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Music

As I write this I am listening to music I would never listen to voluntarily. I asked the guy to please use headphones and he said no he'll just turn it down. I can still hear it.
I wouldn't mind so much if it were a style of music I can tolerate, but it isn't.
The problem might eventually solve itself, since his cubicle is right outside the manager's office, and maybe he'll shut it off when the manager gets back.
My ears are kind of sensitive and I'm also very particular about music. If he doen't stop, and if no one else complains, I wonder if I should ask him again to get headphones.
By the way, this guy is well known for being obnoxious. Until recently, he had a private office so no one would have to listen to his loud phone conversations and other obnoxious sounds. But they needed his office space so stuck him back in a cubicle (near me, unfortunately).
I don't mind his long and loud personal phone conversations, but I doubt I'll ever get used to this kind of music, no matter how low the volume.

The Real PC
Thursday, May 15, 2003

Drag his dumbass outside and beat the sh** out of him.

Ok?
Thursday, May 15, 2003

Second the motion.

Nat Ersoz
Thursday, May 15, 2003

If the style is anything other than classical, then sound him down with some Beethoven.

You may not like this music either, but it should have him insisting on headphones in no time.

Ged Byrne
Thursday, May 15, 2003

I third the motion.  Although you could just piss him off by installing prank s/w (random character input at random intervals, screen flip, etc)

I'd probably try to have a good time with it. ;-)

GiorgioG
Thursday, May 15, 2003

Have you talked to your boss and/or the guy's boss about this?

Brent P. Newhall
Thursday, May 15, 2003

Wait a minute.

Find the music most unlike the music he listens to and turn it UP ;-) Problem will be solved within 4 songs.

GiorgioG
Thursday, May 15, 2003

Talking to the boss would be my last resort, because I don't want to be known as someone who complains about everything (I already complained about the smoke and got the smoking policy changed).
I don't want to start playing music myself because it is incredibly stupid to listen to music in an office without headphones, and I don't want to be known as incredibly stupid and/or inconsiderate (like this guy).
I thought of getting earplugs.

The Real PC
Thursday, May 15, 2003

"Some individuals and businesses feel that they have a right or the freedom to use a common resource in any way they see fit. Perhaps these people are mistakenly extending their own private property rights to that which is publicly owned or cared for and not exclusively their own. Perhaps they do not realize what most of us learned on the school yard years ago: "that my right to swing my fist ends at your nose." Or, perhaps they do not recognize the soundness of our parallel claim "that my right to create noise ends at your ear." In any case, these people are acting as bullies, claiming rights and freedoms that are not theirs while degrading resources that are ours."

support http://www.nonoise.org/commons.htm

I feel for you Real PC. An obnoxious noise polluter can be one of the worst things to encounter. A swift kick in the nuts administered at regular intervals in phase with the beat might be tempting, but too mild a punishment.
IMHO noise pollution is worse than smoking.

Just me (Sir to you)
Thursday, May 15, 2003

I see two options.

1. be glad you and he have jobs, and learn to be less sensitive.

2. Sabotage whatever device he is using to produce music. CD player , dirty it. Radio , destory speaker with a well placed paper clip. so on. Not nice but sometimes you gots to do what you gots to do.

One mans opinion

moses whitecotton
Thursday, May 15, 2003

Don't go to management - you'll look like a sniveling ninny. And don't get into a volume war - you'll just look childish.

Instead, do the mature, manly, and responsible thing - F*** with him when he's not looking.

Is he playing the music on his PC? If so, go to Radio Shack, Fry's, etc. and get some chip resistors and a soldering iron. Stay late one night, open up his box, and piggyback the resistors at random locations on his sound card.  Make sure NOT to use static protection.

Being a conniver is much better than being a whiner.

P.S.: Maybe there's some EE's here that might have a faster, easier way to zap the sound board through the speaker jack?

Nick
Thursday, May 15, 2003

moses - didn't see your post until after I made mine.  I like the way you think - especially your Second Commandment.

Nick
Thursday, May 15, 2003

OK Moses,

tell me more about the paperclip trick. Is this something subtle and untracable or just brute force.

Just me (Sir to you)
Thursday, May 15, 2003

Actually, the speaker wires - fray them slightly at the speaker side, and take the frayed end and short the amplifier output together.

That alone will mute the sound, and if you only use 1 or 2 strands of wire, might be difficult enough to notice that it will be hard to figure out what is wrong.  Also, it strains the output transistors into driving a short.  Older equipment will eventually die, newer stuff will tolerate the insult.

Nat Ersoz
Thursday, May 15, 2003

Not that I would ever do this, but a paper clip straightened and pushed thru the speaker cone, usually accessable thru the speaker grill will either make the speaker inoperable or at least make it sound very "tinny". ( use your anger and punch many holes for best effect and relief of stress ). Purely theoretical of course.

moses whitecotton
Thursday, May 15, 2003

I don't know if you're being serious. Damaging the PC would get me in a lot more trouble than complaining to management.

The Real PC
Thursday, May 15, 2003

What if I just go back over to Bob Noxious (yes, that's his real name) and tell him he is the ONLY person in the entire office who is playing music without earphones?

The Real PC
Thursday, May 15, 2003

You have to speak the same language what he is speaking  to you to  get your work done else it is very hard.
You don't have to say 'please'  if his requestes are not accompnied by 'please'.
If you are right, the best way is to continue being 'right'  in such a way that you don't to be fearful for just being right.

I really don't like the people who want to continue being right and still be fearful of surrounding in which they live in.  What if you become wrong and not afraid and then continue being right. You want continue  using your 'right' past to escpae from today's situtation, instead of building a new solution for the situtation.


Challanges are there, even outside the computer box.

EasyLife
Thursday, May 15, 2003

Do you know if other people have asked him to use headphones? If you're the only complainer, you'll also be the likeliest suspect for any sabotage. So unless you can make the sabotage look like a random glitch, don't do it.

I know volume wars are childish, but I like the Blasting Beethoven method. (It has to be Beethoven, by the way, or at least one of the other Bs [Bach, Brahms]; Mozart just doesn't do the trick.) You just have to be disciplined about it; if he doesn't get the point after five minutes of "Freude, schöne Gotterfunken", give it up and complain to a manager.

Martha
Thursday, May 15, 2003

Homygosh.  You work with Bob (Rob) Noxious??  The world is a big place, and perhaps there are more than one - but you're in the midwest? Working at a large consumer electronics company?

Nat Ersoz
Thursday, May 15, 2003

I guess I am revealing a little of my personality type in this posting. I am not a developer , I am a Unix System Admin, I am action oriented. I assumed you had your reasons not to contact management ( which I would definately do). Thats an obvious solution that I dismissed because you dismissed.  If I was approaching this problem with the information you presented.  I would take it upon my self to solve the problem or not ( refer to my #1).  Always remember , as my boss taught me long ago "pick your battles".

moses whitecotton
Thursday, May 15, 2003

I spoke to another programmer who can hear it. It bothers him, but he likes rock music so it isn't disrupting his concentration the way it is mine.
Two managers are nearby and probably can hear it. One is my boss (the big boss). If I complained to him and said I can't concentrate with Bob Noxious playing rock music, he would probably speak to him. Nobody likes Bob Noxious very much anyway.
I just don't want to seem hyper-sensitive (although maybe I am) or a chronic complainer.
I never complained about anything for 2 years, so they know I'm not a chronic complainer.
I have a tendency not to be afraid of anyone, so I be more willing to complain than others.
I can't believe no one else has said anything yet (it started yesterday).

The Real PC
Thursday, May 15, 2003

The long term solution is to find another job at a company that has some concern about the work environment.  In the current economic environment that can be very long term, but you might as well start looking.  If management won't take care of this problem, it is probably not the only thing wrong with working there.

When is the manager going to return?  You said Bob Noxious might use headphones when the manager gets back.  Why not just wait?

Reconsider your decision not to complain to management.  You were successful in getting the smoking policy changed.  Alternatively, if there are other nearby cubicle inhabitants, you might talk one of them into doing the complaining.  You are probably not the only one that doesn't like the choice of music.  When I am working I prefer quiet and don't even want to hear the kind of music that I would choose to listen to elsewhere.

Don't bother asking Bob again.  Obnoxious people like him seem to have a psychological need to irritate other people.

In the "it could be worse" department, at least he is listening to music.  He could be listening to the Dave and Mike Show (aka Dumb and Dumber).  This is a talk show that is part of an Al Queda plot to suck the intelligence out of the American office worker population.

mackinac
Thursday, May 15, 2003

Go back and tell him to use headphones. Don't take no for an answer. Make sure you state this loud enough so that your boss can overhear the conversation and call him to mediate if 'Bob' refuses.

Buford
Thursday, May 15, 2003

dont'go to the boss. Make the boss come to you. Whenver the music bothers you, leave, do something else somewhere else. When your boss asks about your prodcutivity or availability, explain. The butthead is responsible for an expensive and potentially critical (sysadmin is can't work) problem.

Make it a $ problem and the manager will quickly solve it.

doobius
Thursday, May 15, 2003

make it either a $$ problem, or deal with it yourself.

Just remove the wire that connects the speakers to the soundcard/cd player. This will solve the problem. Unless of course Bob decides that since his computer speaker does not work and he will bring in his own set, complete with active woofer.

Like someone said, bring the manager to you. Tell Bob rather loudly to shut the .... up. Refuse to take no for an answer. More loudly, explain, in very basic, condescending language that you cannot work with his music blaring. Do not go on about the type of music.... that's getting personal.

Suggest that while music might up his productivity, as HE will probably argue, he can still listen to his music, and not disturb other folk with a good set of headphones. Again, use very condescendig tone/language.

Alternatively, when bob disappears. Set his sound to max. Next time he decides to play his CD, the whole floor will know, and so will the boss.

When all else fails, I second the kick the .... out of him motion. I am rather partial to baseball bats and knee caps.

tapiwa
Thursday, May 15, 2003

Random thoughts...

Grab him by the balls until his cubicle emits a more palatable tune.

When the office is busy take his speakers and rip then violently from their connection and toss them as far as possible in a safe direction.

Bash his skull with his keyboard.

Politely ram your fist down his throat and rend his voice box.

Remove his pancreas with a dull spoon.

Ask if his health insurance is paid up.  Immediately phone for an ambulance and describe to them what you are about to do to him.

Stand on his desk and piss on his head.

...

Ahhh!


Thursday, May 15, 2003

- Use the dead-animal-head-on-his-desk technique to send him a clear message of what the consequences will be if he continues.

-Make voodoo doll if stupid-jerk-next-to-your-cube-music-fan and pierce them in vulgar way.

-Record MP3s of yourself singing "<name> is a big retard." and play them in a loop all day.

-If he doesn't get it claim his first born as yours.

Legal disclaimer : Do not follow the previous advices.

Just cut his speaker wires when there's no witness.

Application Specialist
Thursday, May 15, 2003

Turn the other ear.

Jesus
Thursday, May 15, 2003

"I was told, that I could listen to the radio at a reasonable volume, from nine to eleven, I told Bill that if Sandra is going to listen to her headphones while she's filing then I should be able to listen to the radio while I'm collating, so I don't see why I should have to turn down the radio because I enjoy listening, at a reasonable volume, from nine to eleven..."

:-)

Mark
Thursday, May 15, 2003

Rotate his left ear untill it falls off... then turns his other ear.


Thursday, May 15, 2003

I realize this off-thread comment will likely be removed post-haste, but Mark, your comment really did make my day.

Thank you.

Spam
Thursday, May 15, 2003

If you're going to get into a volume war, I suggest Wagner.

While doobius' suggestion (disappear whenever it's on, then use that to introduce the idea to your manager) is tempting, in a sort of passive-aggressive way, it could easily backfire:  "Hey, why is The Real PC missing?  He must not want his [cube goodies | stash o' Twinkies | job] anymore."

The real solution is to go to your manager.  You shouldn't have to deal with this infantile bogosity.  Schmuckboy is probably upset at being "demoted" to a cubicle, and has nothing to gain from voluntary compliance -- quite the contrary, he's got a vested interest in being *so* annoying that he gets put back in an office.  That leaves you with the choice of tolerating it, or seeking divine... er, management intervention.

Sam Livingston-Gray
Thursday, May 15, 2003

I have to argue strongly against any permanent destruction ploys - quickest way to end up on the sidewalk, IMHO.

If he listens to MP3's, then add a few to his playlist. There was one that went around in '98 that said, in a nice clear voice, "Hey everyone, I'm watching PORNOS over here!" there's also one of a mad cow that's fairly funny. Or you could just record your own voice saying "I'M LISTENING TO MUSIC WITHOUT HEADPHONES BECAUSE I'M AN ARROGANT JACKASS WHO HAS NO RESPECT FOR HIS COWORKERS."

Obviously, when putting these files in his playlist, delete existing files and name yours appropriately. ;-)

The truly professional thing to do - "Bob, I can't concentrate with your music playing. If you don't turn it *off* or get some decent headphones, I'm going to have to talk to your boss."

Philo

Philo
Thursday, May 15, 2003

Solve your own damn problems. Damnit.

Emmit
Thursday, May 15, 2003

[he's got a vested interest in being *so* annoying that he gets put back in an office.]

That's how he got his private office before -- he learned how to fart at will. So he figures it will work again -- but management  has changed since then.

The Real PC
Thursday, May 15, 2003

Could it be that he was one of the smokers you screwed and is now getting his own back?

Stephen Jones
Thursday, May 15, 2003

Its Trybinski, isn't it?  Spelling is off, but close...

Nat Ersoz
Thursday, May 15, 2003

Get that radio shack doohicky that was in the news a while ago that aims a laser beam of sound so only the person it's aimed at hears it, and it sounds like he's exactly in the middle of whatever is playing.

Hide it in the ventilation ducts, aim it at him, and choose the appropriate recordings... like an earthquake, gunshots, the boss yelling at him, firedrills... Trigger them at semi random times throughout the day when his music is too loud.

That oughta train him to turn it down and keep it down. Though after that he may never want to go over to headphones for fear of missing out on a real gunshot.

www.marktaw.com
Thursday, May 15, 2003

Walk over to his desk while he's there, grab his music machine, and lock it in a cupboard.

He will be flabbergasted because you've called his challenge, which is what it's all about.

Management will then have an issue they have to deal with.


Thursday, May 15, 2003

[Could it be that he was one of the smokers you screwed and is now getting his own back?]

They never knew it was me!

Anyway, he doesn't smoke -- at least he has one good trait.

I bought ear plugs on my way home and hopefully I won't hear anything tomorrow.

Bob Noxious obviously feels invulnerable. Maybe he's about to retire and doesn't need a job anyway.

The Real PC
Thursday, May 15, 2003

Get your own set of headphones and listen to music that *you* like.

I have found that to be a good strategy to focus, even if there isn't anybody around playing annoying music. Just the shutting out of external noise helps me focus sometimes, and it might help you too.

-K

Kaushik Sridharan
Thursday, May 15, 2003

Bob Noxious, aka Rob Try..

RealPC, drop me an email - it would be an interesting chat, I guarantee it.

Nat Ersoz
Thursday, May 15, 2003

Be politely blunt, with a 'hint' of agro.

When anyone else is around be rational and firm.

Realist
Thursday, May 15, 2003

"He could be listening to the Dave and Mike Show (aka Dumb and Dumber).  This is a talk show that is part of an Al Queda plot to suck the intelligence out of the American office worker population. "

Nah, it's "friendly fire" ;-).

Just me (Sir to you)
Friday, May 16, 2003

"RealPC, drop me an email - it would be an interesting chat"

And cutt us out of the fun? Keep it coming. We can take it.

Hey, Real PC. I think you are starting on the wrong path by getting the earplugs. Why should you have to suffer. You are not the one doing anything wrong. It is Butthead that needs a fix.
You have the right to an obnoxious moron free workplace. Isn't there some exterminator service you can call for these types of bugs?

Just me (Sir to you)
Friday, May 16, 2003

Interesting how all these kinds of things turn into an Arms Proliferation Scenario.  You could just cut to the chase and threaten to kill his wife/children/girlfriend (sounds unlikely)/boyfriend/dog/cat/goldfish.

On the other hand.

You could try standing behind him and asking him to turn it down, not off, down.  If he refuses, then you inform him that you are making a formal complaint in writing.

Then you leave him alone.  You carry through the threat if he refuses. 

You let the UN/management do it.

Simon Lucy
Friday, May 16, 2003

Yesterday I asked him to please use headphones. He said "no, I'll just turn it down." The problem is that if it's loud enough for him to hear, it's loud enough to bother me.
I still don't understand why the 2 managers and 2 programmers who can also hear it don't mind. Unless they also like this "rock for dummies" style of music. I don't hate any particular style of music, but I hate bad examples of any style. The rhythm of this music is so annoying to me it can give me a headache and disrupt concentration even at a low volume.
If you could see this guy or hear his voice you would know immediately why he does not have a reputation for being a genius. But nothing he did ever bothered me before, and I had no judgemental feelings toward him, until now.

The Real PC
Friday, May 16, 2003

Other people may hear and be VERY annoyed, but aren't speaking up.

Regarding your concern about going to your manager:  Be aware that you are operating out of fear, and that is a Process Smell.  If your boss is a reasonable person, s/he will *not* think poorly of you because you came to him/her with two complaints.

Brent P. Newhall
Friday, May 16, 2003

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