Rap Music Played In The Workplace

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about rap music:

One person brings in her own radio and plays rap music. I have asked that she not play it at the times that I am in the same room, but she refuses. Rap music has an emotional reaction from me and it makes me anxious and very uncomfortable. Do I have the right to not have this person play rap music in the workplace?

Signed, Frustrated

Dear Frustrated:

In a well run business, individuals do not just decide to bring in music of any kind on their own and play it. It’s either approved by managers or not. And few managers would approve having rap sounds in the work area if anyone at all complained. But, there is also a problem here with the relationship between you and the coworker. Someone who feels like a friend or good colleague wouldn’t play something when asked not to, or would at least ask more about it and try to work out a compromise. I think you should say something to your manager or supervisor. Make the link to work effectiveness by saying how distracting it is and that it makes you anxious and uncomfortable. You are certainly not alone in feeling that way! Be direct and insistent that it is intolerable. But, also ask that the policy be that no music is played or that any music played must be agreed to by all. Otherwise, your coworker will replace rap with something not rap but equally problematic!

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