Employee Hiring Assessments: Pet Ownership History

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langKen and I have been talking about getting a dog.

Okay, to clarify: We have been talking about getting a dog since 1998, but this time our conversation felt real because I am working from home as a full-time writer and he is working from home as a full-time unemployed guy.

If not now, when?

Plus it will make us feel better. A dog is a bonding experience. A dog is a distraction. A dog demands engagement and affection.

But then Scrubby got sick. And I booked a few more speaking gigs for 1Q2013. And Ken is really into his Xbox 360 and figuring his stuff out. Our little family is in the midst of change. I asked myself, “Do I really need to bring a dog into this shit, right now?”

That’s what makes us pretty good animal owners, by the way. We think about how our lives would impact a dog.

So let me ask you something:

What the hell is your problem?

I’ve been looking at all kinds of animals on Petfinder and local animal rescue websites. There are puppies who have been dumped on the streets. There are colonies of cats rescued from the forest. I found a litter of kittens thrown on the side of the highway. Hamsters left for dead in pet store parking lots. Abandoned house rabbits found in foreclosed homes.

And why do these animals suffer?

Because your life is jacked up and you can’t live up to your commitments.

Excuses. Tons of excuses. I don’t want to hear them. Yeah, the economy is bad. Yeah, kids get allergic. But you’re an adult. You are accountable.

Me? I think there must be a valid link between responsible pet ownership and a successful work experience. If I were a recruiter in 2013, I would ask about your animals before hiring you.

rueYeah, that’s right. Animal questions that aren’t related to small talk.

  1. If you adopted a dog or cat before understanding if your kids were allergic to animals and you returned that animal to the pound, you cannot have a job at my company. [Lack of strategic planning.]
  2. If your animals are not spayed or neutered, you are also out. [Short-term thinking. Selfishness. Putting yourself before the greater good.]
  3. If you have ever bred an animal for cash, you better run. [Asshole.]

I know that animals aren’t children, which makes your indifference and stupidity even worse. Kids can grow up and get therapy. When you make a mistake, animals are hurt or euthanized.

You might think this is ridiculous, but I want to judge you based on how you treat the least among us. How have you interacted with dogs, cats, hamsters, rabbits, iguanas, bunnies, rodents and fish? (Yes fish!)  Do you respect life? Do you protect animals from harm? Are your animals spayed/neutered?

Honoring your commitment to an animal is the least you can do in life. And if you can’t do the least amount of work that is required of you when you willingly adopt an animal, you cannot work for my company.

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