I think my job is so cool and I admit my reasons for thinking this are probably pretty stupid, but I think it’s cool just the same. Today’s reason that I think my job is so cool is because each of us in the Systems group got handed a pair of Peltor PTL Earmuffs just like the ones picture to the right here. These babies aren’t meant to keep your ears warm, though, they’re meant to block as much sound from reaching your inner ear as possible to protect your hearing from loud noises. Which is ironic in as much as at least one team member spends 75% of his time with earbuds from his MP3 player wedged into his ear canals blasting music loud enough to demolish buildings with, but the rest of us still have most of our hearing left to make these worthwhile. The main reason we got them is because of a new rack of HP servers in the computer room that produce noise levels just below industrial aircraft taking off so my boss, who is always a considerate and compassionate boss (on the off chance he reads this), decided it would be a good idea if we had some ear protection if we’re going to be in the room for more than a few minutes at a time.
I’ve never worn ear protection like this before. Both General Motors and Ford Motor Company required ear protection in certain areas during my time working for them, but it always consisted of these pathetic orange foam plugs that you wedged in your ear to little real effect. Most of the time one of them could pop out and roll away and you’d never notice it was missing. These babies are hard to forget when you put them on as the headband has a high tension spring effect that clamps them to your head in much the way you’d imagine an alien face hugger might feel if it latched onto your ears instead of your face. I’m surprised all the ear wax isn’t sucked out of my head just from the vacuum that forms when you put a pair of these on. And silence the world they do! You can still hear some stuff, but it’s so muffled that you could set an air horn off next to your head and not be bothered by it, and that’s just plain cool. They also have this little button on the side of them that turns on a small built in mic and speaker so you can still hear when someone’s talking to you without exposing yourself to excessive sound levels.
Best of all wearing them makes you look like you’re doing “seriously important and dangerous work” that makes your job seem a lot more exciting than it really is. Look out! This computer room is so dangerous it could PERMANENTLY DAMAGE YOUR HEARING! Leave this to the PROFESSIONALS with the wicked cool EARMUFFS!
OK, yeah, I had nothing else better to write about today.