Sound the Alarm - Chapter 1

Janet Newley always wanted to be an audiobook editor. But now it looked like the most dangerous decision she had ever made. The security of the country was depending on her and her headphones.

She had started working in the entertainment industry back in the late 1980’s - so long ago, that nostalgia had already moved on to the next decade - the plaid 90’s.

Janet remembered that time too. The grunge years, when her production services skills were just being formed. Janet had been on the cutting edge of indie production. She worked through the transition from analog production to digital. She had spent all her youthful energy trying absorb as much as she could about this changing business and figured out how to push the envelope, so that high-level entertainment could be created at a low cost.

Audiobooks had always intrigued Janet. When she had first arrived in New York after college she snagged a job at a hip Soho bookstore. It was great to be around books, but Janet felt frustrated that her meager under-the-table salary did not pay her enough to purchase the few books that were available on audio cassette. The audiobooks, with their impenetrable cellophane wrappers, were always just out of reach. One set of Joseph Campbell’s “Power of Myth” cassettes would have cost her a week’s salary.

Janet had escaped the life of a bookstore clerk by landing a job in the music business. This amazing stroke of luck came courtesy of her temp agency. Janet had been reluctant to work in a corporate office and the assignment to show up at the CBS building called “Black Rock” sounded like a darker version of the usual grey desert of cubicles that so depressed her very soul.

But this time is was different. When Janet exited the 10th floor elevator of at the CBS building, it wasn’t the staid news division, as she had expected, it was records. Gold records of some of her favorite artists adorned the walls. Colorful posters and large cutouts of Michael Jackson and George Michael lined the hallways. Every office had a stereo and music was playing. Janet, in her only “office appropriate” silk suite was the odd one out. No more worries about getting a new wardrobe, you could wear whatever you wanted to wear in this place. It was at that moment that Janet decided that she would not be leaving this job. They didn’t know it yet, but she wasn’t a temp, she was staying.


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