Sunday, October 12, 2008

The Jobhunter section in today's Star-Ledger tackles the dicey issue of listening to music at work. This can't be good. An innocuous work habit holding employees' sanity intact in this insufferable sick existential joke called a job scares the status quo, like someone will come into work one day carrying a boombox on their shoulder and start breakdancing on the boardroom table right in the middle of a big presentation. I spend most of my work day with little white earbuds peeking out of my head — even when I'm not listening to anything — so this article, like the past ones headlined "Dress For Success" or "Interview To The Top," is out here to offend me, personally, into falling in line.

The Star-Ledger interviewed some power-drunk "managing partner" dude Mario Almonte, of the public relations firm Buzzkill & Partners, where "listening to music on the part of employees there is frowned upon." I'd actually find it really funny except that Reverend Moore probably makes more money than I do and enforces his will on people. The biggest stumbling blocks in Almonte's quest to destroy all things fun are the interns, "young people whose experience with the company is limited," and presumably whose souls haven't irreparably crushed and recycled in, say, a gaudy fountain or chandelier decorating the world's largest whatever in Dubai. "If you are really concentrating on your work, music will distract you," not that an intern's job couldn't be done by a retarded monkey.

"It doesn't occur to them that anything's wrong with it," Almonte says. Almonte, mind-reading, claims the other employees are distracted by the iPod buds — and jealous, too — but it's all just a cover for him, not begging the question but dodging it. There's not anything wrong with it, unless you're a micromanaging tool and there's some kid chair-dancing around the filing room, not even rebelling, but just plain oblivious. The article ends by pointing out that the children of the LP are a dying breed and Gen Y is coming into its own in the workplace; what once was lousy kids upsetting the social order will soon become the social order, and I believe one of our generation's projects should be moving every Elks lodge and canasta house into the bathroom of an underground rave.