Magazine article Training & Development

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Magazine article Training & Development

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Article excerpt

It's five after. Can we call this meeting to order? Say, where's Murray?

"Just phoned. On his way in from the airport. Stuck in bridge traffic. Said to start without him."

OK. After yesterday's tragic events, I think we all agree we have to make some tough decisions about our Pets @ Work program. I've asked Simon Carr from the S.P.C.A. to join us as an objective advocate for the animals and to ensure that we stay in compliance with Title 72P. We appreciate your coming by on such short notice, Simon.

"Thanks for asking me."

Obviously, any decisions we make here today will have far-reaching effects, not only within our organization, but also for other companies. We've been the leaders in line-dance training, employee taxis, grocery delivery, multi-denominational chapels, auto service and root canals while-you-work, and departmental kitchens. We funded the Pets @ Work research and implemented the first program. Sandy, plant maintenance has been actively involved from the beginning. What's your position?

"Involved doesn't even come close, more like obsessed! I feel our problems started with the policy that allows pets to roam free outside of their owners' workspaces. I know it has turned my world upside-down. When we had just a couple of friendly dogs and an occasional quiet cat, no problem. I think HR even did some surveys that showed increases in productivity and morale. But then folks who wouldn't ever have dreamed of having a pet at home just had to have one at work. Status symbol, I guess. Now we've also got potbelly pigs, cockatoos, chimps--although they've been helping out in IS--two chameleons--boy, are they tricky to find!--and three jackrabbits to date, not to mention Monti's python, who really scared the cleaning people one night. To accommodate Title 72P, we've had to retrofit the entire building, even down to the bubblers."

Excuse me Sandy, for us nontechies, what's a bubbler?

"Oh, sorry, the water fountains. We had to put some at floor level for the dogs and cats. We've installed hydrants in the restrooms, scratching posts in the lobby, and some kitty litter boxes strategically placed behind the office plants. By the way, the trash pickup canceled its contract with us."

Thanks for the update, Sandy. Let's hear from everyone before we vote. What about HR, Stu? You did report some productivity and employee morale improvements that pushed the final program through.

"Yes, we did, but I think we may have taken on a bit too much. …

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