Advice on complaining about music played in workplace?

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regularslinky

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I haven't read all of this thread. I'm not OP's lawyer, and this is not legal advice, but I don't want to see anything bad happen that can be avoided, so:

1. Don't record anything yet. It is a crime in many states to record audio without the permission of everyone being recorded. Talk to a lawyer in your state to clarify. This is not my work or that of my law firm, but it might help: https://www.mwl-law.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/RECORDING-CONVERSATIONS-CHART.pdf

2. First, talk professionally and calmly to the people playing the music and ask them to turn it down. Do not let the conversation turn into a confrontation. If they are hostile, walk away.

3. If the offending coworkers refuse to do anything, go to management. Management hates dealing with this kind of stuff, but will be more receptive if you have tried to solve the problem yourself in a professional manner. If you have to report to management, focus on what I think is bothering you: the offensive language and volume, not the style of music or the people playing it. Follow up your report to management with an email to summarize your concerns. If you have a union, include your union rep in the conversation.

4. Be open to compromise, which may mean just a reduction in volume. Management is not going to get into the business of approving playlists. If management bans music entirely, everyone will be mad at you.

5. If there is no resolution, contact an employment lawyer in your state.
 

Telekarster

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Wow.... I can't believe this thread has 11 pages already! Guess this hit a nerve with folks out here. I sure hope people are not having to deal with this that much! Anyway, not gonna read all those pages but will say that, where I work, there's a policy in place that basically says "NO" to any sort of disruptive behaviors such as playing music without headphones, and even then it depends on whether or not listening to headphones will distract you from your job. Therefore all such things must be approved by your Super, and those sorts of approvals are rarely given. No approval? A warning. Ignore the warning? Reprimand in yon HR file. Once you get enough of those, you get the boot ;)
 

Red Ryder

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Just give em the milk money Sloppy
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nojazzhere

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Wow.... I can't believe this thread has 11 pages already! Guess this hit a nerve with folks out here. I sure hope people are not having to deal with this that much! Anyway, not gonna read all those pages but will say that, where I work, there's a policy in place that basically says "NO" to any sort of disruptive behaviors such as playing music without headphones, and even then it depends on whether or not listening to headphones will distract you from your job. Therefore all such things must be approved by your Super, and those sorts of approvals are rarely given. No approval? A warning. Ignore the warning? Reprimand in yon HR file. Once you get enough of those, you get the boot ;)
You're taking a rational approach to what may or may not be a rational situation....
First off, the OP stated (several times) that headphones (or ear buds) are not allowed in his workplace.....so that eliminates the obvious solution. And second....we don't know if management in this case has the "spine" to even take a position. Many times in these situations, a manager will say, "You need to work this out between yourselves".....so they pass the buck or shirk their responsibility. That means whichever party is best at intimidation or threats wins. I don't get the impression the OP is aggressive enough to win, which means the guy with the boombox prevails. And if management can simply file it away as a "dispute between two co-workers", they will, and they'll never make a decision. When bystanders do nothing, a bully always comes out on top. :(
 

Telekarster

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You're taking a rational approach to what may or may not be a rational situation....
First off, the OP stated (several times) that headphones (or ear buds) are not allowed in his workplace.....so that eliminates the obvious solution. And second....we don't know if management in this case has the "spine" to even take a position. Many times in these situations, a manager will say, "You need to work this out between yourselves".....so they pass the buck or shirk their responsibility. That means whichever party is best at intimidation or threats wins. I don't get the impression the OP is aggressive enough to win, which means the guy with the boombox prevails. And if management can simply file it away as a "dispute between two co-workers", they will, and they'll never make a decision. When bystanders do nothing, a bully always comes out on top. :(

Ahh.... I see. Ok yeah, Hmmmm.... I guess I missed all that somehow. Agree completely. Man... sounds like a pretty crappy place to work. Maybe leaving the company would be a better option :( If I had no support, that's probably what I would do.
 

SRHmusic

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I'm just curious how this works out. Seems talking with the other coworkers first, then your direct manager and last HR (which can be worse than useless) would be best course, but many unknowns to consider. If it's distracting then that's a pretty basic workplace and obvious safety issue, especially if you aren't allowed to wear ear plugs for safety reasons.

Oh, and for some reason this scene popped in my head.

 

Red Ryder

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You're taking a rational approach to what may or may not be a rational situation....
First off, the OP stated (several times) that headphones (or ear buds) are not allowed in his workplace.....so that eliminates the obvious solution. And second....we don't know if management in this case has the "spine" to even take a position. Many times in these situations, a manager will say, "You need to work this out between yourselves".....so they pass the buck or shirk their responsibility. That means whichever party is best at intimidation or threats wins. I don't get the impression the OP is aggressive enough to win, which means the guy with the boombox prevails. And if management can simply file it away as a "dispute between two co-workers", they will, and they'll never make a decision. When bystanders do nothing, a bully always comes out on top. :(
If you know that particular episode you know that Opie did the right thing because the pain of that black eye was nothing compared to the shame he felt for not defending what was his.
Shows like this taught the value of good moral character and knowing right from wrong.
Unfortunately nowadays children aren't taught these values. Through our educational system, job systems and entertainment industry they are being taught to tolerate everything and try to reason things out. That feeling of shame takes years to shake and sometimes can take a nasty turn of events. Look at some of the examples in our prison system.
Teach your children right from wrong and how to stand up the values this great country was founded on.
 

Lou Tencodpees

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Going on the OP's description, I personally don't think the "offender" deserves a courtesy request. They've already demonstrated a lack of it and a realist knows how that would play out. Not unlike trying to talk to a neighbor about their non stop barking dog chained up to a tree 24/7. YMMV, etc.
 

Red Ryder

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It’s funny in a way, if we first consider the drudgery of a warehouse workplace eight hours a day being made more pleasant and tolerable by our personal favorite music playing to break up the monotony.

Honestly speaking, the furniture shop I worked in and was driven crazy by loud music I found offensive?

It was ‘80s commercial Country Music!

Good lord turn that offensive $#it off!

Horrible offensive just plain BAD MUSIC!
Every damned song whining in canned fake accents about pickup trucks and beauty parlor cheatin‘ gals!
Made me literally want to puke!

I felt much better when I simply brought my own tunes in a boom box.
Nowadays 75 percent of my work time I'm on the job by myself. Beautiful settings, woods, grassy fields, ponds and lakes wildlife the whole shooting match. I don't play music, however I find myself silently going over old rock and roll from the 50's and 60's and some early 70's, all to the tune of Ring of Fire or I Walk the Line.
It's amazing, songs like Freebird, Stairway to Heaven, Purple Haze, Smoke on the Water are almost tolerable.
 

Killing Floor

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Also, since it hasn’t been locked yet and I haven’t gotten any warnings in a long time…

You should be aware that Rap today is what Rock was when you grew up. If it’s too loud and/or you don’t care for the lyrics….

Also since I know only about 3 people on this forum believe and understand that rap is art (much more so than rock) why not invest in noise canceling headphones?
 

Red Ryder

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Also, since it hasn’t been locked yet and I haven’t gotten any warnings in a long time…

You should be aware that Rap today is what Rock was when you grew up. If it’s too loud and/or you don’t care for the lyrics….

Also since I know only about 3 people on this forum believe and understand that rap is art (much more so than rock) why not invest in noise canceling headphones?
Do you think it's possible to do rap to I Walk the Line?
 

Chester P Squier

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Formerly an HR director, now a couple of steps higher.

1. Go to HR.
2. Play the recording.
3. Tell them the lyrics are sexual, misogynistic, and offensive.
4. Mention the words "hostile environment".
5. Ask them, "What's the best way for the company to handle this?"
6. Make it clear it's their issue not yours.
7. As you leave express your sincere appreciation for their professionalism in taking care of the company's interests.
For those who haven't read all the posts, above is what ravindave_3600 posted. He's apparently a very wise person and his post was on page 9 I think. He has over a dozen “likes” on his post.
 

Toto'sDad

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You are right when you go straight to the problem even if they don't like it at least they know you are a stand-up kind of guy and will show you some respect. If you're not willing to do that then go stand in your corner and after work buy yourself a new bra.
The kind of situation you are talking about, and the what the OP is talking about are two different things. I worked construction dirt work and drove a low boy for many years. I've seen some pretty serious "discussions" among those kinds of workers. One resulted in the foreman knocking one of his men in the head with a stake hammer! He must have been pretty surprised when the worker came up with a knife in his hand! The foreman ran to a concrete building across the way, and locked himself inside it. I chased the guy with the knife down and told him he might be dying to settle down and let me look at his wound.

After getting the guy settled down and sending him on his way to the hospital since blood was pouring out of his head, I went on about my business. At the end of the day, they had locked the worker up in jail after he had been treated and released at the hospital. When I arrived at the yard my boss related what had happened, I told him you have the wrong guy locked up, the foreman started it. So, they released the worker, and locked up the foreman. At the end of it, they fired both of them, the only thing they could do.

I'm not saying that I haven't settled some issues with coworkers in my time, but I picked the time and the place where there were no witnesses to back either of us up. That's about all I have to say about that.
 

Red Ryder

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The kind of situation you are talking about, and the what the OP is talking about are two different things. I worked construction dirt work and drove a low boy for many years. I've seen some pretty serious "discussions" among those kinds of workers. One resulted in the foreman knocking one of his men in the head with a stake hammer! He must have been pretty surprised when the worker came up with a knife in his hand! The foreman ran to a concrete building across the way, and locked himself inside it. I chased the guy with the knife down and told him he might be dying to settle down and let me look at his wound.

After getting the guy settled down and sending him on his way to the hospital since blood was pouring out of his head, I went on about my business. At the end of the day, they had locked the worker up in jail after he had been treated and released at the hospital. When I arrived at the yard my boss related what had happened, I told him you have the wrong guy locked up, the foreman started it. So, they released the worker, and locked up the foreman. At the end of it, they fired both of them, the only thing they could do.

I'm not saying that I haven't settled some issues with coworkers in my time, but I picked the time and the place where there were no witnesses to back either of us up. That's about all I have to say about that.
Before I really got into construction I worked in a slaughter house after I was discharged. 340 men on the kill floor and everyone had a knife, meat hook or some other type of dangerous tool. Things could get pretty ugly quick. There were a lot of young men who had only been back from the jungle a couple years and violence was a big part of there young life.
 

highwaycat

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He needs to solve this himself.
We’ve already discussed how long threads make us not want to read all the replies.
He’s getting horrible advice.
We don’t know the while story.
It seems like someone’s first job.
I mean, you really can’t solve this?
Don’t make the situation worse, you’re ganna have to see these people all the time. Going to hr for many reasons is horrible advice.
Go to work and play some Chic, maybe they’ll let you play your music too.
It sounds like they have more say than you do. You probably shouldn’t be telling then what to do.
And your rant seems tacky.
This is the tdpri, 11page threads about rap isn’t the best place. Rock music will get better results here, just the way it is.
Do you go to the rap forums and talk about pop country?
 
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