by Eric Barton
Not all in-office music experiences can be tragically hip. Local underground literary heavyweight Chris Packham, who's currently working at a title company, knows this painfully well. Here's the story of a typical day in his occupational — but not vocational — life.
Phil's microphone might as well be directly connected to my office.
Here at Sub-Strata Title Co. [some names have been changed to protect people's jobs], we are committed to serving our customers to the best of our ability with timely, accurate information, a knowledgeable staff, and competetive pricing. One of the ways we achieve our goals is by subjecting our employees to a non-stop repeating loop of adult contemporary music at an audible but unobtrusive volume level. We're not sure why this is so fucking good for business, but goddammit, we're going to play Phil Fucking Collins four times a day whether Warren Buffett thinks it's a good business idea or not.
What follows is a time-stamped list of the songs that actually penetrated the veil of soul-killing numbness induced by title work on Wednesday, October 18, 2006. Note that it is not a complete list of all the songs that were played, just the ones I actually noticed.
Playlist from hell:
7:41 A.M - Do You Believe in Love? -- Huey Lewis and the News
7:47 A.M. - Waiting is the hardest part -- Tom Petty
8:03 A.M. - Uptown Girl -- Billy Joel
(Got busy for a while with phone calls, 8:05 - 8:50.)
8:50 A.M. - Jesse's Girl -- Rick Springfield
8:55 A.M. - Something crappy with harmonies in the chorus
9:03 A.M. - TELL ME! HAVE YOU EVER SEEN A SHOOTING STAR! ONE WITHOUT A PERMANENT SCAR!
9:06 A.M. - Something stupid by Shakira.
9:08 A.M. - Can You Hear Me Running -- Mike & the Mechanics (??) [It's called "Silent Running," and it is by M and the Ms. — Ed.]
9:22 A.M. - We're In Heaven -- Bryan Adams
9:25 A.M. - Something crappy with a repetitive chorus
(a number of songs with levels too low to recognize over muted speakers)
9:40 A.M. - My Heart Will Go On -- Celine Dion
9:41 A.M. - The Tide is High -- Blondie
9:45 A.M. - Something stupid I don't recognize.
9:51 A.M. - Sledgehammer -- Peter Gabriel
9:55 - 10:10 A.M. -- Crappy songs I don't recognize
10:10 A.M. - Infatuation -- Rod Stewart
10:27 A.M. - I CAN'T LIIIIIII-IIIIIIIIVE! IF LIVIN' IS WITHOUT YOU! I CAN'T LIIIIIII-IIIIIIIIVE! I CAN'T GIIIVE ANY MOO-OORE! [WTF, Nillsson rocks! — Ed.]
10:34 A.M. ONLY THE LOOOO-OONELY! ONLY THE LONELY CAN PLAY! (No, this is not the Roy Orbison song, or a cover thereof. It is a crappy �80s song that contains a crappy �80s saxaphone solo.)
10:41 A.M. - I Miss You -- Adam Ant
10:43 A.M. - Some Alanis Morisette song I don't know the title of
10:51 A.M. - Drive -- The Cars
10:58 A.M. - I FO-OUND SOMEONE! TO TAKE AWAY THE HEARTACHE! -- Cher
11:00 A.M. - She Drives Me Crazy -- Fine Young Cannibals
11:13 A.M. - Tell Me All Your Thoughts on God -- Dishwalla
11:20 A.M. - 12:00 P.M. - Innocuous, quiet songs I couldn't hear
NOTES AND OBSERVATIONS:
-- Where in the hell are the Barenaked Ladies? They practically define this genre, by which I mean they're a band that 40-year-old white people believe will make them cool, like Dockers pants and Chrysler P.T. Cruisers.
-- Yes, you could argue that at least Tom Petty shows up in this wretched playlist for some relief, but you could also argue that it's a demonstration of mercy to allow a sleep-deprived Guantanamo prisoner to get in 15 minutes of R.E.M. before uncoiling the fire hose again.