I’m a mild-mannered person. I don’t like to be showy or draw unnecessary attention to myself. Plus I get self conscious. Hence, I don’t like karaoke.
Don’t get me wrong. I love to sing. I sing in the car, I sing while I cook, I sing in the shower, I sing while I’m getting dressed, I sing all the time. The threshold is that even though there might be people with me, I am not in “public.” But I love singing to myself, and I love having music playing at all possible moments of my life.
Therefore, I like having music playing while I work…who doesn’t? I do tedious pipetting, all in a tissue culture hood (in the “TC room”), and it’s just sterile and boring. So why not jam out to some Nena and her luftbalons, or to some Dr. Dre and Snoop De Oh Double Gee, or to roll some heads with the Yeah yeah yeahs, or to ponder how I’m not sick, but I’m not well? The best kind of music to listen to at work is something that gets your spirits up, loud melody, heavy bass, hard groove, and crazy fun lyrics. Chromeo/MGMT pandora radio station for any interested players has been sustaining me for a long time now. And my 80s, Hood, and Woman Power playlists.
I started out listening on my headphones, like most people would do. But it’s annoying to have the cords in the way, worry about the earpieces falling out, not hearing/noticing when other people were in the room trying to talk to me or get my attention. Since I’m usually alone in that room, I graduated to just using the speakers on my phone to stream music out loud while I worked. When this happened, I got made fun of a lot by my labmates (mostly one person in particular, let’s call him Ollie). All the following quotes are courtesy of Ollie.
“You know how you know when Mariam is here? When there’s bass bumping from the TC room.”
“Whooaa, what is this? Club TC! Boom chik boom chik.” *mocking bass noise and fist pumping dance moves*
“You kids and your hippity hop, gangstER music.”
Anyways, Ollie and I are on good terms. He’s kind of my boss, kind of my coworker. He’s essentially training me in this lab, showing me the ropes. He’s about to be finished though, and leaving the lab soon. Ollie knows how much I like listening to music while working that he brought some speakers for us to use. He hooked them up in the TC room, so now I can listen to my music at a decent volume and rock out. I make fun of him, though, cuz he listens to terrible “old man” music.
Here’s where the problem [reputation] happens. I’m usually the only person in or around that room, although other people do come in there (usually to see where the noise is coming from). Well it turns out that I sing A LOT, even in public, even without realizing how loud and emphatically I’m doing it. Apparently- most of the people I work with can hear me sing while I’m in the TC. I just lose track of the volume and since I don’t see people, I forget they’re in the next room over. And I lose control. Apparently.
Another coworker, his desk is behind mine, finally broke the news to me. Let’s call him Aiden.
“I heard this music, I had to take out my headphones to make sure what it was. So I came over here [to the TC room], and you were just belting it out, you were going at it.”
“OMG, I’m so embarassed! Why didn’t you tell me to shut the eff up??!”
“It seemed like you were enjoying yourself and I didn’t want to disturb you!”
AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH. I’m never going to work again.
On a lighter note, here’s a picture of my cat, Tadyah aka Toota aka Toes. She has this thing for plastic bags. Like, LOVES them. Likes to lay on them and jump on them and crawl into/through them. So the rare times when I go grocery shopping, she has a field day until I get tired of hearing crinkling swhooshing plastic bags and throw them away.