by Felicia Donovan
Having worked for many years in the microcosm of law enforcement, I always found it fascinating how different one co-worker's office space could be from another's. Beyond the individualized "decor" that reflected individual personalities and tastes - photos of the kids stuck to a bulletin board vs. mahogany-framed photos carefully displayed - the one thing that always stood out is the amount of noise each person seemed comfortable to work with.
For some, this meant the constant crackle of a police radio that was piped through the phone system and could be toggled on and off. For many others, it was music. For others still, it was talk radio.
My office remained mostly silent. I've always admired those who can work with a fair amount of background noise, but I'm not one of them. I've been assured by many that having music constantly play in the background is the only thing that allows them to concentrate, but my brain apparently isn't wired to think and listen at the same time. Trouble is, my brain automatically switches into "listening" mode as soon as there's other noise, especially music, so I can't seem to multitask without tripping up. This seems a particularly cruel way for my brain to process considering how much I love music.
What about you? Noise or no noise and what kind?