Monday, October 25, 2010

Cubicle Noise: Headphones

Cubicle people are realists. They have to be. So in this good news/bad news sitch, I'm going to start with the bad news: Too many cubicle dwellers think that just because they've been considerate enough to use headphones to listen to music or videos it means they aren't annoying the shit out of their neighbors. That is simply not true. Unfortunately, their good intentions are often thwarted by a lack of attention to detail -- the volume is too high. Yes, the people who work around headphone users are often subjected to hours upon hours of muffled beats, rhythms, and vocals that are very distracting. So headphone users, when in doubt, ask. Even if you're pretty sure the volume is low enough, it's always nice to check in now and again with your coworkers to make sure you're not doing anything to irk them. The gesture goes a long way.

The good news: Cubicle dwellers across the globe are not using computer speakers as much as they used to. Thank god. This subtle cultural shift took some time, but now that headphones have become mainstream, speakers are ending up in the bottom drawers of forgotten file cabinets in dark closets. Where they belong.

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