I am bereft of words at the trainwreck of a year that Research in Motion Ltd. is having.
I've occasionally opined quietly to the likeminded that there almost seems to be a conspiracy to ruin the company, or render it of so little shareholder value that it's an irresistible takeover target. After yesterday, I have to extend my list of conspirator suspects to include what Albert Camus referred to as “the benign indifference of the universe.” The stars — in the astrological, not astronomical sense — are out to get RIM.
Yesterday: It's half-price wing night at the local pub, a deal that no bachelor can afford to pass up. As I contemplate my pint glass and wait for my wings, the news crawl from a local TV station, which will remain nameless (although its initials are CP24), catches my eye. The silent TV informs me that RIM's outgoing country director in Indonesia may face charges after a stampede at a promotional event in Jakarta, where several were injured lining up for a half-price deal on the new BlackBerry Bold 9790.
Deep gulp of beer.
I have not even begun to process this information when, three or four stories later in the crawl, I learn that RIM has fired two executives after they allegedly caused such a drunken ruckus on a China-bound Air Canada flight that it had to be diverted to Vancouver.
Cue spit take.
I mean, come on. There's no shortage of scandal in this business. Insider trading, sexual harrassment, fiddling the inventory numbers. But two execs swinging from the overhead bins? Just days after a literal, honest-to-God stampede — a stampede — at a promotional event? Could it be any more surreal if it was painted by Salvador Dali? The universe really has it in for RIM.
(I made up the bit about the overhead bins. God knows what actually happened.)
Someone who believes in karma would have to think that Jim and/or Mike must have been some kind of bad in a previous life. As it happens, I don't. But I still, even after this trainwreck of a year, believe in RIM. As a gesture of support, will somebody buy me a PlayBook for Christmas?