At The Office: Muzak

Okay, I know I was writing weekly office posts, but man, not enough happens for that to be a thing. So now they’re just random At The Office posts.

Everybody knows about muzak, right? It’s that weird pseudo jazz music that’s also called “elevator music”. The word comes from a company that was called Muzak whose name came to stand in for all such musical stylings. Except that they never actually made music for elevators. So perhaps that’s why I have NEVER heard music of ANY kind in ANY elevator EVER.

Maybe I’m just not in the right kind of elevator? What elevator do I need to ride to experience elevator music? I don’t know.

What I do know is where I have heard muzak, often and for long periods of time.

While I have occasionally heard it in retail stores, most of the places I find myself in these days play some kind of radio.

However, I recently encountered the more common location of muzak: being on hold.

The printer I always use at the office ran out of ink. Instead of putting more in ourselves, we have to call the printer people and have them send out an ink changing dude to do it for us. I can only assume this is because changing the ink in those printers is impossible without the correct training and/or tools.

So I called the number. And I got to listen to muzak. For twelve minutes.

It wouldn’t have been so bad if the recorded lady voice didn’t keep coming on to say ALL REPRESENTATIVES ARE CURRENTLY BUSY PLEASE STAY ON THE LINE FOR THE NEXT AVAILABLE REPRESENTATIVE. Every time the muzak cut out to deliver this message, I got excited because I thought someone was finally answering my call. It took at least five minutes of this message happening every thirty seconds for me to stop getting excited.

What I’d really like to know is whyyyyyy??

I don’t understand the reasoning behind the horror that is hold music (this is the only exception).

I think it’s some kind of creepy, subliminal reason. I’m pretty sure I read somewhere that people buy more stuff when listening to music of some kind. Mostly I just want to hang up the phone to spare myself the continued agony.

Unfortunately, I had to stay on the line because we print stuff all day every day and we need that sweet sweet toner. (I don’t know why they call it toner instead of ink. It’s another thing I could Google if I cared at all. But I don’t. So I won’t.)

I think I’ll try to take the elevator as often as possible and maybe one day I’ll find one that plays muzak. However, if I go to my grave having never experienced elevator music, I will neither care nor be surprised.

Embrace the Audiobooks, Friends

Since absolutely nothing of interest happened At The Office this week, I decided I’m going to write about audiobooks instead. It’s related because I listen to them… at the office.

I happen to be blessed with a job that is mostly mindless. Since that is the case, I get to listen to stuff while I work. Sometimes I listen to music, but mostly I listen to audiobooks. Do you have any idea how many audiobooks I go through in a month? My best guess is an average of five.

As a Book Person, this fills me with joy.

I also listen to audiobooks when I’m crocheting. I listened to the Complete Sherlock Holmes while crocheting various things. It was like 58 hours and some change. Read by Simon Vance, who is one of my favorite audiobook narrators.

I’ve been listening to audiobooks at work for about six years. I’ve had this job for five years, but before that, I had a job where I could listen to audiobooks, too.

It used to be, back when I first started listening, that people would consider listening to an audiobook “cheating”. I was always cautious about telling other book people that I had listened to the audiobook of whatever book we were talking about. They either didn’t care or they considered it cheating. I would say that it is likely these people never actually listened to an audiobook. If they had, they would know there is no cheating involved. My mind is just as active, just as engaged with the story, sometimes even more so. When I read, I live the story. I see the settings and the characters. The same thing happens when I listen to an audiobook. So as far as I’m concerned, if you listened to the audiobook version of the latest bestseller, you have still read the book. It’s the same story, just received differently.

Nowadays, people don’t say that as much. At least not to me and not lately. So I’ve become less cautious about it. I think this is because online streaming has made audiobooks more accessible. You no longer have to carry around a million cassette tapes or a thousand CDs. All you need is your phone. Or a web browser.

I would actually describe myself as a poly-book-formatist. Yeah, okay, I obviously made that up, but what I’m trying to say is that I don’t limit myself to any one format. I listen to audiobooks, I buy books on my Kindle, and I have at least a couple hundred paper books on my shelves at home. I love them all.

I would recommend audiobooks to anybody. Since I get to listen to so many, it really helps me keep my love of reading and books alive while still working a full-time job. They make me laugh, they make me cry, they make me want to scream in frustration, just like all books do.

“But wait,” I hear you saying. “If you’re such a book person, why don’t you just read more?”

If you were real, I would slap you. Fool!

I work eight hours a day. When I get home, I write. Haven’t you been reading this blog at all?? I’m a writer! I can’t write and work at the same time! I only get to write at work when I have no work to do. That happens sometimes, but not very often.

The thing is, I do read at home. I read all the books I have that aren’t in audio format. It takes me a lot longer because I don’t get to read for four hours. At work, I get to listen to about four hours of audio each day between answering phone calls and sending out faxes. At home, I get maybe a half an hour – an hour tops – unless it’s the weekend.

This is because I write. I’m working on my dang novel, yo. The thing about writing while also having a full-time job is that it doesn’t leave you very much time to read. It’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make to work on my story. I’m just dang lucky that I can use audiobooks to offset that a little bit.

In conclusion, I love audiobooks, I recommend them to one and all, and if anybody says it’s cheating, I will be sure to inform them that they are wrong.

This Week At the Office: Badge Woes & Nachos

Yes, this week’s title rhymes. I did it on purpose!!

Anyway, it isn’t my badge that’s woeful, it’s actually the lanyard, but that was too long and didn’t sound good.

I am hoping that “lanyard” is the right word to use for the necklace-like thing that holds my badge reel that is attached to my badge.

Badges are dang complicated.

A couple weeks ago, before I started blogging about #officelife, we got new badges. Not really all that exciting, but for a short time, we had double badges so we could get everywhere.

Anyway, even when I have only one badge, it’s a complicated thing. First, you’ve got the actual badge, then there’s the plastic sheath it slides into, then there’s the plastic piece that attaches to the badge reel, then there’s a key ring to which the reel and lanyard are attached, and then there’s the lanyard which hangs around my neck. So many pieces.

I recently had to get a new reel because the string inside my old one just up and broke one day. And yesterday, the same thing happened to my lanyard.

I’m a true Lady, so I have one of those fancy beaded lanyards. It was actually made by someone who works at the company and I bought it when they were selling them for charity. I was freakin’ happy about it, too, because I had a boring ugly black thready thing previously. Gross.

Anyway, the lanyard attached to the keyring by two tiny, beaded loops. One of the loops broke and I lost nearly all the beads. The rest I just threw away. Because the thread on this thing is TINY and I knew there was NO WAY I was going to be able to put those beads back on with my SAUSAGE FINGERS.

I tried taping the broken loop, hoping it would stay together enough so that I didn’t have to get a new lanyard. Alas, the tape lasted a whole two hours.

Then I tried to tie the broken ends of the loop together around the other loop. It also lasted a whole two hours.

Last night, I took my badge home, which I almost never do. I always leave it in a secret compartment of my car because if I don’t, I will always forget it. This time, however, I needed to figure something out. So I took some thread and tied the broken end to the key ring. SO FAR SO GOOD.

We’ll see how long this MacGyver’d lanyard keeps together. I hope it’s a long time because I’ve already used this one for a few years and I don’t wanna get a new one. I like the one I got!

In more delicious office news, we had nachos today. Our Employee Activity peeps usually always do nachos for Cinco de Mayo, but since it’s on a Saturday this year, they did it for Quatro de Mayo instead. There were chips and cheese and deliciousness. I took a picture just for you.

Oh yeah. Check out those nachos. Delicious.