Listen to the sounds of an office, a vinyl record from 1964


Originally published at:


No ice cubes dropping into a highball glass? Did Mad Men lie to us?



I used to have a copy of Sounds from the Junkyard.

Still regret selling that record…


Here are 2 hours of ambient modern office sounds – so that every remote worker can continue to feel just as stifled as a cubicle drone.


Maybe advertising agencies were a special case, but typically drinking in the office was frowned on. Having the proverbial three martinis at a restaurant for lunch, well, that was different.




Yeah honey…still at work. Looks like it will be a long night, I’ll probably just crash under the desk. See you tomorrow.


Most of the Smithsonian catalog is available for download as mp3. Here’s this album in particular.



If you listen to The Ralph Nader Radio Hour, they break in the middle to play “The Corporate Crime Reporter Morning Minute with Russell Mokhiber.” It’s all great stuff, but to make it sound legit and urgent, there’s the sound of a teletype machine or something behind Mokhiber. It probably sounds like His Girl Friday to anyone born in the last 20 years. Plus his segment is obviously pre-recorded and separate, but the hosts David Feldman and Steve Skrovan always announce it as if they’re cutting over to Mokhiber live. I call shenanigans.


And there’s the high-tech version:


Flaunting it during the day may have been frowned upon depending on the corporate culture, but I don’t think it was uncommon for executive types to keep a bottle in the desk for a belt at the end of the day. Hell, it’s not all that uncommon in 2017. And of course C-suite execs can do whatever they want, up to and including having a wet bar installed.


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