For some, the most recent disappointment in this time of strife has come in the form of a delayed return to company offices. We know you’re out there, and we feel your pain. Though we can’t do much about the ongoing vicissitudes of the pandemic, we do have a fantastic new offering to bring the feel of the office right to your home.
Introducing the brand-new album “Now, That’s What We Call . . . an Office!” Surround yourself with the comforting sounds of colleagues hard at work (or hardly working, am I right?) as you await your company’s latest e-mail suggesting a new date for when they “might” be able to give you a “somewhat firm” timeline for your actual return to the office.
So that it may serve as the score for your entire workday, each of our artfully composed tracks lasts one full hour. Let’s press play!
Track 1: Water-Cooler Chatter
Interspersed with the soothing burble of water bottles and mugs being filled, catch snatches of conversation about the incredible television show you have not seen. “That wedding scene, so crazy!” “I just can’t believe they finally kissed!” “Is she really dead, though?” “Come on, guys! Didn’t we agree that when you finish the pot, you have to make a new one?” “He’s the one who knocks! I mean, so good.”
Track 2: Not Your Meeting
For those who used to sit near a conference room, this track will transport you right back to your desk. Check items off your to-do list while listening to muffled conversation. For maximum realism, prepare to be shocked by suddenly raised voices expressing indiscernible concerns, or by joyous bursts of laughter guaranteed to make you think, Why aren’t my meetings that exciting?
Track 3: Fresh Gossip
Do you miss titillating overheard conversation? Look no further than Track 3, which features whispered but still decipherable exchanges between co-workers who should really know better than to discuss this stuff at the office. Naughty, yes, we know. But we also know that you’re curious about whether Joan got passed up for that promotion (yup, they’re bringing in someone from the outside); who got too drunk at the office party (Roger, but you could have guessed that); and if your boss has kind of maybe sort of been embezzling funds (you did not hear that from us).
Track 4: The Salad Shaker
Bop along in your seat to the beat of the rattling salads that seemingly everyone bought for lunch. The dressing just doesn’t get distributed evenly if you don’t pop that lid back on and shake, shake, shake your plastic container of roughage. Grab a Tupperware and join in the fun of forcing yourself to make a healthy choice because your co-workers can all see (and occasionally smell) your lunch.
Track 5: Printer Percussion
Keep it up-tempo with the drum-kit thwacks of someone trying to fix the printer. Out slides paper tray two! The back panel clatters to the floor! Ink cartridges spring up from hidden depths! This ferocious beat is mixed with the steady sound of beeping and people sighing, before the grand-finale hum of pages printing draws cheers from a grateful crowd.
Track 6: Covert Personal Call
This one is subtle—the voices will start low and urgent, broken up by long pauses. But then a burst of detail suddenly reveals all. Peggy now has to pick up the kids from soccer practice this afternoon. Roy is seeing his podiatrist this Friday at 11 A.M. They’re embarrassed, but, you know, we’re all human, with lives outside of this place, right?
Track 7: Loud Work Call
Directly beside you, someone is doing some very important work. Focus on your tasks while listening to Don close a big deal. His shoes catch the carpet as he paces. His marker squeaks against the whiteboard. His voice rises in debate, and then, suddenly, he tosses down his headset and claps his hands together in triumph. So satisfying to hear someone else accomplish things. Well done, Don!
Track 8: Custodian Heart-to-Heart
Relax to the sound of garbage and recycling bins being emptied one by one. Slowly, the snapping open of new plastic bags will get nearer until it’s your turn to receive Pete’s mumbled hello and to let him know that you appreciate him keeping things tidy around here. All in a day’s work.
For your listening convenience, this album will not be available on streaming services. Enjoy it exclusively on CD, cassette tape, eight-track, or vinyl. Welcome back to the office!