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Can I Have Your Attention? by Jonathan McKee, Curt Steinhorst

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Prologue: You Don't Have Jack

Popular Harry

Everyone at work loves Harry, and it's easy to see why. He responds right away, at all hours (when does the guy sleep?) and in all places (including vacation, if necessary). “Team player” isn't strong enough to describe him. No one in his office makes phone calls anymore, but if they did, there's little doubt he would pick up.

Harry is the ideal of reachability in the digital age. Harry is a digital saint.

At 9 AM on Wednesday, Harry tackles a major case study due Friday. He's starting a day early, leaving nothing to chance.

By the third line, Harry stops midstroke. He needs Rachel's numbers from yesterday. After a quick Control S, he switches to e-mail and finds, among the 74 messages waiting there, an invite for a department meeting this afternoon. Is he even available?

Switching to his calendar, Harry sees “Vegas.” He winces. The trip is only two weeks away, and he hasn't arranged travel yet. But Harry isn't just responsive; he's also responsible, which means he can't book a flight now…not without comparing prices (on a site that aggregates airlines and fares—only it's weird to him that they point to competing sites…or maybe they just used to be competitors? Convenience or a monopoly? This really nags at Harry).

Off the calendar and on to his browser to scan prices. He could swear one of the companies used a pitchman from the old Star Trek series. Harry's dad loved Star Trek, which reminds him that he needs to find the J. J. Abrams ...

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