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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."

It's so true, man. I spent five xmases working at a retail bookstore and being forced to listen to at least six weeks in a row of naught but carols, which I believe directly responsible for making me the surly, Scrooge-ass misanthrope I am today. Like I always say, xmas music is for suckers. Now we know it's terrorism as well.

Replies: 3 Confessions

Christmas music as terrorism, with a link to how the only good Christmas music "sounds like how you feel after a punch in the stomach." So much for my feeble flame of holiday cheer.
Nothing personal, Amy, but I think I'd better take some time off.

elavil @ 12/06/2003 03:08 PM CST

Well, what a shame there's no HTML "hyperbole" tag -- then it would be clear that I'm exaggerating about the terrorism thing. And I believe we've already had this discussion, in which we agreed that the kind of holiday tunes you like are generally not the ones made into muzak for the malls.

Sorry about your flame, anyway.

amyc @ 12/06/2003 07:22 PM CST

My folks used to do a fall craft show in Dollywood, in a booth next to these "singing rocks" that pipe the same 90-minute tape of country over and over and over. After a month of 12-hour days of that, my dad, a lifelong country fan, can no longer listen to the stuff. As for me, who already couldn't stand it, it got so a red haze would form in front of my eyes and I'd start looking for sharp objects at the mere sound of fiddles and steel guitar. [Well, not quite, but close.] So I agree wholeheartedly--maybe not QUITE terrorism, but jeeeeeez...

Our chamber of commerce also has a Christmas "open house" every year where they play carols from huge car-mounted speakers in the street while people supposedly patronize the local businesses [mostly to get indoors and away from 110 decibels of children's choir]. I live a block from where they usually put the speakers, and after even 3 hours of that, it sure feels like terrorism. Next year I need to find some pagan Yule carols and stick my 3-foot speakers in my window...:D

frida @ 12/08/2003 07:51 PM CST

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