I want to bring my dog to work, but my HR Department won’t let me. Why are they so mean?
Thanks Google—thanks for creating all these fun and friendly workplaces with all sorts of crazy perks like laundry machines and free food. Oh, and thanks too for telling the whole freaking world about them. I have a secret for you—shhhh! Don’t tell anyone—but you know why Google feeds all their employees a free dinner? Because it means that they’ll never go home, they’ll never leave the sparkling utopia of the Google “campus” (don’t even get me started on how much I hate it when companies call their buildings campuses) and trudge home to, I don’t know, see their kids, hug their wives, live a life that has nothing to do with Google, play with their dog. But wait, it’s brilliant, in that whole list, what was the one thing you actually wanted to do? See your kids? That’s exhausting! Hug your wife? She’s a hopeless nag! Who’s the family member you miss the most? Who’s the only one that lovey-dove-loves you no matter how many times you step on his tail or forget to give him water? (Note to my husband (Monsieur HR):I still contend that wasn’t my fault). So here’s the best part! Now you can bring him to work with you! It’s great, just you and him against the workday. Now you never have to go home, you can spend every waking moment of your life playing ping pong in the employee lounge, getting your clothes dry cleaned over and over, and playing with your dog. Oh, and working! Yes, don’t forget the working!
Disclaimer: I have no idea if Google, in fact, allows their employees to bring their dogs to work. I’m just assuming they do. And if they don’t, I’m blaming the irrationally high standard they have set in workplace tomfoolery as the reason other companies allow it.
Has the concept of work-life balance become so smudged in today’s day and age that we think this sounds like a good idea? Allow me to cite the example of my dog, who I like to call HR Dog. Now I lovey-dove-love HR Dog. He’s just the sweety-weetiest little (he weighs 90 lbs) thing in the whole wide world. When I ask him to sit so that I may hug him (I ask his permission), and he decides to do me that favor, and looks up at me with his big brown eyes and I put my arms around him, well I don’t have to say it’s just a little moment of joy in my life. In that very specific moment he is the perfect dog. You know when he wouldn’t be the perfect dog? If I brought him to work with me.
Here’s HR Dog’s day at my office:
8:30 am- hide under Mme HR’s desk, pay particular attention to where she likes to put her feet so I can lie exactly there. Oh, and rub up against her black pants a few times to leave optimum amount of dog hair behind.
10:00 am- manager comes into Mme HR’s office with a question. Bark loudly and incessantly from under the desk. The important part here is to not actually get up off the floor or come out, just to make it absolutely impossible for them to have a conversation. Repeat every time someone comes into the office, whether or not I’ve seen them before or know them.
10:30 am- Break time! Go with Mme HR outside to run around with other doggies in the little doggie area. Make sure to poo so Mme HR has to pick it up getting some on her pantsuit and making her hands smell like poo.
10:45 am- follow Mme HR as she goes to restroom. Follow her into the restroom. Follow her into the stall. Bark at anyone (from the stall) that comes in.
12:00 pm- Lunch! Follow Mme HR to lunchroom. Growl at anyone who tries to pet me. Sit at her feet watching her eat. Growl and/or bark at everyone who tries to sit next to or talk to Mme HR.
2:30 pm- Follow Mme HR to important meeting. When she doesn’t let me into the conference room, sit outside the floor to ceiling window and stare at her during the entire meeting. Oh, and bark at everyone who comes in and out of the meeting. Or who walks by. Or who breathes nearby. Or who answers the phone. Or who does ANYTHING!!!
3:45 pm- Break! Take a random mad dash through traffic while Mme HR pleads with me to come back to her and sit for hugs. As if. Have you seen all this traffic?
5:45 pm- Dinner! Free food! <See Lunch>
7:00 pm- curl up into corner of office and sleep while Mme HR finally gets all the work done she hasn’t been able to do today because I’ve just been so damn adorable.
9:30 pm- Mme HR joins me on the floor for sleep. Who wants to go home and deal with all those annoying kids (she doesn’t have any) or that nagging Monsieur HR (just kidding! You know I love you honey! And yes, I gave the dang dog water, quit nagging)
Ok, so I guess by now you are thinking that I’m just as mean and evil as your HR Department. I mean only someone whose heart is two sizes too small would be against bringing their dog to work. I guess my little story above did not inspire you. I suppose you think your dog is just the mostest bestest behaved dog in the world and would just be an angel all day to everyone. Maybe you’re right. Maybe your dog would be an asset to the work environment, a paragon of poochitude. He would lift everyone’s spirits with his sweet slobbery kisses. The whole company would become more productive under his watchful doggie eye, assembly lines will move faster, admin assistants will type faster, programmers will write code with a song in their heart and a twinkle in their eye. Soon there will be a painting of him in the lobby, an honorary seat for him on the Board.
So great, you have a fan-freaking-tastic dog. I’m jealous. But here you go, it’s not your dog I’m worried about. It’s the pit bull aspirationally named Peaches that Janie in Accounting just rescued from the Shaky Scared Pit Bull Love and Hugs Rescue who thinks it’s a good idea to bring him into an unfamiliar place with lots of unfamiliar people doing even more unfamiliar things. She thinks he will be just fine. He just wants love! That’s why he ripped off Johnny in Marketing’s face. It’s how he expresses love.
And don’t get me started about Bobbi in Legal and all of her animal hair allergies. The woman practically walks around in a face mask as it is. And what about clients or customers that come in to your office? Who knows how they feel about our four legged friends. Not to mention they have now become targets for Peaches to rip off their faces.
So you see, you are being unfair to your HR Department by calling them mean. Just look at all the crap they have to put up with on this just so you can bring your damn dog to work. This is your job, get over it. Jobs by and large suck, they aren’t as good as our houses. Leave the good things at home so you’ll enjoy it more. Get over it. Cut them a break and go home and hug your wife, toss a ball to your kids, read a story to your perfect dog. HR Dog and I are just going to be over there, in the corner, growling at you.
Good luck out there,
Madame HR (and Dog)
This post originally appeared on Fierce and Nerdy April, 2013.
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