Yes, I should be happy to have any job in this economy, and I love the store I work for, an import called Fresh & Easy, but I want to put a damn bullet in my brain with this Muzak they use. At first, I kind of liked the mix, kind of contemporary, kind of not, very hip.
UNTIL I REALIZED I WAS GOING TO BE HEARING THE SAME SIXTY SONGS OVER AND OVER AND OVER AND OVER…
“Am I Standing Still”? Only long enough to grab this box cutter and slit my goddamn wrists, bitch.
Just a year or so ago I was introduced to “Island in the Sun” by Weezer playing on the Muzak in Washington Mutual, and it seems exactly the type of song you’re describing. It seemed totally appropriate for a Wamu lobby, sort of a mix between muzak and modern rock. But thankfully I was a customer not an employee, and if it was on rotation I’d probably soon learn to hate it, even though it’s now one of my favorite songs.
In the early '70’s I worked in the dentist office of a small V.A. hospital. They had piped-in Muzac, and the waiting room had a television perpetually showing soap operas and game shows. They were both too loud. 2 crummy and conflicting streams of sound.
Auditory HELL !
I joke with co-workers about the local Subway sub shop that I frequent, which plays a local station whose format is a weird mix between classic rock and 70’s MOR (they’ll play the Who, for example, but it’s almost always one of their big 70’s hits and never anything from the 60’s, and never anything too hard or too edgy). Almost every time I walk in there I end up walking out infected by the most insidious of earworms. This week it was Billy Joel’s “It’s Still Rock & Roll to Me” (my most-hated song of all time I’ll point out, as it’s several steps below pathetic hearing an inveterate soft-rocker trying to sound all punky and shit, with a freakin’ sax solo in the middle to boot). And I don’t always have the time to go out to my car and cleanse my eardrums with Joy Division or the Ozric Tentacles. Yet to think there’s people in this town (country, world) who actually go out of their way to hear all these hopelessly overplayed songs.
I once used to shop at a thrift store named Second Hand Rose. They played ONE song, back to back, whenever the store was open. You guessed it, “Second Hand Rose”, which sounded like it was lifted off of some old scratchy 78. I often wonder about that woman who ran the place.
When we were having a weekend getaway in the mountains this spring, we went out for a nice dinner at a nice German restaurant. Everything was great except the music - they played two waltzes over and over for the entire time we were there (and, I assume, the entire evening). It was nice at first, then we realized, “Hey, that sounds kind of familiar…” By the end of our dinner, we were singing along with the waltzes.
That’s another reason why my slightly negative indifference toward Frank Sinatra became full-blown hatred: because you’re guaranteed to hear him several times if not several dozen times every trip to Olive Garden (or at least a couple years ago the last time I went.)
Reminds me of the summer when I was still a pimply-faced schoolkid and took a part-time job at Baskin-Robbins. It was 1996, and the radio station they played in the shop had a habit of playing the same two Spice Girls songs at least once a hour.
Which means I’d get to hear them a minimum of 16 times over the course of an 8-hour shift.
One of my eyelids still twitches spontaneously whenever I hear anything by the Spice Girls (or by Savage Garden, for pretty much the same reason). Ugh.