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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000365.txt from 2001/05

Subj: [kl] ...more about sensitivity & decibels
Date: Sun, 13 May 2001 17:15:06 -0400

Bill Wright wrote,
> I haven't chaperoned (or attended) a teen-age dance for 20-30 years
>now. I had no idea what occurs nowadays when a "DJ" plays canned music
>at these things. The barrage of sound was so fierce that I was unable
>to remain inside the building and carry out my chaperone duties.
> Why was I angry? Because after a couple of minutes, I 'woke up'
>and realized the potential for hearing damage to my daughter and to all
>the other children.

He went on to tell how he measured the sound with a meter and it really was
loud enough to damage hearing.

I think the public should be raising our own decibel level about noise
pollution! It's getting really bad in stores now too. I went in Best Buy
last week and turned around and walked out without buying anything. At least
ten different sounds blared all at once and three or four of those at top
volume! They turn on a loud rock or rap music CD, a different loud music CD
from a different set of speakers, a widescreen with a violent movie with guns
and car brake screeches, then constant loud store advertisements on top of
all that, an amplified radio station too, and then as if that isn't enough
they turn on a whole lot of the regular size TV and radio sets to different
stations, enough to drive you crazy with a constant mutter of gobble gobble
gobble gobble underneath all the slam bang noise. Add really bright lights
with some of them flashing and it is like a torture chamber in there.

I complain and they don't do anything. They look at me like I am a nut. So
forget them, they can sell to some chump who already went deaf from getting
hammered and passing out with his head against the woofers at a rock concert.
I think the employees must all have gone deaf by now and they can't tell how
bad it is. They are mostly dazed looking kids. You ask where something is
and they give you this kind of empty look with the mouth dragging open, like
"Huh? You bothering me for what?"

Even in Borders Books of all places, the noise volume is not nearly as bad
as Best Buy and they got a much better class of employee but the insanity
factor is still way up there, because they playing more than one thing at
once. You hear this jumble of competing music and talk all over the store.
It makes me want to scream! People who have to work there must learn how to
tune it all out, so probably they never realize that they make it impossible
for customers to browse and decide what to buy. I keep reading that book
sales are down. Uh huh.

What I want to know is how come so many businesses think this is a good idea?
Did some bogus market research convince them lots of noise makes the
environment "exciting" or something? I hate shopping any more. They are
spending a ton of money on bombarding us with ads while they are losing
potential sales because people like me want OUT of there so bad I won't slow
down to look at anything that's not on my list.

Cass Hill

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