Monday, April 23, 2012

Knowing When To Pause Things

I was conducting some call back interviews one Saturday morning.  I invited one of my classroom teachers to join me and offer an additional opinion on who might be the best choice.  Jan was veteran teacher, roughly 50 years old.  We were sitting in my office chit chatting and waiting for the next candidate to arrive.

Whenever I am in my office, I have my iPod playing.  I have a fairly eclectic music library ranging from Sinatra and Beethoven to Slayer and Johnny Cash.  Based on the time of day and who may be in my office, I'm forced to make occasional adjustments to volume or song selection.

The phone began to ring out in the main office.  I don't normally bother to answer it, but the candidate was late and I thought perhaps they were lost.  My secretary obviously wasn't in on a Saturday, so I hustled out my office and grabbed the phone.  It wasn't the candidate, rather some guy trying to sell me something.  As I stood there leaning over the front of my secretary's desk trying to get this dope off the phone tactfully, for some reason my mind drifted to my iPod which I hadn't turned off.  I have roughly 20,000 songs on my iPod and only a handful are a little salty.  The odds of there being something inappropriate were pretty slim.  But people do win the lottery...

As I walked back into my office, Jan was pale and leaning back away from the stereo (as if leaning in the other direction made it hard to hear).  "What is this music?!"

My Spidey-Sense is good.  Probably the worst possible song I'm aware exists had come on- (Thank God the candidate didn't walk in while I was on the phone!) Startin' Up A Posse from the group Anthrax.  As I understood it, the song was intentionally written to be as offensive as humanly possibly as a sort of protest to the 'Parent Advisory' stickers that Tipper Gore fought to get placed on albums.  You can read the lyrics here, but be warned, they are pretty rough if language easily offends you.

It was a terribly embarrassing moment, and probably one that as principal could have become a larger issue (sexual harassment?) if Jan was that sort of person.  Luckily for me, Jan is also a staunch Republican and loathed the Gore's.  The explanation of what the song's (which had long been turned off!) intentions were seemed to even pique her interest some.  These days when I leave my office, the music gets paused.

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