance

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The company has decided that they not only need to have me on call 24/7 via phone and throw requests at me constantly via email, but now I need to be bombarded by “real-time spam” via Windows Instant Messenger.

They’re putting in a Real-Time Communication Server (or whatever Microsoft is calling their IM server nowadays) and we all get special IM clients to log into this thing.

The problem I have is that whenever I have my Instant Messenger logged in, everyone sees that I’m marked as online and as soon as I sign on, I get accosted by thirty bazillion messages. The thought process I’m sure goes something like this:

Hey! Travis just logged on. Obviously he has nothing better to do than to answer my questions or respond to instant messages. I wonder how he’s doing? I’ll just send him a quick ‘Hey, dude, what’s up?’ style message to let him know I’m here. He’s obviously too stupid to look at the list of his contacts and see that I’m online.

It’s pretty ridiculous.

The other thing I notice is that if I leave the thing logged in (as I am wont to do because logging in and out is just one more thing I don’t want to deal with), it could be, like, 1:00a and people will see that my IM is logged in (even if the status is set to “Busy” or something) and will send the ol’ “Hey, Dude!” messages. I’ll come in the next morning and see a load of messages cluttering my desktop from the insomniacs in my life.

And then they complain that I never responded to their messages. Bah.

The answer is that they need to add one more status to the list of possible statuses. See, “Busy” doesn’t work. “Appear Offline” sometimes works, but defeats the purpose of presence information. I need something that says… “I’m online, but I sure as shit don’t want to hear from you.” Something like this: The Ultimate IM Status (5k

Until then, I think I’ll just skip the whole IM thing. It’s more trouble than its worth.