In my office I know it is time to go home when the ventilation systems shuts off at 5:58 PM each night. The white noise it provides just disappears and makes the office an incredibly eerie environment, prompting those of us still in the office to quickly pack up our stuff and head out for the day.
Which is why when the ventilation system kicked off at about 3:00 PM today it though me for a loop. I was on the phone with my mom when the comforting hum stopped. It was as if the day had slammed into some invisible wall. The rest of the sounds of the office became that much sharper and irritating. The co-worker in the cubicle next to me said the lack of noise was giving him a headache. I found myself unable to concentrate on typing an e-mail.
Luckily, the cure was simple; place an ear bud attached to an iPod into one ear and listen to music at a low enough volume that you can still hear co-workers talk to you and the phone ring.
But it is only a temporary solution. Because now I am left listening to Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young, wondering if when the air system stopped if that meant fresh air is no longer being pumped into the building. If every time I inhale I am inhaling air that was expelled by a sick co-worker. If it will soon be like space with the lack of oxygen and if I screamed would anyone hear me?
No wonder those sound machine alarm clocks have a white noise setting…
~The Office Scribe
Sunburns, hang ups, and paper mouths
2 months ago