IF MY DOG HAD A JOB

In honor of National Take Your Dog to Work Day, I took some precious work hours to imagine what life would be like if my dog had a job. How does she stay focused? What would she do? Would it be strictly for money, or would she actually enjoy her field? Does she have bills she has to pay? Is that why she has a job? How does she type? Does she even have a computer? Is it less of a tech-y role and more relationship building? How is she working remotely? Who taught her to use a computer and the webcam? Is she a contributor, or does she stare at her beautiful self on camera all day? How has she not been fired? What are her goals and how is she focused enough to meet that? How does she communicate with her co-workers? Do they speak dog?

I could keep going, but for the sake of time, and post length, let’s start with those and see what fun path we end up on. For starters, my dog’s attention span is negative. Unless you have food or have a squeaky toy. In both cases, she is laser focused. This poses several problems in a work environment. One being that no one could keep snacks at their desk because co-worker Dog would be at their side all day and, thus, not contributing her fair share of the work. Another one being that most people would get annoyed at the constant sound of a high pitch squeak from a questionably clean ball. The other major issue is that what happens when neither of these attention grabbers are present? She’s a loose cannon. Nobody knows. Could be sleeping on the carpet. Climbing on a desk. Begging to be pet. Sniffing a chair for the thousandth time. So many potential options.

Given the lack of productivity, what would she do? I’m thinking brand ambassador for something like pet food, pet supplies, or Windex (because there is no spatial awareness between her wet nose and the glass, let’s be honest). Clearly she isn’t in it for the money – she’s a dog. What would she do with money. Probably try and put it in her mouth which is a separate issue. Besides, being a brand ambassador comes with perks. Depending on the industry she could get free food, free squeaky toys, or free attention. Her three favorite things.

This is clearly the right title for more reasons than her attention span and ridiculous cuteness. If given a computer, she would just try to sniff it, lick it, or bite it. Again, we’re talking about a dog without opposable thumbs. Or the capacity to perform computer type tasks. I love my dog (MORE THAN I LOVE PEOPLE) and she is fairly intelligent, but imagine asking your pet to turn on a computer and open the Internet. Pets work on routine. Computer tasks are not routine. If they were, a robot would do them for us. So relationship building it is! Can’t think of a more perfect role for an outgoing pup. Meet new people … constantly. Get them to like you, and we’ll give you a treat. 

With the current situation in the world, you’re probably wondering the same thing as me. Which, of course, is how brand ambassadors are working remotely. Video calls / appearances? Probably works well for humans. But remember how we’ve been over the less than ideal scenario that is your pet using a computer, or a phone, or a tablet, or a smart watch, etc. In an alternate reality, let’s pretend that a human friend (the owner, perhaps) has set up the video call for the dog. What a nice thing to do, you may be thinking. I know my dog, though, and if she saw herself on camera it would be game over. She spends a ridiculous amount of time staring at herself in the mirror so add a bunch of unrecognizable noises coming from the reflection and her head would be in a constant curious tilt. Probably wondering how she could be so beautiful that the reflection wants to talk to her. 

Which, then would beg the question how she has not been fired? There’s only so many times you want to see a dog’s nose right up close and personal in the camera before you realize she isn’t listening to a word you’re saying. She’s in her own world. Has met zero goals. Has no strategy for changing her behaviors and getting back on track. Just a pup entranced by the sight of herself.

Out of this entire scenario, the part I find the most mind-boggling is how she would communicate with her co-workers. Do these humans have a gift I do not of reading the minds of a dog and interpreting their barks? Are they able to respond? Because as far as I know the only words she answers to currently are her name, food, walk, and outside. Seems like a limited choice for making coherent, work related, sentences. Imagine if you were trying to get through her thick skull and accidentally said a trigger word – all progress would be lost. She would be spinning in circles running back and forth to either her food bowl or her leash. And, just like that, all focus is once again lost and someone (probably the owner) would be taking a brief exercise lap around the block for the third time that morning.

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you know someone who would enjoy this post and want to share it with them, that would be awesome. Sharing is caring, after all. Don’t forget to subscribe to get these in your inbox twice weekly and follow TRP on Twitter for frequent musings. Thanks for reading!


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SOMETIMES I FEEL LIKE THE GERBER BABY

Have you ever sat at your desk and just watched your co-workers be productive? You know, the days when you’ve been at work for 5 hours and still haven’t been able to close out of BuzzFeed (because that addiction is TOO REAL). Don’t get me wrong, the online content is much more entertaining than any of your upcoming deadlines, but it doesn’t provide the same sense of accomplishment on the drive home. That and it also doesn’t do you any favors when your manager asks for a status update and you have none…from the past two weeks.

Nothing makes you question your value to a company more than when you realize everyone else is working and you don’t know what you’re supposed to be doing. Is it similar to sports where if the coach (i.e.: your manager) isn’t yelling at you and hovering over your shoulder like a leech all day that they don’t care about you? Because your future there is non-existent? Or they don’t think you’re capable of doing anything more than what you’re currently doing?

It’s a weird feeling – you’re slacking at work, but actually feel guilty and have some strong internal urge to seek out work. I know, I also can’t believe I just wrote that. I thought that playing the poster child role would be more exciting. Look at me! I get paid to do NOTHING! And yet, nothing is only fun for a few months. Actually, only a few weeks. Ok, fine! It’s really only fun for about a day and then the adult in me comes alive and decides that being productive in society is my purpose in life and where, oh where, can I find something to do?! Darn conscious.

Are you still with me? Do you also experience this mini-crisis? On one hand, what the hell are all my co-workers doing? Is it my work? Do they know something I don’t? Am I not on a key Slack channel where all these mysterious new projects are being broadcast to the team? Did I miss the majority of the brief? Honestly, I don’t understand how I have zero to do and everyone else has too much…am I supposed to “help” them? So many unknowns in this scenario. The adult in me says ‘ask your manager’ but the human in me says ‘that would get you more work and then you’d have to break up with BuzzFeed’.

On the other hand, though, my co-workers could just be faking it as well as me. Everyone’s always “busy” when someone is checking in or if someone asks who isn’t busy – because they’re looking to dump some of their crap on a poor, unsuspecting, soul. It’s basically a knee-jerk reaction and the first step to surviving adulthood 101: Are you busy? Yea, slammed, why?

I blame Gerber. Think about it, since we were literally born, we’ve been inundated with the image of an adorable, photogenic, joyful, little baby. And we’re not dumb…that baby is doing nothing for Gerber other than allowing them to post it’s cute face on baby food all over the world. Making all kinds of money. So how did they expect us not to take that example into our adult lives?! The mind is very moldable at that age – and they made it seem like a poster child was an acceptable thing to “do” for a living. Why would we think differently? Look at how happy that child is?! Who doesn’t want that in their life?!

I’m convinced that if the Gerber baby hadn’t already been selected by the time I was born, I would have had a good chance at that gig. Could be swimming in dolla, dolla bills right now. Instead, I was a few decades too late. Sure, it was a drawing, not a picture, but the point is unchanged (besides, I was an infant I didn’t know what art was). And now my internal dilemma: to be productive or not to be productive? Agh! These LIFE CRISES are getting a bit old.

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you have ever felt like the only non-productive person at work, let’s both quit our jobs and form a company whose sole mission is unproductivity. How can we lose?! Thanks for reading!


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