I took my car in for servicing to the local dealership a while back. They are located close to a beautiful park. They have a waiting area upstairs that is stocked with fruit baskets, donuts, coffee, and bottled water. The seating is tables and chairs – not the most comfy, but certainly functional. I usually try to get my car in before 8 AM, and even though they will shuttle me home and pick me up again when my car is ready, I usually tell them I’ll wait for it.
The weather determines whether I’m really going to wait in that upstairs room or go for a run, and the events on my schedule determine whether I’m going to take the shuttle home or spend the morning out. I know servicing my car will take 60 to 90 minutes – which is a perfect run period. So, if it’s not raining or really windy I’ll head out, returning sweaty after they phone me to say “It’s done”.
Sometimes, I just have too much office stuff to get done – newsletters to write, research to do – like I did again recently. I took my laptop and my mobile internet stick and headed to that upstairs waiting room. I’ve never been fond of the smell of coffee – so that was the first big turn off for going up there. The other really, really big turn off – there it was again – the muzak! While other customers were lolling about reading the newspaper, eating donuts, and drinking coffee – not needing to think thoughts through to completion – I was tucked in a corner with my computer plugged into the only outlet that was near a table, working. In my mind I had my fingers in my ears and was “Lalala-ing” to block out the noise. It didn’t work. As that elevator style muzak continued to waft through the air I got more and more unsettled until I simply had to put my computer away. I just couldn’t think past the noise.
I get it that music can make time feel like it’s passing faster. That would be the kind of music I can hum along to or tap my toe to, but that would still be a distraction. When I’m working I prefer old-school, librarian-enforced quiet. I’m sure if I dig deep enough I can find a government-funded study that proves two things: 1) muzak makes time move more slowly, and 2) it was developed by someone who specialized in creating special, cruel, and unusual methods of torture. It makes me wonder why businesses play muzak, and who actually creates that sound glop?
At any rate it’s a good thing the car doesn’t need to go in for servicing very often.