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Shop workers demand Xmas muzak compensation
ananova ^ | 11:23 Wednesday 3rd December 2003 | no byline

Posted on 12/03/2003 10:39:53 AM PST by weegee

Shop workers in Austria are demanding compensation for the "psychological terror" of being subjected to hours of piped Christmas music. A study by trade union leaders found that listening to endless hours of Silent Night and Jingle Bells made shop staff "aggressive and confrontational".

Austrian Trade Union Federation spokesman Gottfried Rieser said: "By the time Christmas comes around there are large scores of abused shop workers who hate the very idea of it. "They cannot bear to listen to Christmas songs and completely lose their temper at the slightest mention of anything to do with Christmas."

Union lawyers had been instructed to see whether legal action can be taken to stop stores constantly playing Christmas jingles, but it appeared there was little they could do. But he added the unions were now calling on employers to voluntarily introduce a code of practice where Christmas music was limited to a few hours a day in peak shopping hours.

Mr Rieser said: "This is psychological terror for shop workers. I know personally of cases where people have suffered psychological problems in the period leading up to Christmas and become aggressive and confrontational." Rieser said Christmas music should only being played between 3pm and 4pm and only in certain departments. He said: "There's no point playing Christmas jingles in a section selling sausages. It should only be played where Christmas presents are for sale."

But Franz Penz, from the Austrian Chamber of Commerce, said the union ideas were not practical as stores could not vary the music in different departments.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Extended News; Miscellaneous; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: antichristmas; austria; cheeseandwhine; christmas; christmasmusic; dairyproducts; grinch; mafia; muzak; unions; waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa
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1 posted on 12/03/2003 10:39:53 AM PST by weegee
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To: weegee
Austrian Trade Union Federation spokesman (and Chief Grinch), Gottfried Rieser
2 posted on 12/03/2003 10:42:20 AM PST by stainlessbanner
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To: weegee
You really do have to make assumptions to rachet this up to the level of an anti-Islamic message.

He should open HIS OWN store and do just that!!!

And let other store owners decide for themselves...

3 posted on 12/03/2003 10:42:45 AM PST by Onelifetogive
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To: weegee
psychological terror? aggressive and confrontational? Have they tried living in an islamic country? The world is mad.
4 posted on 12/03/2003 10:42:47 AM PST by Jim Cane
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To: weegee
Words (almost) fail me. ACLU Europe is on its way. Remember, it's not even Christmas, it's the 'holiday'.
5 posted on 12/03/2003 10:43:31 AM PST by ysoitanly
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To: weegee
Anyone interested in a class action suit against Muzak here in the Us?

So9

6 posted on 12/03/2003 10:43:47 AM PST by Servant of the 9 (The voices tell me to stay home and clean the guns.)
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To: weegee
Rieser said Christmas music should only being played between 3pm and 4pm and only in certain departments.

He should open HIS OWN store and do just that...

And leave other store owners alone...

7 posted on 12/03/2003 10:44:04 AM PST by Onelifetogive
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To: weegee
LOl !
8 posted on 12/03/2003 10:44:15 AM PST by nuconvert
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To: weegee
Terms like "psychological terror" mock the millions of people who have experienced true terror in the past century.
9 posted on 12/03/2003 10:44:48 AM PST by Agnes Heep
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To: weegee
Plus, muzak is anything but aggressive. Those cheesy
arraingments for the 1001 Queasy Strings Orchestra are
pure Sominex.
10 posted on 12/03/2003 10:45:19 AM PST by Jim Cane
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To: weegee
"There's no point playing Christmas jingles in a section selling sausages."

LOL! ( note to self - possible tag line)
11 posted on 12/03/2003 10:46:37 AM PST by nuconvert
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To: Jim Cane
I know that usually by December 20th I've heard "White Christmas" so many times that I'm tempted to find a can of gasoline and a match in the middle of Target.
12 posted on 12/03/2003 10:46:59 AM PST by Orangedog
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To: nuconvert
Oh, what the heck
13 posted on 12/03/2003 10:48:06 AM PST by nuconvert ("There's no point playing Christmas jingles in a section selling sausages.")
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To: Agnes Heep
Terms like "psychological terror" mock the millions of people who have experienced true terror in the past century.

Especially since a few hundred Euros in there memebrs paychecks would completely eliminate the psychological problems experienced.

14 posted on 12/03/2003 10:50:56 AM PST by CharacterCounts
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To: weegee
They've been Manheim Steamrollered!
15 posted on 12/03/2003 10:54:01 AM PST by .cnI redruM (At the core, beneath a thin veneer of socialization, we are still salacious monkeys.)
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To: nuconvert
"There's no point playing Christmas jingles in a section selling sausages."

A lot of sausage makers play in the brass section.

16 posted on 12/03/2003 10:54:09 AM PST by Jim Cane
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To: Orangedog
Heh, I merchandise for a living.

Christmas Muzak is a tool of the anti-christ.

17 posted on 12/03/2003 10:56:09 AM PST by Stopislamnow (Islam-Founded by Evil, and thriving on death. Just like the democratic party.)
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To: weegee
There's nothing wrong in Europe that another war wouldn't remedy-it's long overdue. Yes, it's time for the Huns and Gauls to have at it again, and this time I think we should just stand back and watch.
18 posted on 12/03/2003 10:56:58 AM PST by Spok
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To: Servant of the 9
"Anyone interested in a class action suit against Muzak here in the Us?"

Make that against Wal-Mart, and I'm in. The horrible, ear-splitting, nerve-grating renditions of traditional Christmas songs they inflict on their patrons is enough to drive me out of the store on a good day.

19 posted on 12/03/2003 11:01:52 AM PST by sweetliberty (Better to keep silent and be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt)
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To: Spok
"There's nothing wrong in Europe that another war wouldn't remedy"

I have a better idea....let's donate the ACLU to Europe. Their gripes are addressed, we're shed of the most pro-communism organization to ever disgrace America....everybody's happy.

20 posted on 12/03/2003 11:07:16 AM PST by sweetliberty (Better to keep silent and be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt)
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To: sweetliberty
earlier this year (March?) I was at a Chinese buffet and they were playing a tape of Christmas songs.
21 posted on 12/03/2003 11:07:37 AM PST by weegee
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To: sweetliberty; Lady Composer
Oh you ain't heard NUTHIN' til you hear what I used to have to go through while working at a clothing retailer in the shopping mall while in college (Paul Harris - same basic stuff as The Limited but Paul Harris is no longer in business). This was during the early 80's, mind you, and the tape that looped around and around and around was like, well, Switched-On Disco Christmas Hits, for lack of a better description. This was pure musical torture for a music major like me ;-).
22 posted on 12/03/2003 11:07:54 AM PST by NotJustAnotherPrettyFace
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To: Stopislamnow
Christmas Muzak is a tool of the anti-christ.

I'm pretty sure they pipe it into the elevator to Hell.

23 posted on 12/03/2003 11:11:58 AM PST by Orangedog
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To: NotJustAnotherPrettyFace
This was pure musical torture for a music major like me ;-).

That's because you've never had to endure "A Crumhorn Christmas". Period instruments are never in tune.

24 posted on 12/03/2003 11:14:09 AM PST by Jim Cane
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To: Jim Cane
Not so fast. I used to sing in period madrigal groups, and am quite familiar with crumhorn music, in fact. ;-) I'm one of those people who giggle at TV ads that hype the musical "Oldies" - from the 1980's!!! (haw haw haw haw)

I studied the REAL oldies, including crumhorn music, during music history classes. ;-)

25 posted on 12/03/2003 11:21:39 AM PST by NotJustAnotherPrettyFace
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To: weegee
For six out of the past eight weekends, my wife and I have been selling her jewelry at craft shows in Georgia and North Carolina, and have been subjected to the worst, most horrible, cheesiest, most God-awful torturing Christmas music possible as they pipe it into the venues. We're talking a mish-mash of Kenny G instrumentals, chorales, bluegrass, Muzak, show tunes, and bad modern interpretations. And you don't see us suing anybody.

Suck it up and deal, Austrians.

}:-)4
26 posted on 12/03/2003 11:22:38 AM PST by Moose4 ("The road goes on forever, and the party never ends." --Robert Earl Keen)
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To: nuconvert
Heh heh heh...
27 posted on 12/03/2003 11:25:22 AM PST by SAJ
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To: weegee
This need not be. There is an almost infinite variety of Christmas music. No need to play the same old songs over and over again every two hours. I own over 150 CDs of Christmas music as well as countless numbers of tapes I made off the radio (I tape close to 12 hours of Christmas shows every year) and I never get tired of hearing it because I can play my entire collection from November 1st to December 24th and only hear the same songs two or three times.
28 posted on 12/03/2003 11:28:11 AM PST by SamAdams76 (197.8 (-102.2) - Merry Christmas!)
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To: Jim Cane
Crumhorn Discography

.mp3 of solo, unaccompanied crumhorn

Tenor Crumhorn sample (Real Audio) or Bass Crumhorn sample (Real Audio)

And now for something completely different........

.wav file of a crumhorn trio

29 posted on 12/03/2003 11:28:17 AM PST by NotJustAnotherPrettyFace
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To: sweetliberty
I have a better idea....let's donate the ACLU to Europe. Their gripes are addressed, we're shed of the most pro-communism organization to ever disgrace America.... everybody's happy.

Just happened to find this tee shirt on line at the ProtestWarrior.com web site. Fits perfectly.


30 posted on 12/03/2003 11:29:21 AM PST by Arrowhead1952 (Laura Ingraham and Ann Coulter are living proof that not all blondes are dumb.)
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To: SAJ
How's the book selling?
31 posted on 12/03/2003 11:31:11 AM PST by nuconvert ("There's no point playing Christmas jingles in a section selling sausages.")
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To: Jim Cane
This is about as close as I can come to "A Crumhorn Christmas".
32 posted on 12/03/2003 11:31:58 AM PST by NotJustAnotherPrettyFace
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To: Orangedog; weegee
Has there really ever been a study done that shows whether assaulting the ears with Christmas Musak repeated ad infinitum gets people to buy more? And how to explain the time I was trapped in an airport terminal waiting for a delayed flight while Christmas jingles played over the intercom for hours? (This was long ago enough that there were no stores in the terminal.) Perhaps the strategy is to increase the stress of the month before Christmas even more. But it seems more likely that the people who order the music to be played and those that put it together simply have no creativity.
33 posted on 12/03/2003 11:32:35 AM PST by wideminded
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To: NotJustAnotherPrettyFace
I'm one of those people who giggle at TV ads that hype the musical "Oldies" - from the 1980's!!!

Just don't laugh at my parachute pants.

I have a crumhorn and use it to scare the ducks, though the clay in the leather bound "bell" broke and the end sort of flops around. (sounds like a personal problem)

Where did you study?

34 posted on 12/03/2003 11:32:56 AM PST by Jim Cane
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To: weegee
I can understand how endless repetitions of Silent Night and Jingle Bells in a factory would start to annoy workers - even those who didn't know they were Christmas songs or who had no objections about Christmas itself. Silent Night has a very slow beat and Jingle Bells a very fast one, and both are certainly out of sync with whatever goes on in a factory, so listening to either tune while trying to do factory work can become stressful.
35 posted on 12/03/2003 11:33:18 AM PST by DonQ
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To: NotJustAnotherPrettyFace
RE: post 29

You ARE sadistic! :^)

36 posted on 12/03/2003 11:34:16 AM PST by Jim Cane
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To: nuconvert
Nice tag line!
37 posted on 12/03/2003 11:36:09 AM PST by PBRSTREETGANG
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To: weegee
Geez, I've written chord charts for Muzak. I never wrote a Christmas one, though, so I won't worry about getting named in a law suit. ; )
38 posted on 12/03/2003 11:40:47 AM PST by DaughterOfAnIwoJimaVet ("Does this holster make me look fat?" - Conspiracy Guy)
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To: weegee
Shop workers in Austria are demanding compensation for the "psychological terror" of being subjected to hours of piped Christmas music.

I agree! Being subjected to cheesy piano bar renditions and Johnny Mathis vaseline vocals of "Let it Snow!" "Walkin' in a Winter Wonderland" "Sleigh Ride" "Jingle Bell Rock" "You Better Watch Out" and "Chestnuts Roasting" for hours on end is enough to make even Bob Cratchet want to go out and seriously hurt someone.

39 posted on 12/03/2003 11:43:57 AM PST by Alouette (My son, the Learned Elder of Zion)
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To: F14 Pilot; downer911
jingle, jingle
40 posted on 12/03/2003 11:45:31 AM PST by nuconvert ("There's no point playing Christmas jingles in a section selling sausages.")
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To: Jim Cane
Here! (brass fanfare warning)

Click here, just in case you wear out your parachute pants.....

41 posted on 12/03/2003 11:47:01 AM PST by NotJustAnotherPrettyFace
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To: weegee
Psychological terror, eh? This guy must hang around Books a Million, too. They have the most appalling music of any store I've ever been in...
42 posted on 12/03/2003 11:47:43 AM PST by Mamzelle
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To: Alouette
As opposed to the other eleven months when they are subjected to around the clock repeats of Nancy Sinatra's Sugartown and Barbra(sic) Streisand's recordings?

I'll bet that the increased crowds also irk these salespeople but that wouldn't make a good bargaining point for the Union... "I want you to post someone at the door and only allow 2 customers in the shop at a time!".

43 posted on 12/03/2003 11:52:28 AM PST by weegee
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To: Jim Cane
By the way, if you're ever in the neighborhood, you really should check this out: John Philip Sousa Archives - with lots of obscure instruments built for the Sousa band era
44 posted on 12/03/2003 11:53:03 AM PST by NotJustAnotherPrettyFace
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To: SamAdams76
I make my own Christmas compilation tapes at times and listen to those every year. There are more than just the basic 20 or so Christmas songs that get repeated ad nauseum just as there are more than the 20 or so "current" rock songs that get repeated ad naseum on radio and tv.

Best time to stock up on Christmas CDs is the week after Christmas. Price may be dropped up to 33%. After Christmas, the albums are stored away until next year. I may be buying my CDs a year early but they can always be played next year and I am not buying "dated" recordings that will go out of fashion within a year.

45 posted on 12/03/2003 11:59:06 AM PST by weegee
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To: NotJustAnotherPrettyFace; Jim Cane
LOL! I have worked jobs listening to "101 Strings" playing The Chipmunk Song and the like! "A Crumhorn Christmas". I love it! How about "A Schaum Christmas"!!? Incidently, I happen to be nerdy enough to own and PLAY all of the recorders!
46 posted on 12/03/2003 12:00:44 PM PST by Lady Composer
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To: wideminded
"Muzak" is sometimes used as a generic term but there is a real company. I've even seen the van driving around in traffic from time to time.

I've got a book on the history of the company (that I got from a library book sale) but I haven't read it.

I don't think that they use subliminal messages in the recordings to get people to buy but there is psychological theory behind the recordings just as there is psychological theory behind painting a dining room's wall's green or the color selected for a waiting room.

Some "anxiety" in the music may be good for keeping shoppers moving (but that can become irritating when a shopper is stuck in a checkout line for over an hour).

Other recordings may be used to make the shoppers sentimental (open the wallet). Then again if one is sentimental for how things were (nostalgia) they may walk away empty handed/with regret seeing nothing but newfangled crap and at today's prices.

I'm listening to Christmas music when I can find one of my tapes or CDs because it just seems so inappropriate to listen to these recordings out of season.

47 posted on 12/03/2003 12:07:29 PM PST by weegee
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To: Lady Composer
How about "A Schaum Christmas"!!? Incidently, I happen to be nerdy enough to own and PLAY all of the recorders!

A guy in my "band" just bought a wood job with which to cue a couple of a capella angels singing "Oh Come, O Come Emmanuel". He spends half the play trying to keep the thing warm so that it's in key, which is ironic since the singers are already off in microtoneland by the time they sing "come".

Oh God, it hurts, it hurts...

48 posted on 12/03/2003 12:11:22 PM PST by Jim Cane
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To: Lady Composer
101 Strings was just a label name for recordings made by different studio musicians. There were some psychedelic recordings made in the 1960s that collectors look for (but those albums mix genuine "strings" cuts with the jam band).

Slightly off topic, there were all sorts of musicians who worked as studio musicians (Glenn Campbell recorded hundreds of surf songs if I recall and Jimmy Page recorded for many bands before getting his own). Even the jazz band Sun Ra Arkestra recorded a "Batman" record under the "Surf Guitars of Dan and Dale" front name (they are not on the other "Dan and Dale" records).

49 posted on 12/03/2003 12:13:03 PM PST by weegee
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To: weegee
I'd say replace it with Mr Hankey's Christmas Classics o((:D)( )( )( )( )>

-Eric

50 posted on 12/03/2003 12:16:58 PM PST by E Rocc (You might be a liberal if.....a proctologist helps you figure out where your head is at.)
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