Work is going to the dogs
A funny piece in Friday’s Irish Times via the Financial Times service.
Hills pet Nutrition allows employees to bring in their dogs to its English office, as do American Advertising Agency TBWA\Chiat\Day. They have approximately 40 to 50 dogs to 850 people! They say it creates a good environment with only the occasional scuffle.
The lengths employers are now going to in order to attract scarce talented employees!
Now we have two very gentle dogs ourselves, so I do like dogs. The Collie sheds hair however at an amazing rate and if patted at all by visitors, both dogs will tend to jump up on them. Many of our visitors are visibly nervous around our dogs.
(Ok, so may be we’re bad at training dogs. So is it practical to have dogs in the workplace? I know guide dogs are allowed in, but usually guide dogs have been extensively trained from an early age and must have a certain temperament .
A more serious problem is the poo (or poop to non Irish readers) and a real life example illustrates. We used to have a very boring teacher, for a particular class which took place in a prefab with an external porch. (This means the classroom was not part of the main school, but sat out in the school grounds) One day the teacher arrived in a very agitated state. A dog had pooed in the external porch. Seeing the chance to miss class, my friend and I immediately volunteered to clean up. When we walked out into the porch, the dog, a little Chihuahua ran off, who obviously had diarrhoea. That’s when I got the smell. The most disgusting, ammonia ridden, powerful pong ever. Worse than any stink bomb or blocked sewerage pipe.
My eyes started watering and we ran out to get the caretaker. Unfortunately, he just gave us some cloths and buckets and told us to do it. Every few minutes, we had to run back out into the open, before our stomach contents added to the mess. I’m sure I smelt of dog poo for days. Certainly the class room did. Thirty years later, I still remember it and am still astonished such a little dog could produce so much poo. The only upside was we missed the entire class, the teacher thought we were “little saints” and treated us very well from then on.
So how do dog friendly employers ensure non dog lovers don’t feel threatened? How to ensure all these dogs don’t poo in the wrong places? Our dogs poo all over the garden, and there’s always rows over who is going to pick up the poo this time. So you can just imagine the row when a dog poos in the wrong place in the office. It will put the arguments over washing the coffee break cups in the ha-penny place.
“ It was your dog that pooed, no it could have n’t been. My dog’s poo is always yellow, small and round, that turd is brown long and curved” and so forth
The same article also notes a three foot long python escaped from his cage at Google. (New York, not Dublin, so Dublin readers can relax) Expert herpetology assistance ensured the snake was recaptured. See the Google official blog for details if you don’t believe me.
On a less smelly note, if you’re currently in a rotten work situation, I sympathise. But at least this entry shows employers come in all shapes and sizes. There are some employers out there who do really try to make their employees happy. The Celtic tiger means you don’t have to put up with a difficult Doberman employer. So don’t be a lap dog. (Groan)
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