Monday, 17 December 2007

"Jingle Bells..."

Poor Pharmacy God. He is suffering at work.

I feel your pain pharmacy god. A few years back I used to work for a well known UK High-Street chain. From November on we got back-to-back The Pogues, Wizzard, and generic Christmassy jingles. Funnily enough Gary Glitter's Christmas classics were deleted from the system shortly after he was convicted of possessing 4000 indecent photographs of children.

A locum and I worked out that the store radio was not linked via satellite, or network. Therefore, the "music" must arrive on a CDRom. A plan was hatched. Once a month a disk arrived. This was fed into a monitorless PC. where the mp3s were copied over and the disk spat back out. Perusing this CD led us to discover that it was simply a disk of mp3s with numbers as titles. Presumably the PC had a playlist that worked through the list in some numerical order. It seemed to play high-energy songs in the morning and late in the afternoon, so perhaps there was some psychology behind the choices.

Anyway, to cut a long, nerdy story short we ripped a copy of CrashTestDummies singing Christmas Hits, changed the filenames to make them identical to the ones on the disk we intercepted, and loaded the disk. A tense few seconds as the playlist restarted and then Brad Roberts sang out.........success. Simple things please simple minds- I doubt anybody else even noticed the change.

So, if you are now working in a store where the Christmas selection is a little strange, then that is probably my fault, sorry about that. It was a very quiet store in terms of prescription volume, we were very bored. and we had asked for the music to be turned down previously. (Have you ever tried talking to a doctor about a medication change when "We Three Kings", played by a Mariachi band, is playing in the background? Professional it sounds not.) Unfortunately, I left the company before I could copy over my whole mp3 collection and make the store radio my personal mp3 player.

Keep your chin up Pharmacy God, only one more week to go.


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