Saturday, February 17, 2007

Mystery Radio

OH MY GOSH!! I have found the perfect background for working here. I do not like to work in silence because then, my ongoing thoughts have at it, and well, it’s just a distraction. How bad is that to distract your own self? So, I consider music white noise.
When I am working on numbers, which isn’t often ( smart move) or when I am multi-tasking, I play classical music with no words. It flows from the radio all around the office and out into the hallway and it is a verypleasant smooth time.

When my workload is the mindless repetition tasks that sometimes need to be addressed, then it’s Barry and me or Simon and Garfunkle and me or even Death Cab for Cutie.

Cold and rainy days whine for Billy Holliday.

But there hasn’t really been an answer to the daily grind. Until a few weeks ago.
My oldest daughter, who is a whiz at technology, downloaded I tunes on my computer. I did not feel lightening strike, but I wondered where God was because he surely was guiding Emily’s hands on that day. She opened the door to internet radio for her mom. It was a miracle.

At first, I couldn’t stop changing the channels. Why? Mostly, just because I could. Eventually, I started exploring and I came across this incredible internet station called mystery radio. It is all old radio shows. All day,every day. Commercials included.

Staff were concerned at first. Those who were anti-Manilow were begging me to play Barry. One woman said, “You are living in the past”. Let me assure you I have absolutely no desire to live in the past. Been there, done that. There was something else magical at work here, and it took me not long to figure it out. I noticed right away that it was a perfect fit. I wasn’t sure why for a while. I enjoyed watching others notice something different sounding out in my office. Our organist came in one morning, rushed and tired. He sat in the escape seat ( the huggy chair) and breathed for a minute. His eyes were closed, his head rested in his hands. Then, “What are you listening to?”
I kept typing as if nothing was out of order. “ Well, today we’ve got Loretta Young and Peter Lorre”. Type type type la la la la la la la. "I think they are both dead now, aren’t they?” type type type…….

He looked about as if checking to see if the walls had started to shift or if the floor was beginning to fall away from underneath his feet, then he recovered. “Oh. Okay.” Then, off he went- glad to step back into the hallway of present time I imagine.

I find it interesting that this talk radio does not keep me from working. The closest thing to talk radio is NPR which is so intellectually spicy, I can’t play it and work. Sometimes, I just want to leave work and leave the country. The issues are riveting. Timely. Dangerous for me, the one trying to multitask.

The mystery shows do not affect me that way. Partly because the story dialog isn’t crystal clear, maybe.

The day of clarity for me came not long after Emily had brought Lux Radio , Mystery, and Quiet please! Into the office.

It was a chaotic day. The office was a magnet, pulling in all grades of emotional states. The church chick feed jar was being gobbled away. Stress was everywhere. I passed out my stress swatters but they could not keep up with the buzzing and biting issues swarming around that day.

Multiple issues and discussions were running rampant. I was typing, and trying to keep up with some of the cross fire, but to no avail. I managed to remain invisible amidst the animated exchanges. Suddenly on the radio I heard, “ I can’t stand hysterical women” and my eyes darted across to a woman who was sharing her thoughts in a very vocal manner. I kept typing.
“Wadda ya take me for, some punk kid?” sounded the speaker. Then, “ You lousy little crank, with your fancy French car. You’re a dope dope dope!!” The animated causeries disappeared into the voices I was hearing on the radio. Then, the organ “ Da Da DAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!” and finally, “ Must they ring anymore to remind everyone of the tragedy. I can’t take it anymore!” As if on cue, the discussions found closure, and one by one, the visitors left. The radio responded with ,”Exceedingly strange is this world”

It was at that moment that I realized that Mystery Theater is the perfect backdrop for church work. The music fits, and the dialog adds a flavor that changes stress to release. I think we should pipe in this station throughout the building. How can you possibly fuss or bother when “Are you accusing me of Alice McCreedy’s death? Of course not. Tell Mavis I want her. Everybody loves her, but Stuart, it’s you” playing in the background?

No comments: