The TV show Dirty Jobs features host Mike Rowe checking out jobs that involve difficult, hazardous, and frequently disgusting conditions — like working in a sewage processing facility. The jobs featured on that show would be a tough way to earn a living, but I’m wondering whether having a job that exposes you to noises all day wouldn’t be worse — for me, at least.
We’re having some work done to the exterior of our house, and the crew that’s doing the job is using an assortment of tools that make a wide variety of different loud noises. There’s the humming drone of the air compressor. There’s the sharp, staccato bark of the nail gun. And then there are devices that make grinding noises, devices that make sawing noises, and devices that make incredibly high-pitched whines. It’s like being in a This Is Spinal Tap dentist’s office from hell, with the volume on the amplifier turned up to 11.
For a while every day, when the crew begins their work, I think I can screen out the noise. And for a while it works. But ultimately the different sounds, occurring in different combinations, break through the mental barrier. And once that happens, all I can think about is when the nail gun is going to be sounding off again, and I’ve got to get out and go somewhere where I can find peace and quiet.
The guys who are on the crew are a good group. They work hard, know what they’re doing, and seem to enjoy having jobs where they get to work outside on sunny days and sing along to the songs on the radio while they saw and grind and nail. The noises don’t seem to bother them.
My hat’s off to them, but I couldn’t do what they’re doing. I’ve realized I really need a quiet place to work.