Allen (allengator86) wrote,

The Musical Insanity Test

This is the time of year where it sucks to be an employee in the retail circuit. If I had my choice, I would just work from January through September every year. The badness begins around October and lingers until the last few days of December. One of the many things that sucks is the fact that they turn on the Christmas muzak and I have a long shift every once in a while.

The tale of woe actually does not begin in the workplace, but in the car. I like to listen to radio stations that don't play hip hop or country, which leaves me with 3 good stations, and a couple that are in and out with static. About the first of the month, one of them started to play Christmas music once in a while which slowly became all the time. Not wanting to be snuffed by another station, the one who has the reputation for being "The Ozarks Christmas radio station" decided to also start their Christmas music earlier this year. This resulted in me checking out discounted Halloween music while the music was on the radio. Sad.

Anyways, back to the workplace; today I made a discovery. The music isn't for the customers. It is an insanity test to see which employee will go postal after hearing Bruce Springsteen ruin the song "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" 30 times in the same day. Its fun, unless you are actually the recipient of the crazed snapping manager employee. I'm relatively lucky because as of yet, the speakers are very quiet in the area I work at, but if you were to turn the corner and go into the backroom where we keep our fresh foods, its like you are at a concert right next to an amplifier, which would be cool if this were something like KISS, Motley Crue, or AC/DC, but sucks when its Mannheim Steamroller.

My taste in Christmas music is a bit...eclectic at best, with most of my songs coming from the definitive artists like Nat King Cole and Frank Sinatra to more modern fare with Relient K, Weezer, and Trans-Siberian Orchestra. Traditional with some modern punk/alternative spins of classic songs. Of course these are never the ones that are picked on the muzak. Instead we get 15 different versions of "The Christmas Song" by artists who are not Nat King Cole. The muzak also has a tendency to choose people who put waaaaaaay too much vibrato in their voice. It is like a horrible opera person who I can't heckle off the stage, also known as all opera singers.

As I mentioned, the sound system is all screwed up in our store. Some places are very quiet. I call people who work in those areas "the lucky ones". Then there are those who have to hear it at obnoxiously loud volumes in a group I labeled "the victims". The victims, after one day of music, are already foaming at the mouth. I walked through those areas several times today, and if I end up working in one of them, I would probably ask someone to mercy kill me. It felt surreal to walk in a place where it was loud, then very quiet, then very loud again.

Sometimes I use these annoyances as a learning experience. One year they actually played a very cool song which I learned was "Merry Xmas Everyone" by Slade. Sometimes I can't tell who the artist is that is singing the song so we play a round of musical trivia. Today was the first round of this game, and I was shocked. It was some kind of song about the world and stuff. I didn't hear all of it because the grunting of nearby customers drowned it out sometimes. This girl, whoever she was, just could not sing the song at a level I could appreciate it. Her voice sounded juvenile and jail bait, like Brittany Spears or something. I asked a coworker who this horrible sounding girl was. She told me it was Justin Bieber.

So between changing my radio presets, not knowing whether I should check in to an asylum, not knowing whether I need noise-canceling headphones, and being confused about celebrity's gender, it's no wonder why I rarely feel like loading my songs on my mp3 player. The muzak plays the versions that temporarily ruins the songs on a recurring basis. So happy holidays, and Merry Christmas.

The Allengator

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