"No whistling in the newsroom" was an old newspaper superstition -- one that I encouraged during all my years in a newsroom. There are some stories about how it started, but I always assumed it was just that whistling is really irritating -- especially on deadline.
(One old Sentinel reporter, the late Bill Neubauer, had a habit of singing out: "Joy to me!" whenever he finished a story. Not pleasant.)
Now, there aren't as many newsrooms. But there are "coworking" spaces springing up all over -- workplaces like NextSpace and Cruzioworks in Santa Cruz.
These "coworking" spaces need some new superstitions of their own. No whistling is a good start. Then there's no nose-sniffing and no loud personal cellphone conversations. Definitely no humming.
Then there's one more, truly a modern issue: pounding on a keyboard.
I was working at my local office yesterday when suddenly I heard the loudest sound of fingers-on-a-keyboard I've ever heard. I couldn't see what he was typing, but from the sound of the pounding and from the look on his face it had to be this:
"I've had it with you and you'll be sorry you god damn son of a bitch! I'll get you back someday and I'm here to tell you I'm not putting up with it anymore!"
Or something like that.
Hey -- no one's asking for silence. But please -- lighten up on the keyboard, folks.