This Irish office music etiquette will leave you scratching your head


November 17, 2023 at 5:04pm


There's a lot to be said for the mute button

We've all been there, sifting through mountains of work waiting for the end of the day to finally come, with a light headache creeping across the skull. The origin of the headache is unclear, it could be stress-induced, dehydration-induced or being forced to listen to a co-worker's music for hours on end-induced. After a good glug of water, the answer is generally Amy in HR's penchant for Abba's greatest hits.

One Irish Reddit user had no difficulty isolating their issue, starting off strong they titled the thread as "office radio is driving me insane". The user went on to explain that on starting a new job in a new office four months ago, they have been put through the "same 80s music channel everyday, all day", now, if we were guessers we would throw Classic Hits 80s name into the ring, although this is purely speculation please don't come for us.

The user adds a concerning detail that they are "slowly but surely starting to lose my nut" hearing "the same playlist of power ballads every day". This user is not a passive listener they have made an effort to change things, even going so far as to change the channel to BBC Radio 6 to let some alternative beats in. This act has backfired however with the user reporting that upon the station change the "middle aged folk" didn't react well to "music that they aren't familiar with".

To add further injury to the situation, the user has reported that two co-workers add further layers to the 80s power ballads by whistling and singing along. This accompaniment reduces the user's ability to concentrate and from all accounts sets their teeth on edge. "I'm just miserable constantly listening to music I don't like, I did it for 3 years in retail and I've worked too hard since that period to be in a similar position now," the user added.

Now our solution would be to use headphones and encourage the user to listen to their own music in peace, but they've poo poo-ed that on the grounds that they need to take phone calls during office hours. The user has already caught advice elsewhere with their brother advising them to turn the radio off, however, the user doesn't feel comfortable enough to do that and given that they are only new you can see why.


In line with Irish Reddit now being a sound place to be these days, users have given plenty of advice, the main one being the investment into noise-cancelling headphones that allow you to take phone calls through. Another sound piece of advice would be to play Scandinavian Death Metal to make them understand that the dulcet tones of BBC Radio 6 aren't so scary.

It's a real headscratcher that one, what would you do if you were in their position?


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