I began programming at the age of 14 and over a decade has gone by, during this time, a day hasn't gone by when I don't listen to music, radio or podcasts.
When I'm programming at home or in work, I always like to listen to music, sometimes the same album or playlist throughout the week, as it becomes a constant, and I almost don't notice its there. 1 headphone in usually means, talk to me, both headphones is known to the girlfriend and friends as "code mode". They know better than to get more than a few words out of me. I'm sure you guys understand!
So, I use to work for a big ATM company dealing with banks on a daily basis, I was more of a number than a person, and when I worked I could listen to music all day and night. If anyone had any issues, they would ping me on MSN or give me a tap. I was fine with that, and so was everyone else (as they all did the same).
Now I've moved on (had to relocate) I have a new job in a much smaller company. The company is NOT software orientated at all, I am the only on site programmer, all previous work was outsourced. We have around 30 people in the office (mixture of admin, accounts but mainly noisy sales teams), I probably talk to 2 of them. They're not a social bunch, I'm fine with that, as I know what they do has no impact on what I do and vice versa, so I sit quietly, put my headphones on and code.
I know (they kind of know) that I'll be leaving this time next year, as they're a small company we established in the interview that after 2 years I might struggle to find projects. So... back to my problem (I promise that was all relevant) in my first week I set up my coding environment, and began working. The IT manager pulled me aside and said "we have a slight issue, you can't wear your headphones" when I asked why they responded "the boss will go mad".
So after a few months of no headphones, or sneakily wearing them when it got really loud. I became confident to wear them, as the boss himself acknowledged I wore them. I told him "it helps me concentrate, and gets me in the zone". He didn't say anything at this point (and never has). I had no issues for around 4-5months.
Then last month I was called into a meeting with one of the MDs, he told me I can no longer wear headphones. Again I asked why, this time they said "the sales team are wearing them". They don't, I know they don't because I sit next to them all. I tried to argue my point, I received the 'I know I feel for you' speech, and that was that. No more music. I returned to the office and had a few pairs of eyes on me, looking pretty happy with themselves. One even turned to the receptionist behind me and said "have you noticed", the receptionist responded... "what?" then got up looked over the divide straight at me. Subtle huh. I like to call this "Small Company Fever"... they don't like change when trying to 'save the world' everyday.
So now after a month, I find I can't concentrate fully, my mind wanders. To make it worse... they've moved my desk from the middle of the office, to the main door, which happens to be next to the toilets, the huge photocopier/printer and the kitchen. Its loud, really loud. Its actually starting to stress me out, and make me want to look for a new job.
So heres is my dilemma. Am I just being a big girls blouse, should I just shut up and just get on with it as its only for another year and a bit... or do you think I have a genuine problem, and if so... how would you deal with it?
Sorry for War & Peace II.
All the best! Rocky