I'm not a violent person, in general. I don't hit people. I sucked at football. I don't even give exuberant high fives. But there are some things that push me close to my limit. And unnecessarily obnoxious loudness is one of them. In fact, I think if you were to look back, you'd find that the year noise-canceling headphones were invented was probably the same year there was a noticeable drop in workplace violence. My pair has become my best friend at work.
Because there are these two ladies who work one row over from me who can't even say "Hello" without hitting 80 decibels. And if they get worked up about something, the floor shakes. I must assume they have some kind of combined hearing loss and each is trying to compensate for it. The only thing I can use to illustrate it is to take two cell phones and call one from the other. Then (in the same room) put them both on speakerphone mode. Then move them towards each other. At first you just get an echo. Then it builds to something louder. Then everyone in the room begs you to stop because it hurts their ears so much. That's what these ladies are like.
And I don't know who these women are. I've never met them. I haven't even seen them. But I imagine them to be giant fat people, stuffing their faces as they speak, with bits of kolache flying from their mouths with every ridiculous shout. (Sidenote: they always bring kolaches, and I can smell them.) Imagine Roseanne and Harry Potter's Aunt Marge in a screaming match while eating kolaches.
And remember Will Ferrell's character on SNL that had Voice Immodulation? They make that guy seem like a deaf-mute. So my only defense is to put on my noise-canceling headphones and blast some music that will drown out their booming voices. Which I'm doing right now.