The changing sounds of offices

It took a few days for all the technological pieces to fall into place at my new job. For the first while, I had no laptop or computer. I spent the time reading about files I would need to know in future and listening to the sounds of the office.

Office sounds have evolved.

Today, the ticky-ticky sound of laptop keys softly touched dominates the space. No more thunk of Selectric typewriter keys, the clickety-clack of its spinning ball of letters, and the ding of its bell at the margin.

A gentle ping signals new e-mails in Inboxes. No more rustling pink memo slips piled on desks.

The click of a mouse—computer mouse, not the real kind that might have cleaned up crumbs in drafty older offices— is far more common than the scratch of a pen.

There is the scrape of plastic security badges, not the jangle of loaded sets of keys.

My office phone, which rarely rings, plays a tune that sounds like melodic mariachi music. That is a big improvement over the spine-rattling trill of old black phones.

From time to time, the gentle murmur of a meeting conversation carries through the open-office environment. So different from the closed-door work meetings of decades ago.

When footsteps echo from managers’ offices, these days those footsteps could be made by either a male or female. Hallelujah.

Office sounds have evolved because our society has evolved.

We’re more efficient, we’re more secure, and we’re more equitable. That’s all good. But I sure do miss the sound of a good old Selectric typewriter. 

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About Arlene Somerton Smith

Writer, laughing thinker, miner of inspirational insights, sports fan, and community volunteer

Posted on March 6, 2015, in Arlene Smith, Arlene Somerton Smith, Just for Fun, life, writing and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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