It’s amazing how even with the free-flowing booze, lax dress code and an overabundance of MacBooks, an advertising agency can start to feel like The Office when those little niggly papercut annoyances build up day after day.
When my agency moved into a big, bright, fancy designer office, someone thought it was a great idea to install Sonos speakers in each “zone”, with a master playlist for each and modifiable by all.
Honestly. Sometimes I would rather deathly silence than this tyranny.
“They” somehow failed to realise that having your ears assaulted by Meghan Trainor, gangster rap or the fucking Ghostbusters theme song when you’re trying to pick through the finer details of a chart buried in a 100-page consumer report deck is… grating. To say the least.
The irony of this highly democratic system though is that although we all have access to the system, once someone has a playlist going, we’re not allowed to change it! Because how annoying would it be to put on a playlist only to have it gleefully deleted by someone and replaced by music that you find offensive? (Let’s just say I’ve had this happen to me, and I’m still undecided on whether to forgive that person.)
There’s a set of unspoken rules that appear to govern the Sonos system:
/ Do not change the music in any other zone than yours (this is punishable by yelling and ridicule).
/ Only change the music once a considerable amount of time has passed on the current playlist, i.e. minimum 30 minutes.
/ Changing the volume is allowed, though sometimes it can become a bit of a game of cat and mouse.
/ Putting on headphones to drown out the unbearable noise is permissible, but doing so in an exaggerated, exasperated way that reveals your annoyance is ill-advised.
Sonos politics! It’s a thing.