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Hey, boss, 12 percent will watch March Madness in meetings

A survey asks workers when they intend to use their gadgets to watch the NCAA tournament. At work, 66 percent say. Even a performance review wouldn't stop them from watching, say 4 percent.

All-important. CNN/YouTube screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

We have come to that time of year when a group of possibly inebriated, supposed experts decides which colleges will send their teams to the NCAA Basketball Tournament.

This cultural beauty pageant is branded on American hearts like few other events. You may not know where Butler University actually is, but you wrap your arms around it, as if your own child was on the team.

This causes problems for industrial productivity and personal gadgetry.

Sports have always been more important than work. Therefore, workers are more likely to watch sporting events that happen to occur during working hours.

Indeed, a survey that has exclusively landed on my screen tells me that 66 percent of respondents admitted they'd be watching March Madness courtesy of very fine mobile apps.

The survey was sponsored by SOASTA -- sounds like "toaster," not "Zoroaster" (sadly). By remarkable coincidence, this is a company that exists to ensure mobile apps don't crash as free throws are being taken with two seconds left.

Anyone who has been in a work environment during these two weeks of insanity knows that conversation revolves around little else. But it's instructive to learn what rites of decorum people will ignore in order to follow the games.

Of these 2,040 adult respondents, 74 percent freely confessed they'd be glued to their smartphones or tablets during breaks; 61 percent said that they would chew on their chicken salad while watching flying collegians.

Oddly, a mere 14 percent declared that, yes, of course they'll be watching the games during conference calls. I am sure that the other 86 percent have never even raised a middle finger toward the speaker during a conference call.

It was the 12 percent who were most honest, I believe. These people barefacedly admitted that they'll be glued to their mobile devices watching Tar Heels, Blue Devils, and green rookies during meetings.

You could be discussing mobile strategy for a new blind-date app for dogs. Or you could be using your favorite mobile sports app to bathe in something important. It's not a difficult choice, is it?

Bosses should also be aware of hard-core cases, for whom nothing will get in the way of their hoops. Four percent of these sensitive respondents said that not even being given a performance review would stop them from staring at their gadgets.

Three percent insisted they'd even ignore their boss if he or she was talking.

Let's admit it, though. Not even bosses are immune from March's Ides of Insanity. Two percent of those surveyed admitted they'd follow a game on their mobile device when giving a performance review.

This may sound deeply rude. However, this is the time of year when your bracket is more important than your wage packet.

After all, Warren Buffet is offering $1 billion to anyone who fills out the perfect March Madness bracket.

Please try asking for $1 billion in your next performance review and let me know how it goes.