When your best mate at school got a new flashing yoyo, you wanted one.
When your friends all started getting smartphones while you hung onto a trusty Nokia 3210, you wanted one.
And in the same way, unwittingly the modest and unassuming boss of Russian energy giant Gazprom has unleashed upon us a new form of energy envy.
Alexey Miller’s firm released a tender for a new tablet which could do everything short of let him walk on water… AND start within five seconds (which really is a miracle).
By all accounts he is clamouring for a tablet to beat all tablets, a MEGA tablet.
What a dangerous precedent. Surely every energy CEO now wants one. Imagine the scenes in boardrooms all across the world… Here’s how the Brit version might go:
CEO: Hello all, thank you for gathering at such short notice from such far flung parts of London. I felt compelled to bring to your attention a grave technological oversight which is seriously hampering my ability to govern this company.
Board: Gasp! This sounds serious. What is it?
CEO: Basically, I need a specially tailored version of the iPad which allows me to check up on the day-to-day operations of the firm so that when I’m taking out the Prime Minister to lunch I can keep an eye on things.
Board: Oh, um, that doesn’t sound unreasonable. How much does it cost?
Board: (Spontaneously combusts.) Noooooooooo!
CEO: That’s not fair! Alexey’s got one.
Remaining Board Member: Isn’t there just an app for that?
….And so it could go on.
That scenario is, of course, ridiculous. Or is it?….
I suppose it isn’t unreasonable for the chief exec of a company reliant on technology – and in Miller’s case, number 70 on Forbes list of the world’s most powerful people – to have the latest gadgets to run their business. But isn’t that why bosses have minions?
I bet every CEO in the Big Six has an iPad or a Samsung Galaxy Tab. I know of one green energy boss who religiously checks an app to see what percentage wind power is adding to the grid every morning.
But at £2million a pop? What a world must that man live in. What can he think of people who might be struggling to pay their energy bills in the deepest, darkest corners of Russia?
More importantly stories like this really don’t do much to convince the public that energy companies care about us. A PR blunder methinks comrade!