An in-store radio, if you’re lucky, has more than 10 songs played on a constant loop. The grocery store I worked at had a decent selection of music that they played. I could almost go an entire day without hearing the same song played twice. I’ve also been quite amazed with the good music I’ve heard being played at a grocery store. From David Bowie and The Beatles to The Killers and Jimmy Eat World – some grocery stores really try to make the sounds around you pleasant enough.
The same can’t be said for electronic stores I’ve worked at, which is kind of surprising. At one store, the music would repeat after the sixth or seventh song. You’d think a place that sells CDs would be able to play more to show the diverse tastes they offer customers. What fills me with dread about hearing those same handful of songs being played on repeat is the fact that some of the songs I know to be bad tend to grow on me.
Hey, that song by the Jonas Brothers isn’t half-bad. I wonder if the CD is out yet, I’d think to myself before realizing, Wait, what? No! You’re not a 12-year-old girl!
But, by that point, the damage is already done and my taste in music is ruined. Oh, who am I kidding? My taste in music was never that good. I digress!
The music only gets worse by the holidays. That music selection dwindles even at the grocery stores. Just because you play “Jingle Bells” five different ways does not mean your selection is any better, either. That minor irritation is probably why employees feel like tearing into customers during the holiday seasons. It’s like when a parent has a headache and they want to yell at their child for doing nothing out of the ordinary – the headache just makes everything seem more annoying than usual. Same concept.
The holiday music drives me nuts because my job feeds a local radio station into their system each year to get people in the holiday mood. Sadly, with the ever-expanding Christmas season, the holiday music begins November first. One can’t even come out of their candy overdose from Halloween before being bombarded with Burl Ives or Bing Crosby. No offense, if there are still days where the weather can reach fifty degrees, that is not Christmas music weather, and stores should zip it with the tunes. This encroachment by Christmas needs to stop and holiday music on in-store radios is the first line of defense.
Please, stores, if there’s one thing you could do to improve your workers’ experience while on the job, it’s the music. We spend 4-10 hours there a day and if the music selection repeats after an hour, well, you can do the math. That’s a whole lot of repeated songs in a month, let alone a year. Or just increase our pay, you know, which ever. Is that a no on the pay? Okay, I had to try.
I know it’s a matter of copyrighted materials and being allowed to air them at the store level but please, if I have to hear “Suspicious Minds” by Elvis one more time, I’m going to check into Heartbreak Hotel. Yeah, that joke’s bad but maybe if my jobs played more than the same 10 songs, I could think of some other song to end that joke on. Now, to go download that new Jonas Brothers song…
More soon from the frontlines...