A few weeks back I was notified that the CEO (who looks very like my Mum) wanted to hold a probation review meeting with me. This would determine whether my work in the past months has reached the exacting standards that I always diligently try to achieve and, most importantly, whether I have met the canine specification and will be able to continue my job as Office Dog. I was in fact wondering if this would even happen – as in our office, we often hear from clients who have not given employees their probation reviews at the right time and once the time has gone by, probation is deemed to have been passed through a lack of any indication to the contrary. However, I clearly work for a diligent employer and the date for my review was set.
Not being able to continue my job was unthinkable… what would I do? The job market for Office Dogs is extremely competitive and those who manage to gain employment do so through personal connections. I think I would struggle at interviews too as being a Staffordshire Bull Terrier, some humans may not understand tail language and also might think I would be a disruptive addition to the team. In fact I, personally, am the complete opposite: conscientious, friendly, approachable and only a little bit stinky on occasions. In my current role I also have an extremely generous benefits package including weekly treats, quiet on site sleeping areas and flexible working from home when consultants are out of the office. It would certainly be difficult to negotiate this with any future employers.
On the day of the meeting I had a bath, combed mycoat and put on a clean collar. When I entered the meeting room I was extremely nervous and had to take a good few slurps of water before I was ready. I then shook hands/paws and awaited the verdict. My concerns were slowly disappearing as Mum (sorry, the CEO) first of all mentioned my professionalism and diligence in ensuring tasks get done to a high standard. She then went on to mention how I provide a friendly meet and greet service and extend a warm welcome to all visitors, which was great to hear and that I can continue to practice doing this Gently. There is always a lot of focus on Gently.
She was also pleased to see how I have addressed certain “lapses in judgement” such as when I took a pasty from Louise’s desk thinking she didn’t want it any more, confiscating a satsuma from Deirdre’s bag due to mistaking it for a hazardous item and carrying out my untidy version of paper shredding as opposed to asking someone for help to use the electronic shredder. These were completely deliberate as far as I am concerned but it was all going so well, I wasn’t going to let on. I will just have to be more stealth-like in future.Anyway, in light of all this, I was told that I had passed my probation review! The organisation feels that I am an integral member of the team and it was pointed out how having dogs in the office can reduce stress levels too! http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-17561272
I was informed that my job role would also expand to include offsite client visits, (I went to Witton Lodge Community Association just last week and GMCVO in Manchester tweeted to ask when I would be going to see them https://twitter.com/BuddyBlog).
So it looks like I will retain my role as Office Dog for the foreseeable future. Much positive tail language has taken place!