Re: Workplace aural accompaniment (was RE: Telecommuting ...)

Subject: Re: Workplace aural accompaniment (was RE: Telecommuting ...)
From: Editor in Chief <editorialstandards -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: "Kay A. Pentecost" <kayp -at- ix -dot- netcom -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 26 Feb 2013 15:31:30 -0500

I'm a writer. I live by the written word. Of course I meant my choices of
adjectives. :-)

By "blasting", I refer to any level of sound louder than is strictly good
for the receiving ear, or ANY level that can be heard from the wrong side
of the earbuds or earphones.

Years ago - and just how how old IS this guy - when the Walkman (first with
tape, then with CDs) was the thing, and I rode public transit, I cobbled
together an unshielded variable oscillator with battery that I could carry
in a parka pocket or in a backpack pocket. If I was close enough to
somebody that they were "sharing" their tunes with me, I was often close
enough to interfere painfully with their sound... until the battery died.
It was pretty hit-and-miss, but kept me occupied non-homicidally.

I don't recall any heart-attacks in my vicinity, so I'm pretty sure I
didn't upset any pacemakers.

You could do much the same with a walky-talky, if the offender was
listening to radio. Even FM is vulnerable at a range of 18 inches or so.
Just slide your hand into your pocket and keep clicking the push-to-talk
button. Fiddle the channel selector; click-click some more. Keep trying
until music-sharing person begins to look puzzled at what's coming out of
his squawk-box earphones. Click-tsshh. Click-tsshh. Same principle as
listening to your stereo at home and suddenly hearing taxi-cab chatter....
or worse, finding that you've moved next to a taxi dispatcher... day and
night, and it never moves out of range. Not me, but I knew a guy. He spent
a miserable year until he could get out of his lease. Sucks to be an
audiophile of limited means.

Anyway, back to the topic, I agree with another poster that a person can
learn to tolerate a lot, and still perform. However, that learning takes
TIME, and I would bet that the ability to tolerate/thrive in noisy
conditions is probably reasonably depicted by a bell curve.

SOME people can't function without constant incoming noise to drown out the
crazy thoughts and voices inside their heads, so that they can concentrate
on the desired thought processes. Some people can't function in less than
vow-of-silence monastery conditions. In between are the rest of us, who can
probably force ourselves to adapt to adverse auditory environments, but who
don't thrive in them, and who probably perform, but less well than we/they
otherwise might.

Advantage goes to those who thrive in noise. They can bring theirs with
them. It's harder to block noise than to make it inside your ear canals. I
have yet to encounter a set of "noise-cancelling" headphones that:

a) can be worn all day, every day

b) adequately cover all ranges of ambient sound while not adding any noise
of their own (no hiss).

I damaged my hearing by wearing supposedly noise-cancelling phones while
walking beside rush-hour traffic for many months. Any sound generated by
the phones that was not an EXACT reciprocal match for incoming frequencies
and amplitudes was itself a source of damaging pressure. It turns out that
the phones I had were expected to cancel human voice and other fairly
low-frequency sounds, and not so much the higher-freq rush of speeding
traffic. All I was trying to hear was talk radio - not even any musical
nuances.

As I might have mentioned in years past, I have audiologist graphs that
show my dip in hearing is a good [un]fit for the average adult female
voice. :-)



Pair-wise techwriting? Two of us on one terminal? Strangely, I'd be
willing to give it a shot.
But soon, WE'd be the noise that developer pairs were complaining about.
:-)




On Tue, Feb 26, 2013 at 12:54 PM, Kay A. Pentecost <kayp -at- ix -dot- netcom -dot- com>wrote:

> Hi Ed <grin>,
>
> I used to feel like I needed quiet to be productive. One day plenty years
> ago I realized that I had taught myself to meditate on the subway... first
> New York and then DC ... because I *wanted* to. Then I realized that
> working at home, when I was a caregiver for my elderly mother, I could
> ignore everything but her voice. So I freed myself from the delusion that
> I could only work in a "quiet" place.
>
> Since then, I've been a developer in Agile shops, where we pair-program,
> all sit in one room, and in one place the entire floor was moveable desks
> where groups formed and reformed by moving desks around -- I truly believe
> my productivity has never been better. I was alienated by the concept of
> pair programing (two people at one computer, programming) at first, but
> know I love it.
>
> I wonder how pair tech writing would work? <grin>
>
> I'm entertained by the voices on this list... and how the individual bias
> comes through with words and phrases. For example, did you mean to
> influence the reader when you used "blasting" for the noise you do not
> like, and "blessed" for the "hushedness" you do like? Was it intentional
> or unconscious?
>
> I don't intend any criticism; I'm just fascinated by the power of words
> and curious about how we use them.
>
> Warmly,
>
> Kay
>
> -----Original Message-----
> >From: Editor in Chief <editorialstandards -at- gmail -dot- com>
> >Sent: Feb 26, 2013 12:10 PM
> >To: "techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com >> TECHWR-L" <
> techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
> >Subject: Workplace aural accompaniment (was RE: Telecommuting ...)
> >
> > Hmm.
> >In a noisy environment, my productivity plummets.
> >
> >It occurs to me to wonder how many people on this list prefer real quiet,
> >how many prefer noisy surroundings, with several conversations going on
> all
> >the time, AND how many need a sound-track (i.e., wear a music machine all
> >day) versus those who find music (especially music with lyrics)
> >annoying/distracting, too.
> >
> >Has there been a Techwhirl poll/survey on whether we prefer to work with
> >music blasting in our ears or with blessed hushedness?
> >
> >I don't know about the rest of you but, aside from some tasks involving
> >graphics, I don't have very many mindless tasks in my techwriting day. If
> >I'm trying to do a task that requires concentration or originality, noise
> >is a hindrance. Music is no more welcome than a yappy neighbor dog (Kill
> >the doglet, kill the doglet, kill the DOGlet!...[sung to the tune of "Kill
> >the wabbit"]) or some chatterbox going on about wedding plans or gossip or
> >weekend activities or what they had for lunch, etc.
> >
> >And... let's get this out in the open... anybody playing rap near me when
> >I'm sweating a deadline is asking... nay, demanding... to play a brief
> >starring role in a homicide. Well, maybe that should rightfully be a
> >"pesticide"? Vermicide ? Disinfection?
> >
> >No court in the land would.... etc., etc. :-)
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >On Mon, Feb 25, 2013 at 2:49 PM, Cardimon, Craig <ccardimon -at- m-s-g -dot- com>
> > wrote:
> >
> >> Agreed. Yahoo could have done a more surgically precise removal of
> >> telecommuting. One done with a scalpel rather than with a butcher knife.
> >>
> >> Quiet is good, but it's a rare commodity. One of the many reasons I'm
> glad
> >> I got used to working in chaotic and noisy newsrooms in my younger
> years.
> >>
> >> --
> > __o
> > _`\<,_
> >(*)/ (*)
> >Don't go away. We'll be right back.
> >^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
> >EPUB Webinar: Join STC Vice President Nicky Bleiel as she discusses tips
> for creating EPUB, the file format used for e-readers, tablets,
> smartphones, and more.
> >
> >Learn more: http://bit.ly/12LyN2z
> >
> >^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
> >
> >You are currently subscribed to TECHWR-L as kayp -at- ix -dot- netcom -dot- com -dot-
> >
> >To unsubscribe send a blank email to
> >techwr-l-leave -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
> >
> >
> >Send administrative questions to admin -at- techwr-l -dot- com -dot- Visit
> >http://www.techwhirl.com/email-discussion-groups/ for more resources and
> info.
> >
> >Looking for articles on Technical Communications? Head over to our
> online magazine at http://techwhirl.com
> >
> >Looking for the archived Techwr-l email discussions? Search our public
> email archives @ http://techwr-l.com/archives
>
>


--
__o
_`\<,_
(*)/ (*)
Don't go away. We'll be right back.
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
EPUB Webinar: Join STC Vice President Nicky Bleiel as she discusses tips for creating EPUB, the file format used for e-readers, tablets, smartphones, and more.

Learn more: http://bit.ly/12LyN2z

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

You are currently subscribed to TECHWR-L as archive -at- web -dot- techwr-l -dot- com -dot-

To unsubscribe send a blank email to
techwr-l-leave -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com


Send administrative questions to admin -at- techwr-l -dot- com -dot- Visit
http://www.techwhirl.com/email-discussion-groups/ for more resources and info.

Looking for articles on Technical Communications? Head over to our online magazine at http://techwhirl.com

Looking for the archived Techwr-l email discussions? Search our public email archives @ http://techwr-l.com/archives


References:
Re: Workplace aural accompaniment (was RE: Telecommuting ...): From: Kay A. Pentecost

Previous by Author: Workplace aural accompaniment (was RE: Telecommuting ...)
Next by Author: Re: Telecommuting ( was: Do as I say, not as I do )
Previous by Thread: Re: Workplace aural accompaniment (was RE: Telecommuting ...)
Next by Thread: product documentation liability


What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads


Sponsored Ads