Working from home means our furry co-inhabitants become our colleagues, and I don't care how cute they are - it's bloody dreadful.
You may have thought Maureen was deplorable for using your mug, and Darren could suck it for interrupting you in every. single. meeting. But you didn’t see this one coming, did you?
For those of us who used to work in-house, I’m sure you will agree – What you wouldn’t give now to spend your days inhaling the stale aroma of Paul’s coffee breath, and the rancid top notes of Tina’s offensive packed lunch (who brings sardines to work, FFS?)
But that’s all just a distant, beautiful memory. Because now, thanks to the contagion sweeping the nation, your only co-worker is your scruffy wolfhound, Clive. The name is irrelevant; the problem is their poor work ethic.
How productive can you possibly be when there’s a puppy chewing its way through your bookshelf? Just try garnering the respect of your team when you have to repeat “leave it!” in a sing-song voice every three seconds throughout your Zoom meeting. Even the chihuahua doesn’t see you as an authority figure, and now your workmates can see the wizard behind the curtain as the small creature squats in full view of the webcam and takes a long, hot pee on the carpet. Take that, boss. What you gonna do about it?
And then there’s cats. Sure, they can be more low-maintenance than dogs, but sitting down to eat your sensible ham sandwich soon becomes a battle of wills as the feline begins petitioning for your lunch, despite having eaten twelve bowls of kibble already this morning. What’s more, when you stand your ground, she stalks off to the litter tray to leave a dirty protest. Oh, Gavin from accounts was annoying, sure, but he never left a number two in your office. (Well, there was the Christmas party, but that was never confirmed…)
Unfortunate enough to own a hamster or other small rodent? Sorry, pal. Enjoy working to the dulcet tones of teeth nibbling metal for the next 8-16 weeks.
Goldfish? You may begin to resent their tiny memories, as their surroundings sparkle with the veneer of a new and stimulating environment (while you can’t take another day in this godforsaken hellhole/aka your beautifully furnished sunroom with functional skylight.)
But hold up! Not so fast: don’t disguise your pet as a 12-pack of Andrex and leave them on the kerb to be swept away by an eager opportunist. This pet might just be your saviour. People in countries like Italy are currently high-fiving their pups, as they’re being allowed to walk the dog while the petless remain in strict lockdown.
Clive, maybe you are a very good boy after all.
By Becky Kleanthous