Two recent trends have got my nose up in arms: dogs in the workplace and hotels with perfumed lobbies. It’s difficult enough contending with ragweed season outside but now an indoor invasion too?
First, animals. There’s a growing movement to bring one’s pets to the workplace. This is outrageous unless you work in a pet store or a Vet’s office. I’m completely allergic to animals [with an asthma sidecar] and this kind of movement would disallow me to work in those workplaces. What if I interviewed but lost the job because of this? What if it was my dream job? What if I was the perfect candidate? Hmmm, I wonder. Not that I’m overly litigious but could I sue a potential employer for discrimination if they couldn’t hire me because of their pet-friendly policies?
I understand people think their pets are their children and what they do in their home is their business. However, in communal spaces like work, where one WORKS, pets are the last thing that should be allowed. Ok, if a worker petitions for doggie day-care then that’s one thing, I can understand that; but the proponents say that pets help worker productivity. It wouldn’t help my productivity. There are many other tactics aside from living fur balls under one's desk that really increase output: respectful, collaborative team players who are paid what they’re worth; having an HR department that's actually helpful and knowledgeable; having four walls and a door to your office so you can take a mid-afternoon nap.
Do I need to start an anti-pet campaign for allergy sufferers out there? If so, then tack on this cause as well. Hotels creating scented lobbies. Sure, I want a hotel to smell clean and fresh, as if it were clean and fresh but a hotel lobby flooded with “scent” is like a nightmare. Who thought this up? I read about it in a hospitality magazine and then the NYT picked up on it. Outdoor pollution in many cities is difficult to manage for everyone, not just allergy sufferers, so why bring a different kind of pollution indoors?
I think this movement has a better chance of being squashed. Hotels are in the business of pleasing their customers and one too many complaints about the weird lobby smells to upper management and I think this concept will quietly go away. Whereas animals in the workplace? Sadly this idea will please many workers who loooove their pets and the minority, allergic girls like me, won’t have enough of a collective voice to stop it.