updated 02:20 pm EDT, Thu April 5, 2007
iPods Given Away to Dutch
The iPod nano has been turned into an unusual form of stress reliever, according to a news report from the Netherlands. The southeast city of Maastricht handed out iPod nanos to its 280 sanitation workers two weeks ago, hoping to improve their moods by letting them tune into music during their shifts. The giveaway had been prompted by numerous complaints sent to city council that accused the workers of becoming increasingly unruly, harassing the local populace for seemingly trivial reasons.
"Some days they would yell at me for the way I placed my trash container," said shopkeeper Christian Van Rijn.
The iPod strategy appears to have worked in at least some cases, as sanitation crews have concentrated more effort on listening than on passers-by. Whether or not the workers were genuinely happier was uncertain but didn't appear to matter to the complainants in Maastricht, who have reportedly been content with the reduced stress.
"At least they have stopped yelling at me," van Rijn said.