More than 10,000 employees in British Gas’s nine call centres across the country are being taught to send internal memos and emails using the language of text messages instead of time-consuming longhand.
British Gas,which has produced its own text message glossary to help staff learn the shorthand of the twenty-first century, claims the initiative will save its staff 8,333 minutes a day—which equates to 360,000 extra customer calls answered each year.
To the dismay of traditionalists who fear that written English is being ruined, key time-saving phrases include: CUB L8R—call you back later; InvSTg8—investigate; and :) BG Cuz—happy British Gas customer.
BG conducted its own survey before creating its glossary—called TXT M8—and drew on time and motion studies that appear to advance the texting cause. […]
British Gas is not the first business to use text messaging as a way of relaying information concisely. Last June The Accident Group, Britain’s largest personal injury claims firm, sent hundreds of its employees text messages informing them they had been sacked which read: ‘Sorry folks im gutted 4 u good luck in ur future careers.’
—The Observer, 2004-04-07