When you are the general contractor, or a site supervisor, you have a choice about the music that is playing on the work site. You can buy a big radio, start early, set your station and guard the dial for the rest of the day. I tried setting a serious tone on one site a while back with wall to wall CBC talk. I had a drywaller on that project come up to me one night and say, 'look, I appreciate the work, but if I have to listen to any more of that CBC stuff I am going to slit my wrists with my board blade.' Duly noted.
At the distillery I am site suping right now, I am leaving it to the trades to play their own stuff (as long as its not country. Yes, I can listen to some Dwight Yoakum circa Hillbilly Delux, or Mr. Fred Eaglesmith's take on bluegrass. Hank Williams on a rough day, but that's my limit). The concrete guys (above) didn't have music. Their work is loud, short-term and transient, and they don't like to use earplugs (which would limit the impact of the non-stop insults to each other). The electricians have been going for a bit of a dance / JACK FM vibe lately. It's okay (when Depeche Mode is on) but the Adele / Michael Jackson quotient can have a visible impact on productivity across the site. The plumber is 53. His moustache isn't ironic. I am closer to his era than the electricians. He keeps it glued to the local rock station. His radio came in with a table, lock box for the expensive tools, and a microwave. A salvaged office chair was rolled up within minutes. These guys are used to inhabiting a site. I think he starts earlier each day just to get his radio on first.
Yesterday, the playlist was solidly made up of everything I used to listen to as a teen on the FOX, Vancouver's iconic rock station. Songs from every band I went to see at East Van's Pacific Coliseum rolled out one after another. I will bypass the Judas Priest (not one of my favourite bands but hell, it was at the Coliseum!). Rush's Subdivisions came on, bringing back the night of the concert way back in 1982. That's about 15 years before the apprentice electrician was born, I think . . .). Damn. That was a long time ago. Except for a few punk-influenced summers in Wales, I was a bit of a rocker growing up too close to Surrey. When the Deep Purple, Led Zep and Rush cassettes weren't blasting from the Sound Barrier speakers connected to the Pioneer deck in my Firebird, the Fox was dialled in. All I needed to complete that picture was my hockey mullet and my old jean jacket. I think tight jeans from the Starboard Pant Factory were part of the picture, too. Time to pick up a half sack of Extra Old Stock and go cruise Walley. Yikes. It's nice to know how much I have evolved.
The Tragically Hip's Music at Work came on later in the day and got me thinking about how you could actually have someone DJ a worksite to maximize productivity. I know I can't get away with Henry Ford's amphetamine laced water coolers. I have been accused of similar tactics with 'Fritter Friday' deliveries from the nearby Sidney Bakery. Maybe I need to create a 'mix tape' of my music for work. Think I will start with the vinyl and then start working through the old box of cassettes.