Something that came up in the comments section of the post on that new TV On The Radio song (which you should really listen to if you haven’t already): While the numbers would seem to indicate that many Idolator readers visit the site while they’re bored at the office, a fair amount of people said that they don’t listen to music at work, and that while they can read the site when they’re on the clock, they tend to wait until they get home to listen to audio and stream video online. I wonder what sorts of experiences those of you who are employed have had with this–I’ve actually had a few over the years, thanks to the different office environments I’ve worked in.
At first, I had a stream of jobs where working with headphones on was normal; I was an “information professional” and wearing headphones in a way indicated that I was focused on the task at hand, and not wanting to be bothered. Then I moved into a position where I had to be present at all times both mentally and aurally; a lot of communication in the newsroom where I worked was done via across-the-room shouts (Let’s face it: Yelling “hey, Sammy Sosa’s bat is corked!” is a pretty expedient way of breaking news.) My music listening during work plummeted to almost nil; it was reserved for Sunday mornings, when I was the only person in the office and there was generally nothing big going on, and my back-and-forth commute to the office.
Now, it’s a little different. Because of the pace of this job, I often find myself listening to either old reliables or stuff that isn’t music at all; I save most of my non-newsworthy listening for my off hours, if only because I feel like I can concentrate on the whole body of work more, and not get any lyrics mixed into whatever bon mots I happen to be writing at the time.
So, what’s your music-at-work story? Do you have permanent headphone-hair? Is there a communal set of speakers that you can sometimes commandeer? Or do you work in a place where the porny ads on Rapidshare and ZShare make even those sites OK for workaday consumption, as long as you’re wearing headphones? And how has listening to music while work affected your listening habits aesthetically, if it has at all? Last week I put forth the following theory about bands of the milquetoast-indie ilk:
I’ve said this before, but my least favorite musical development these days is what I like to refer to as creative-professional indie: it’s designed to exist in the background, playing at a tasteful volume on the communal work iTunes at some well-designed office where all the men have square plastic glasses and all the women dress just smartly enough to be taken seriously. (This could be why the lyrics have license to be terrible, btw. Who’s paying attention?)
I’ve definitely been guilty of this kind of ambient-music abuse, of course. (Hey, it’s probably why I’m so eager to pinpoint it.)