(FREDERICK) “I used to dread coming to work on sunny days,” regales Jenny Derricks, one of the many office workers at Leidos Biomedical Research in Frederick, Maryland. “[Logan] was always more enthusiastic when it was sunny.”
For months, Jenny has endured the sound disruption of her cubicle neighbor, Logan Sleaves, a 24 year old coworker filled with a vigor for life.
“It was never-ending! A constant stream of humming, desk-tapping, whistling, and even full out karaoke! It was terrible! He was off-pitch, off-key, off-beat; he was taking everything about music and twisting it to the point that I hated any sound at all.”
Jenny was forced to listen to all of Logan’s audio garbage, and would be denied any attempt to move desks as she and Logan should “work it out themselves.”
“I told him it was distracting and a little annoying,” says Jenny, picking at a hangnail. “He got the hint for maybe 20 minutes and then I started to hear the Beverly Hills Cop theme mumbling from his mouth! I reminded him again and he was all like ‘I didn’t even realize I was doing it!’ and ‘I can’t help it! I guess I’m just in a singing mood!’”
Mike Shrouder, a Doctor of Music at Boston University, informed us that there is no such thing as “a singing mood,” and when a person sings it is a conscious decision. The person knows exactly what they are doing.
Logan’s insistent chirping went on unabated, until Thursday, June 16th, when Jenny was surprised to find her ear drums no longer hurt like they used to.
“All of sudden, it was like there was no noise – of course, that would be impossible, because Logan never shuts the fuck up – but then I realized it wasn’t an absence of noise, it was an absence of me hating the noise. I wasn’t exactly sure what was happening; was I just becoming accustomed to the audial onslaught from Logan’s lips? Was I developing feelings for this guy, making me hear his awful singing in a new way? It was so beyond belief that he might actually be getting BETTER that I came up with a thousand other reasons for what it might be.”
Of course, Logan HAD gotten better but not by chance. Logan’s friends and family had also been on his case about leaving some room for silence. When that didn’t take hold, they encouraged him to at least try to improve. He did – taking classes, listening to varying musicians, and keeping one of those tuning thingies in his shower.
Logan still can’t stop himself from letting out the song in his heart, but Jenny has found a silver lining.
“I’ve given him CDs of my favorite artists and recommended new songs that I like. Then he comes to work, and he becomes my own personal radio! Although, just like the radio, he will continue to repeat songs until I hate them, but at least my ears have stopped bleeding!”
At press time, Jenny is enjoying her job, but Logan has moved on, and is now the guy that puts all the ear-shattering auto-play music on websites.