Today, no less than two people sent me non-work-related IMs while my boss and I were staring intently at my screen, working on a top priority production support issue.
Since one of these people keeps sending me NSFW links at my work IM, and the other one seems to just talk to me about random stuff during work hours, both have been banned from my work IM.
I understand you people have jobs where you're paid to sit around and wait for a phone to ring, and thus you're constantly bored. I've had that job too, in the past. But that's not my job now. I'm a programmer who has code to write - and your constant interruptions destroy my state of focus. Not to mention that now you're starting to getting me in trouble with my boss.
You were warned. The exact words given in the warning were: "swiftly and without mercy". So here we are. Hopefully that was swift and merciless enough to drive the point home.
Also, since evidently I don't do a good enough job explaining the warning previously, let me be explicit here:
If whatever you plan to IM me about isn't important enough to that you'd call me on my work phone, then don't IM it to me either.
In a very real sense, my work IM is my work phone. This is 2k8 and nobody I work with uses actual phones any more. We work in an open-air environment, and phones are noisy and disruptive. So when you IM my work address you're doing the equivalent of calling me on my work phone.
Also, speaking personally... I just don't like IM very much. I find it distracting and annoying and the S/N is generally abysmal. So it doesn't take much to get my ban-hammer hand twitching.
Sorry you guys happened to push my hot button without realizing it. But I did warn you.