In many offices, employees file in, make eye contact over the coffee maker for the briefest quantity of time possible, and then trudge, coat still on, to their desks, where they can put on their headphones and disappear into their computers for the balance of the workday.
Ah, but what wonderful adventures they might go on between those two headphones! Podcasts, long-form ambient, deep dives into unwieldy back catalogs: the rise of streaming audio has allowed desk-bound music fans to eke out a whole second life as they perform whatever tawdry duty their employers require. In a new video on Mashable, one sadistic employee subjects two co-workers to very different eight-hour playlists: one of classical music, and the other of death metal. The results are predictable, but entertaining.
The classical-music listener initially fears that the music will make her sleepy, but as the day wears on, she serenely blasts through her work, LaCroix in hand. The death-metal listener—who, adding insult to injury, seems to prefer listening via shitty Apple earbuds, which: Christ, man—is sent spiraling through an increasingly punishing gauntlet of barbed-wire riffage and (presumably Norwegian) Satanism. The video wrings a lot of humor out of images of typical office-place ennui soundtracked by the most brutal music ever committed to record. “It’s like the same song, endlessly,” he says. “I don’t like it much.” Death metal, as we know, is not for everyone.
The video is not entirely convincing as a science experiment, but it doesn’t aim to be. It encourages you to give thanks that you can choose what you listen to at work—unless you’re one of those “eight hours of death metal is my choice” people, in which case, maybe use this as an opportunity to try some classical and a LaCroix instead.