I have been involved with a food service company for the last couple of years. My latest incarnation at this company is as the router (dispatcher) for the out-bound trucks. However, before being promoted to router, I was the night clerk and my main task was preparing the paperwork for the drivers. Obviously, this entailed a lot of interaction with truck drivers.
There is a lot of negative press regarding truck drivers, but I have, overall, found them to be salt-of-the-earth types - hard-working, sensitive (in their own manner, certainly not metrosexual), and inquisitive.
When I started this gig, I would be at my PC listening to Beethoven.com. Some of the initial comments I received were of this type - "what is that gay shit you're listening to" (easily countered with the phrase "if it ain't country, it ain't shit". This satisifed the stupidist of the bunch, not realizing the concept of a double negative). "Is this ballet music?", "What is this, opera?" (usually asked during the middle of a concerto or overture). "I thought Classical meant Led Zeppelin".
I had a lot of fun with all of this. I mean, really, is there a more non-politically correct bunch than truck drivers? I will spare you my witty repartee's, but suffice to say, the BBS filter would probably melt if I was to post my replies.(I used to be a sailor in the Coast Guard, so it came easily).
Over time, they got used to the music. In fact, one of the drivers remarked to my wife at a company meeting that he actually found the music to be soothing, and how it helped him start his day. Some of the more inquisitive drivers began asking questions about the music - "who's the composer?" etc.. I was beginning to have fun with this.
After explaining some of the concepts of classical (I.e. the difference between Barouque, Classical, and Romance), I realized that for some people, it is a matter of exposure. Now that I have been at the company for a few years, and having befriended most of the drivers, they ask me what music is good for kids to listen to (after my harangues about the influence of music on young, developing minds), or they will hear something that piques their interest, and ask who it is.
Over a period of time, I have been able to, somewhat, produce an impromput lesson in music appreciation. There are, of course, those times when Beethoven.com is playing something a little strange (Mahler, Stravinski, some Prokofiev) when they are just plain puzzled. Still, it opens the door for discussion.
In my travels (actually travails, but that's another post) in this company, I have witnessed a number of drivers actually mentioning a desire to learn more about classical. I suppose the point I am trying to make is that sometimes it is through repetition that the best lesson are learned.
Does anyone (who's not entirely exhausted by reading this rather longish post) have any similar experiences?
"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be." Thomas Jefferson