blackberryjam.jpgAttention lawyers, investment bankers, tech-support personnel, and anyone else who is wirelessly tethered to their job and wondering why they haven't received an email in the last 12 hours: There's good news and bad news. The good news is that you haven't been fired and this is your firm's passive-aggressive way of letting you know. The bad news is that the Blackberry network experienced a system meltdown last night starting around 8 p.m. From WNBC:

NewsChannel4 has learned of a massive system failure affecting all blackberry users in the western hemisphere.

The RIM Company, which stands for Research In Motion, developed blackberry technology and said its infrastructure failed around 8 p.m. Tuesday and has been down ever since.

E-mails are not being pushed to portable blackberry devices.

Officials with RIM said they are trying to reset the system and told NewsChannel4 that they are concerned that the backlog of data, which will rush through when it comes back on line, could cause a bigger problem.

A bigger problem than not working? That sounds pretty bad. WNBC also noted that these system problems are expected to carry on through this morning and that RIM officials advised that users who rely on their Blackberry devices as a major way of communication should make back-up plans. Please see graphic above.

Update: RIM got the Blackberry system back on line around 7a.m. and is pushing the backlog of messages out in stages to avoid another system crash.

(Pay phone portion of graphic from Bell Atlantic peeks through, by Triborough at flickr)