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Work and Music, Like Oil and Water

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I’ve never considered myself to be a music aficionado. I grew up in a house where the Barry Manilow’s Greatest Hits eight-track was heard almost as much as Tony Orlando and Dawn. And I was happy about it! Now, if only I could say that without blushing and hanging my head in shame….

My co-workers and I have been putting in ten-hour days for two weeks now because of a national audit that kind of caught us unawares. As such, we have been buzzing around one another like a frenzied swarm of killer bees. Tension is palpable. Stress levels are high. And, while Flight of the Bumble Bee might be most appropriate, I tend to want to blast some Jane’s Addiction while I’m looking for POAs and MFRs and hoobity-whaties. The problem is that I work in an office with seven other people and… well… some of our musical tastes kind of clash. And, because it’s impractical for all seven of us to wear iPods when phones are ringing and customers are coming in and out, we tend to hover around our desks so that we don’t wander into someone else’s bad musical environment. It’s cubicle hell without the cubicle walls.

I personally can’t really DO country music unless you were popular back in the seventies. And Celine Dion makes me itch a little bit. I even resent hearing Barry Manilow unless I’m in a particularly NOSTALGIC mood. I try to keep my Garden State soundtrack turned up JUUUUST loud enough so that our country music fans don’t have to be subjected to The Shins lamenting about how caring is creepy and yet I don’t have to hear about the honky tonk badonkadonk. It’s a win-win.

Don’t get me wrong. I am not trying to say that my music is better than anyone else’s. Actually my taste is quit varied… and highly dependent on how many hours we spend teleconferencing on Wednesdays. A co-worker recently asked me to turn up my music since we were the only two left in the building and it was relatively quiet. But I really wanted to decline. Because I was listening to someone called Jimmy Eat World singing Wham’s big 1980’s hit “Last Christmas.” As someone who wears an impressive belt buckle that looks like a prize for something that involves cattle (I just can’t bring myself to stare long enough to read it), I didn’t think this was what he had in mind at the end of a long hard day. But he asked! And so I turned up this song about rebound Christmas love. And, while my co-worker didn’t sing along to the lyrics with me, he didn’t lambaste me for my corny choice in music, either. He was probably too busy trying not to stare at my orange scrunchie…

But we all like one another, and that really helps when you have nothing in common, musically speaking.

-Catherine D.

 

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Comments
  • comment avatar Amber Johnson December 11, 2008

    Yep, I think if its not some generic easy-listening station, it should be banned all together. After all, isn’t that why we have personal iPods and headphones?

  • comment avatar Melissa D December 11, 2008

    Well, let’s see… to my right sits the 3rd generation family member of the company. At all of barely 20 years old, she and I not only clash on music tastes but everything in between. I’ve known her since she was 7, love her dearly and want to strangle her at least once a day.

    Her great uncle sits to my left. My cohort in crime for 12 years. He has great stories of 70’s acid rock of yesteryear (and all it’s colors and trails).

    I, in the middle, enjoyed my glory days rockin’ to everything from Van Halen (and Van Hagar), The Police, Journey and U2. Oh ya, I was going to MARRY George Michaels (DAMN THE LUCK).

    Loong story short.. we don’t play music at work.

    http://www.coloradodentons.blogspot.com/

  • comment avatar Lori December 12, 2008

    I thought *I* was the only who who got hives from Celine Dion.

    Mariah Carey, too.

    But I admit to having some Barry Manilow and Jimmy Eat World on myiPod.

    This post is another reason I like working from home. No cubicles and no badonkadonk.

  • comment avatar feefifoto December 12, 2008

    I visited an endodontist yesterday and the music playing in his office was so loud that I couldn’t concentrate on what he was telling me. I either scheduled a root canal or promised to buy 47 magazine subscriptions from his niece.

  • comment avatar feefifoto December 12, 2008
  • comment avatar Momma, The Casual Perfectionist December 12, 2008

    You know the Whitney Houston version of “I will always love you” that was made popular by that movie she did with Kevin Costner? (The Bodyguard, I think?) Yeah, that came out in 1992, and during my Freshman Year of College, the people who lived across the hall from me would play that song really loudly on REPEAT. The best (worst?) was when they left for the weekend, but left their stereo blaring…again, on REPEAT.

    To this day, if I hear that song, I start to twitch.

    But, this doesn’t have to do with a coworker situation, per se. So, back to your question… Luckily, the jobs I’ve had in the past were pretty easy-going when it came to music. If the quarters were close, no music was played that wasn’t on headphone. If the offices were somewhat private, I could listen to what I wanted “at a reasonable level” to quote Office Space. 😉

    Momma
    http://thecasualperfectionist.com

  • comment avatar Momma, The Casual Perfectionist December 12, 2008

    *I’m sorry if this posts twice…I think I’m having technical difficulties.* 🙂

    You know the Whitney Houston version of “I will always love you” that was made popular by that movie she did with Kevin Costner? (The Bodyguard, I think?) Yeah, that came out in 1992, and during my Freshman Year of College, the people who lived across the hall from me would play that song really loudly on REPEAT. The best (worst?) was when they left for the weekend, but left their stereo blaring…again, on REPEAT.

    To this day, if I hear that song, I start to twitch.

    But, this doesn’t have to do with a coworker situation, per se. So, back to your question… Luckily, the jobs I’ve had in the past were pretty easy-going when it came to music. If the quarters were close, no music was played that wasn’t on headphone. If the offices were somewhat private, I could listen to what I wanted “at a reasonable level” to quote Office Space. 😉

    Momma
    http://thecasualperfectionist.com

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