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Learning the Cost of Free Wi-Fi the Hard Way

Day in the Life Series: 4 p.m. - 5 p.m.

By Dennis Jones


Nothing better than when the boss is offsite. That goes double for when the boss is nine time zones ahead of you (meaning she was deep into the night by now), out visiting the new Krempe site in Prague.

At least, those were the thoughts of the CEO’s executive administrative assistant. The new CEO joining Krempe had created a whirlwind for everybody in the organization, but especially the EA, who had stayed on in her post as assistant to the CEO. She’d been pretty attuned to the needs and caprices of her previous employer, he’d been predictable. But this new CEO. Well, she was altogether different. And it had been quite an adjustment.

To say that the EA was excited when the CEO had told her about her upcoming trip to Europe would be a significant understatement. She’d been thrilled. She was used to planning international trips for her bosses – she could do that in her sleep – and the chance to get a breather from the CEO was nothing to sneeze at.

Sure, she’d been roped into this employee engagement task force. Whatever that meant. The meeting itself had seemed silly to her, but she’d at least been able to take the call in her car, as she arrived to work a little later than usual.

Now, it was four, and she was availing herself of the other perk of having a boss out of the office. Leaving early. Usually, her workday ran from a little before eight to a lot past six, when she would take her toil home but still be online. She reasoned that with it being after midnight in Prague, the CEO wouldn’t try to reach out.

Unfortunately, she was wrong. She was driving into a gas station when she got a text message from her boss, alerting her to the fact that she’d just sent an email with an important attachment for review. That was one of her boss’s many eccentricities, sending a text informing her she’d sent an email.

She’d gotten into the habit of using Wi-Fi out of the office. She didn’t have an unlimited cellular plan – too many hidden fees – so she stopped to see if there was free Wi-Fi at the gas station. There was. But as she’d learn, nothing in this world is free.

See what happened next.