Ask Someone Else's Mom by Susan Writer

New Boss's On-the-Job Music Rubs Middle-Age Staffer Wrong Way

DEAR SOMEONE ELSE’S MOM: I just got a new boss. He is very young, mid-30s. He is making lots of changes, but one big one is he plays music in our office all day. I am talking hard rock and rap, foul language, LOUD, LOUD bass. Just loud.

I am 55 and have to admit I am having trouble concentrating with constant, loud music, and I don't feel like it is appropriate music for when customers come in. But I hesitate to say anything because I already feel so old and I don't want to cause problems when he has only been here not even a month!

So, I clench my teeth and try to push through each day, but my nerves are really getting frayed. Am I just too old, or is this not the way to run a business? --- TOO OLD FOR TOO LOUD

DEAR TOO OLD FOR TOO LOUD: Maybe it’s because I’m “old” too, but I avoid businesses with overloud music. And, unfortunately, profanity is becoming so mainstream in our culture that many people are desensitized to its presence in lyrics.

That said, I think you wouldn’t be wrong to suggest to your new boss that some of your older customers, or customers with young children, may not feel comfortable conducting business under the conditions you describe. If he can be convinced that his choice of background music could hurt the business’ bottom line, he might tone it down at least a bit.

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