Wednesday, June 30, 2004

The Bad Old Days

Was doing some boring and ucky work at the office today, so I cranked up my ipod to some nice perky tuneage to keep me going.

Now, pre-ipod, I'd listen to CDs on my computer.

Pre-computer, I'd listen to cassette tapes on my Walkman.

What the heck did people do pre-Walkman?  I mean in comes Sony (heh, heh, Sony) with this revolution that enables you to listen to your very own music without intruding on someone else's silence (and without making you lug around some huge box and a crappy pair of headphones) and it completely changes not only the way people listen to music, but the way people work

I can't really remember a time when I didn't listen to music -- I'm not the sort of person who can work well in total silence.  Even as a kid, I used to do my homework with the radio or TV on in the background.  But that's not the sort of thing you can easily do in an office environment -- especially one where people are encouraged to keep their doors open.

So, really, what did people like me do back then?  Turn on a radio real quiet-like?  Keep the door closed and risk appearing anti-social?  Hope to find a rhythm in the tapping of the keyboard?  Go quietly insane?

Yay for living in the here and now.


olddog299 said...

Prior to CD's there were cassettes - you carried a box of those in your car and rotated 4 or 5 into the office, which you listened to on a small, desktop unit.  Before that, you had a portable radio you listened to.  Prior to that, a small table or bookshelf-sized unit was allowed in some offices.  In others, no radio allowed, "This is a place of business."  

Carrying around Benny Goodman's Orchestra on your back must have been a lttle tough in the 30's...

Bottom line, many places still will not allow personal music devices.  And that is the right of the business in question.  Just as it is my right to not hire someone with more than seven holes in his head or turn away the walking comic strip applying for a job.  While you may think your job would drive you insane without being allowed your tunes, they are there only on the suffrage of your employer.  She, in her wisdom, finds you more productive with the tunes than without.  There really is nothing else to say about it, is there?

grodygeek said...

To answer your question simply:
Became Engineers

Well, that is what happened to me. I remember the summer the first Walkmen were released. I was in a Psych class in college when an obvious rich chick walked in with a AM/FM Walkman bigger than the average Steven King horror novel. Metal case and all. She had it so loud with the Sennheiser headphones of that era that I could tell what she had on, Head East (an awful band undeseving of play) popular at the campus radio station. I know I worked there. Hey they came and played on campus and thus were loved by engineers there everywhere. Except for me. I had no Walkman. I couldn't afford the cigarettes I smoked nor the coffee I drank. A $200 Walkman? Not a chance. Today, I bring 24 cd to work every day. I usually rotate 6-10 out every week from 1,000 or so in the library.


nzforme said...

>She, in her wisdom, finds you more productive with the tunes than without.< -- Olddog
Ain't it the truth?  I remember one day when my mother said to me, "How can you study with that music?"  And I said, "I get A's, right?"  And she never asked me again.

tammyg22 said...

>>Hope to find a rhythm in the tapping of the keyboard?<<

Keyboard?  Back then, they wrote things out by hand or used a typewriter.

pollysci said...

here's an even scarier thought... what did we do before the internet and the advent of e-mail??? How ever did we endure life in the dark age? ;D