Have you ever worked upstairs from a street musician?

Here in DC, at the subway stop for the sports arena, there are often street musicians. Some of them are really quite loud, such as the horn section that raucously toots the music of yesteryear, or the minimally talented percussionist who sets up a drum set made from upturned paint buckets and pounds away during the day.

There are also offices right across the street, and I just can’t imagine what it must be like to work there. It’s not easy for me to filter out distractions, and to have to listen to those drums for hours, day after day, while I’m trying to concentrate on work would drive me out of my mind.


At my old job, my office sort of faced toward a street often used for small festivals, so if I was working on a holiday weekend, I’d have that to deal with (I remember one Columbus Day looking out at a 20-foot high inflatable Pepsi can writhing around next to a stage where the band was playing “Push Push In The Bush”). Those were more akin to having the radio on, though, and they were only for one day.

Have you ever worked someplace where you had to listen to loud musicians or other such distractions? How did you manage to get anything done?