Friday, January 23, 2009

The humming chair


I used to work for a national retailer that didn't play music in the stores. At first I didn't like it... it was TOO quiet. On occasion I would catch myself humming the last song that was playing in the car before I got out. Oh, and sometimes I would talk to myself about whatever task I was working on... yeah, not a fun experience to see a customer or co-worker looking at you because they think you are crazy. Eventually, though, I learned to appreciate the silence.

Now I work for a health care provider. We are a typical office, with the sounds of easy listening music coming out of every ceiling speaker (one in each operatory, 9 all together, and 3 in the waiting room/front desk work area). At any given moment I could hear the jazzy sounds of Chicago, the inspirational sounds of Journey encouraging us to "Don't Stop Believin'", and a little Celine Dion and Phil Collins rounding out the mix. Even as we type I hear Rick Astley,with the deepest voice of a tall red head ever heard proclaiming his commitment to some lucky lady with "Together Forever."

I have to admit, I often find myself singing along to this station. As I walk through the office I hear my fellow co-workers singing along to the songs. I even hear patients on occasion humming along to the song while they wait for the doctor to enter the room. With all that said, I have a co-worker that LOVES this station. There is not a song that goes by that she doesn't hum at least one bar to. She is incessant. There is no stopping her. Even when we switch the channel to the 70's or 80's music and there are songs that she says she doesn't know she hums to them too... not well, but still she hums. After months and months of hearing her hum to EVERY song I mentioned to her that she hums a lot and her response was "Really? I hadn't noticed."

ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?!?! Are you totally oblivious to it?!?!?! Frankly, I find it hard to believe.

She is very nice, so instead of hurting her feelings we let her continue to hum. There are two hours of peace each day, when she goes to lunch and when she leaves and I have an hour of work left, but other than that you can close your eyes and know that she is in the office just by the sound of her humming. When she does leave, I come out of my office and claim her seat to help finish closing the office and checking-out the final patients. I sit, sign into the computer, and miraculously something crazy happens... I START HUMMING. I catch myself and wonder why all of a sudden I can't control myself. This happens everyday at 4:30. She leaves and I take over. After looking at the situation, another co-worker and I have established that it is THE CHAIR. It must be cursed or at least hexxed. Maybe that's why she never noticed her own humming... spooky, huh? Anyway, it happens the same everyday and probably will until who knows when. Final thought: be careful where you sit... you never know how it will effect you.

1 comment:

CubicleDweller said...

Great post. I work in a VERY quiet environment and was thrilled when I got to bring in a small desktop radio to play at a VERY LOW sound level. If I am in a really good mood, I'll find myself having a hard time keeping myself from singing along. Instead, I find myself bobbing my head or swaying in my chair in silence, which is pretty embarassing when people walk by and don't realize I've got music playing. It's pretty funny.