When I lived in Rhode Island, I worked in an office where it was relative commonplace to hear coworkers randomly belt out guttural ballads from the bottom of their lungs. I could be quietly reconciling somebody's rental account, adding up numbers in front of my computer screen, when BAM! - somebody crashes into my office crooning Michael McDonald's "I Keep Forgetting" (mp3 available online for $0.99 at http://www.amazon.com/Keep-Forgettin-Every-Youre-Version/dp/B00122UXES/ref=sr_tc_2_1?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1256303098&sr=8-1). Music was a part of the corporate culture, and it provided an outlet for creative release during an otherwise monotonous work day. At first it was awkward, but it didn't take long for me to adapt and begin singing my own tunes... my rendition of Duran Duran's "Hungry Like the Wolf" or Eddie Rabbit's "I Love a Rainy Night" began to brighten the soggy Rhode Island afternoons, and with the help of my ambiguously gay assistant, we created a hell of a duet.
My office in Washington, DC is different. You can cut through the silence with a knife. On Friday at the end of my first week on the job, I cautiously offered a modest version of "If you don't know me by now" by Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes, but was quickly rebuffed by looks of both fear and confusion from my new office mates (in hindsight, that may not have been the best song choice for a new employee on his first week).
In the following weeks, I determined that I would have to affect change in those around me so they would understand that my frequent outbursts were merely a coping mechanism for the dark days; a therapy of sorts. I went online and purchased a set of speakers to attach to my work laptop, loud enough so that when the time came, I could crank those babies up and we could bring American Bandstand into the office for an afternoon.
Yeah, not so much.
At the first few beats of "You Dropped a Bomb on me" by Gap Band, half of the office walked out, and the other half stared at me in disbelief. Come on people! Music is the heartbeat of life!
So I'm still working on it. Perhaps I should break out of the 80's era, and jump into something a little more palatable. Until then, it's me and Eric Carmen singing "All By Myself".... on my headphones, of course.