I distinctly remember one of my first days all those years ago, a coworker of mine was being verbally accosted by a customer and I asked another who was watching from a distance what had caused such an outburst? The details were so ridiculous, I couldn't believe it. The customer was berating my fellow associate because we didn't have a CD player that it turned we had never even carried. The customer had convinced themselves they purchased their treasured antique at our particular store and we had never even had access to the brand. My associate had done everything right and was still bearing the weight of someones misguided anger. It was at that exact moment that the warnings I had heard my very first day started to make sense. "This place will break you." "You will eventually hate it here." My coworker explained that more often than not this happens because certain people have evolved a bias against people who work on the other side of the counter. We are either the enemy out to screw them, are beneath them or both. We are expected to absorb the anger and negativity with a smile, make sure the customer gets what they want, and then make sure they come back to see us in the future no matter what the circumstances. This sort of environment takes its tole and sooner than a person would believe.
What a moment to sing about!
The melody and first few lines of this song came to me on the 6 Train platform. I had just completed a double, one shift of retail and one of theater. Unfortunately that day the customers at the store and patrons at the theater were worshiping an earnestness devoid of basic human decency and I was spent. Exhausted even! Retail work is rarely more than semi-rewarding and even then, it's only when people communicate effectively and collectively obey the rules society has evolved over thousands of years to not murder each other. I was instantly reminded of that first negative experience and the song started to flow from me.
The rhyme scheme presented itself to me as the first verse evolved and like the problem addressed in the song, it got increasingly more complicated and required a great deal of thought and work to get through.
When you spend
Absorbing this kind of force
stress always has to play
Upon the source
We pretend it's okay cause there's nothing we can say or do
But absorb the force
From anger that has nothing to do with you
I've constructed the show around themes that are stated in the Prologue. I have conceived that specific points of view will be represented by different keys and sections within. The A Capella hymn section below is a section the managers sing together. It is roughly based on a Gregorian Kyrie Chant and serves the same philosophical purpose: It takes a lot of faith to hold an organization like this together. Every number that is related to this faith and "all in" philosophy includes a portion of this hymn. (The Bracketed section in the Soprano Line is the main theme.) In this song I tried to use the figures to induce familiarity as well as irony. It is based on the 5th and 6th figures (in the box).
Check out the song with these new insights and let me know what you think!
This is Cameron Michael Fehring signing off.