Gen X at 40

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cm -

Well, if there wasn't before, there is now. All we need is the music to go with it. On banjo, of course.

Alan -

Really, they are done without accompaniment in the workplace, just like the threshing or netting songs of old. Like the dance piece <i>Joe</i> with less moving around.

Flea -

I have been planning to sample office sounds with my forthcoming digital voice recorder acquisition and top of the list is the photocopier next to the fax machine. I figure that photocopier is all the accompaniment I need for the Fax Shanty.

Flea -

To the tune of "I's the b'y that builds the boat":

<i>She bent over by the fax machine
to show me how to send things
Bent over by the fax machine
and now we are a wedding</i>

<i>Those swinging hips in office skirts
by fax machine were bending
My stripy ties and business shirts
the signals I was sending...</i>

Mike C -

Reminiscent of Nigel Russell's office worker shanty "White Collar Holler" (recorded by Stan Rogers):

ell, I rise up every morning at a quarter to eight
Some woman who's my wife tells me not to be late
I kiss the kids goodbye, I can't remember their names
And week after week, it's always the same
And it's Ho, boys, can't you code it, and program it right
Nothing ever happens in the life of mine
I'm hauling up the data on the Xerox line
Then it's code in the data, give the keyboard a punch
Then cross-correlate and break for some lunch
Correlate, tabulate, process and screen
Program, printout, regress to the mean
Then it's home again, eat again, watch some TV
Make love to my woman at ten-fifty-three
I dream the same dream when I'm sleeping at night
I'm soaring over hills like an eagle in flight
Someday I'm gonna give up all the buttons and things
I'll punch that time clock till it can't ring
Burn up my necktie and set myself free
Cause no'one's gonna fold, bend or mutilate me.

Hans -

There's an old chestnut titled "Little Boxes". I forget who the artist is but I'm sure Pete Seeger or Burl Ives would have a version.

"Little boxes on the hillside
Little boxes made of ticky-tacky
Little boxes on the hillside
And they all look just the same.

...Filled with Doctors and Laywers
And Business Executives
And they all live in boxes
And they all look just the same."

gorthos -

How about I write some haikus instead

No plants in office
No Music, no more paintings
Just the collecive

or how about a poem:

I think that I shall never see
A person as disgruntled as me
That is with hope that I can be
Cor-por-ate and positive whee!
etc..

gorthos -

Damn. That should say COLLECTIVE.. stupid fingers. here it is corrected

No plants in office
No Music, no more paintings
Just the collective

Chris Taylor -

Someone out there has already recorded office shanty gold to the tune of Merle Travis' <I>Sixteen Tons</i>. I guarantee it.

Seeing actual fax machines these days is a bit of a rarity. Outbound stuff gets scanned by the copier and routed to your e-mail as a PDF, where you fire it off to the destination via a network fax driver. Inbound stuff plops into your inbox as a PDF as well.

Alan -

"The Scanner" is a great potential title for an office shanty.

gorthos -

The Scanner

Family pictures and old stale diplomas
the scanner he scans and then emails to home-ah
Eye patch and tall boots he commands the machine
Photoshop friends faces into the scene

etc...

Chris Taylor -

LOL -- good stuff, Gorthos. <i>Gold</i>, Jerry, <i>GOLD</i>!

Flea -

"The Ballad of the Fax that I Emailed"

The legend lives on from the third floor on down
to the coffee they have in the lobby.
Tim Horton's it's said
gets you out of your bed
when you have to get into work early.

When I check my email looking for the tell-tale
sign of pdf files by Adobe
the only messages lies
to increase penis size
now I'm resending faxes the old way...

Alan -

Remember these are shanties so we need the equivalent of the repetitive "heave away, haul away" sorts of chorus interventions.

gorthos -

Time Well Wasted

Arrive at the office at half past eight
A swipe of the card and yer in past the gate
Coffee in hand and smile on yer face
The start of eight hours you’ll want to erase

Sit at yer desk like a captain of old
Read all the news clips afore drink she is cold
Gossippy coworkers tell who’s screwin who
Jokes of ribaldity turn inbox blue

(Chorus)

With a pull o’ the rope and a click o’ the key
Follow me my brethren, for there’s much to see
From pics of ol’ Britany showin’ her stuff
To blogs and youtuberry there is enough
To keep all of our time wasted
To keep all of our time wasted

Email other management, helping the man
Put down the worker in ways that you can
Not be held liable, not end up shot
Not become keel hauled-ed, right on the spot

Looking up jobbies at Monster dot com
Or at workopolis, (or just email mom)
Proving to yourself that you can’t do much better
Hoping for umbrella in trunk, cause o’ weather

With a pull o’ the rope and a click o’ the key
Follow me my brethren, for there’s much to see
From pics of ol’ Britany showin’ her stuff
To blogs and youtuberry there is enough
To keep all of our time wasted
To keep all of our time wasted

Egad someone calls you up from higher up
Asking you if you would someday to ‘sup
Why might they ask you to lunch, wonder you do
Perhaps the CAO wonders what you do

With a pull o’ the rope and a click o’ the key
Follow me my brethren, for there’s much to see
From pics of ol’ Britany showin’ her stuff
To blogs and youtuberry there is enough
To keep all of our time wasted
To keep all of our time wasted

Chris Taylor -

With apologies to Cyril Tawney and his fine <i>Grey Funnel Line</i>.

<u>BLOOR-DANFORTH LINE</u>

Don't mind downtown and soaring towers
Or the homeless guy who never showers
But the hardest time in a commuter's day
Is to pack like sardines into the subway
Here's one more day on the Bloor-Danforth Line

At King and Bay the cathedrals of commerce
Are prisoner to gridlock, for better or worse
But give me my tokens, I'll avoid the fray
Wasting precious minutes on the Gardiner Expressway
Here's one more day on the Bloor-Danforth Line

Oh once my heart was wild and free
Like a slashing spar on the open sea
But now that spar has washed ashore
Owing piles of money to banks galore
Here's one more day on the Bloor-Danforth Line

I'll pass the time like a leaden machine
Until my RRSPs are loaded with with green
Then I'll dance on out that tower's door
And ride the Bloor-Danforth Line no more
And ride the Bloor-Danforth Line no more

cm -

Gentlemen, I believe what we have here is the beginning of the GenX40 Glee Club Song Book.

Alan -

All dressed in identical budget dark suits from Moores.

Peter -

Sort of a corporate song, "Government Center" by The Modern Lovers (Jonathan Richman). Personally though, I've hummed the Clash's "Clampdown" on the way to work for years: "You start wearing blue and brown/You're working for the clampdown"

Government Center
the Modern Lovers
from the Modern Lovers, 1973

Well we've got a lot a lot a lot of hard work today
We gotta rock at the Government Center
To make the secretaries feel better
When they put the stamps on the letter

And they got a lot a lot a lot of great desks and chairs
Uh huh, at the Government Center
We gotta make the secretaries feel better
When they put the stamps on all the letter

We gotta rock-a rock-a rock-a nonstop tonight
Uh huh, at the Government Center
Make the secretaries feel better
When they put the stamps on the letter

Won't stop until we see secretaries smile
We gotta see some office boys, they're jumpin' for joy
Tell old Mr. Ahern, "Calm down a while.
You know that's the only way the Center is ever gonna get better."

So let's rock-a rock-a rock-a nonstop tonight
Uh huh, at the Government Center
Make the secretaries feel better
When they put the stamps on the letter
We're gonna make 'em feel better
Oh look out

We're gonna help them out
Take all our equipment
Do rock & roll
That's right
Use that feeling inside, we're gonna transmit
Those secretaries will have to stand up, and not be able to sit
Oh it's gonna be fun, oh we won't get scared, we can't keep it down
Oh that feelin' inside we're gonna transmit it to life
Baby, aw modern dancin'
Yeah, yeah...