Once upon a time, our lovely Technology Director, Chris, decided to install a Sonos system in the Bullpen area. To give you some context, let me explain what the “Bullpen” is. It’s basically a very large open room with roughly 17 open desk areas and no walls (i.e. zero privacy). Ours, obviously, is much cooler since, being in advertising, we have some very creative team members who have dressed up the space to be more fun. For instance, take our lovely mural which overlooks the bullpen from the loft area where anyone can become a superhero, gnome (definitely my favorite), robot or knight any given day.
So, imagine my delight to know that I could also become the office DJ. Who wouldn’t jump at the chance to play your favorite music on loudspeakers for all to hear? Sounds great right?
That is, until you realize that what you think is the best music could be loudly disagreed with by the 16 other people who share your space.
As a 30-something, white, female, former Midwesterner (you can take the girl out of the Midwest but not the Midwest out of the girl) - my tastes in music are (admittedly) not that diverse. Just ask my boyfriend who cringes when I pronounce Kanye as “ca·nine”. I even wager a bet that you, my lovely readers, immediately thought, "she has to be a Country music fan." Well, you’d be half-correct. My tastes run somewhere between indie alternative, 80’s pop and country (country only in the summertime though). While some MAY enjoy my playlists, the truth is none of my coworkers like the same music as me. So by signing up to pick the tunes for the office I’ve pretty much guaranteed that I’ll be an annoyance to at least 1 co-worker at any given time. It’s a battlefield and some days I’d rather just put on my headphones than determine the office musical playlist. I mean, pick a song that rubs a coworker the wrong way, and a practical joker in the office could veto it and suddenly you’re forced to hear over and over “What’s New Pussycat?” (Dammit Doug!)
However, if you DO decide to become the office DJ, here are a few tips I’ve learned:
- Don’t play the same playlist in the same week
- Do try and mix it up for others in the crowd - even if it’s not your genre – you may learn to like something new
- Don’t take it personally
- If all else fails, play Michael Jackson (cause who doesn’t like MJ?!)