Nobody likes working in silence. There’s nothing worse than coming to work to sit in the office and hear nothing but the phone ringing or the gum-snapping of your co-workers. Hey Lauren, I get it, you can make loud noises with your gum. You better cut it out before I shred the rest of that pack and your access card. Those who have worked in environments like that know that that silence has weight behind it. It’s an unseen heaviness, of course, but it’s there forcing you to slump your shoulders and sigh on and off for the full workday without fully understanding why. That’s a silence that needs to be broken and what better way than through music. Like the wise man said, one good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain.
Here’s the thing though, I’ve gotten to that age where music with lyrics during work hours is more of a distraction than anything. I know me. I know I’m going to get swept up in some banger and next thing I know I’m rocking out and hitting the high hiiiiigh notes of “Unchained Melody” while Lauren’s gum hangs out of her open mouth in shock and awe. No one needs that. That’s a performance that is saved for my car, my wife/cat, and on karaoke Playstation games.
This music with lyrics theory was put to the test during quarantine. Working from home, I thought I would be able to crank some tunes and listen to podcasts during the workday. Nope. That stuff just distracted me. Honestly, I don’t understand those of you who can listen to podcasts while working. That’s waaaaay too distracting. It’s like people having a conversation on your desk. How am I going to get any work done that way?! But there was that silence hanging over the work environment like some kind of soul-sucking dementor.
So, I did what anyone would do in my position, I started listening to movie scores. Listen, I’ve always been a sucker for movie scores ever since my father and I bought the Braveheart soundtrack to “share”. I think that was a nice way of him saying here’s a couple of bucks to help buy this ridiculously overpriced CD from Sam Goody, kid. Ever since then movie scores, and television, have been my jam. I was already constantly listening to them and trying to defeat the work silence really opened the flood gate. Suddenly scores for Watchmen, Marvel, Star Wars, Lord of the Rings (do you know there are extended soundtracks that are like three hours long?! That’s like a quarter of the workday!), LOST, The Mandalorian, and so many more have greatly shifted my Apple Music algorithm and have provided some pretty epic backdrops to the workday.
Now I find, I can’t work without movie/television/video game scores. Lately, I’ve been in a work situation where I’m the only person in my office which means the epicenes is blaring! At any given moment someone can come into my office and hear the heart achiness that can only be found in the theme from The Last of Us or the haunting beauty of Mac Quayle’s “3.5_1alittlepush.ktp” from the Mr. Robot soundtracks.
And on the days where I do have someone in the office… well, that’s one earbud in and Revenge of the Sith on. One must find ways to combat the work silence while also not being rude to co-workers. A tough balance to maintain. Looking at you Lauren. Seriously, enough with the gum.
How about you Geeklings? What provides the best work soundtrack for you? Is it scores or music with lyrics? Or is it something else entirely? Sound off in the comments below or throw me a line over on Twitter @iamgeek32. Let me know what’s getting you through the workday so I can steal your ideas and use them as my own.