IVP - Strangely Dim - Cacophony from the Cubicles

August 26, 2008

Cacophony from the Cubicles

I would like to speak for the cubicles. Well, not the actual cubicles themselves, but those of us working in them. Today, of course, is what I am affectionately calling (since he essentially did first) "Dave's Rip-Off Music Experiment". I've chosen my song (it's playing now; I'll reveal what it is in my reflection post), but, being a cubicle-dweller, I'm approaching the day with a bit of trepidation. For those of you who've never had the privilege (and there are advantages, believe me; you hear very useful things sometimes as you are innocently working away) of working "free" of doors and windows and your own ceiling, I'll explain a few of the added considerations in choosing a song for the experiment.

1. I wanted to choose a song that wouldn't drive my neighbors crazy. I like them. I want them to still like me at the end of the day.

2. I wanted a song with enough musical variation that it wouldn't drive me crazy, but one that doesn't have so much variation that I have to turn it up (during, say, the piano parts) and down (during, say, the trumpets or electric guitars) every few minutes. I could, of course, simply leave it at the same volume, but--see number one.

3. Headphones are good for neighbor relations in cubicles, and would solve the problems of numbers one and two, but, unfortunately, there are a number of parts of my job that I can't concentrate on listening to a song with words with headphones on. And, even more than wanting my neighbors to like me at the end of the day, I want my supervisor to still like me. And I don't want to find out what happens to people when they get kicked out of their cubicles. (Do they get relegated to bathroom stalls? An outdoor table next to the geese, even in the rain? A cleaning-supply closet? It's never happened here, but you hear stories from other workplaces . . .)

So, have I picked the perfect song? We'll see. I'll either end the day not having heard it most of the day because I had it turned down too low, or with deep insight over the song's meaning, but fewer friends at work. I suspect other cubiclers are in the same quandary I'm in, however, so for better or for worse, let the cacophony begin.
Posted by Lisa Rieck at August 26, 2008 9:04 AM Bookmark and Share


i noticed someobody chose not dark yet. one of the alltime best songs. i would choose that song if i were to compete in a contest like this. or a sufjan song. i should work at likewise.

by the way i am not the only fleshie reading your blog now. i know this because every once in a while i hear someone exclaiming "i cant believe they played their songs outloud!" we are flabbergasted because that would never be allowed here, unless you happen to have a door to close, which hardly anybody does. headphones all the way here, which is why i chose not to participate in the contest. headphones hurt my ears.

Comment by: daphne at September 4, 2008 4:31 PM

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Behind the Strangeness

Lisa Rieck is a reader and writer who likes to discuss good ideas over hot drinks and gets inspired by the sky. She takes in all kinds of good ideas as a proofreader for InterVarsity Press.

Rebecca Larson is a writer/designer/creative type who has infiltrated IVP's web department, where she writes and edits online content. She enjoys a good pun and loves the smell of freshly printed books.

David A. Zimmerman is an editor for Likewise Books and a columnist for Burnside Writers Collective. He's written three books, most recently The Parable of the Unexpected Guest. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/unexpguest. Find his personal blog at loud-time.com.

Suanne Camfield is a publicist for InterVarsity Press and a freelance writer. She floats ungracefully between work, parenting and writing, and (much to her dismay) finds it impossible to read on a treadmill. She is a member of the Redbud Writers Guild and blogs at The Rough Cut.

Likewise Books from InterVarsity Press explore a thoughtful, active faith lived out in real time in the midst of an emerging culture.

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