To begin with, I am a dog lover

I Am Not A Fan Of Dogs In The Workplace

It is a dog-eat-dog world we live in these days.

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To begin with, I am a dog lover and have owned a few temperamental dogs in my lifetime. I also had a cat growing up that was really a "tomcat" and showed up for meals and affection on his terms. What I am, is not a big fan of the growing trend of pets in the workplace.

Have you ever walked into a place of business and hear a dog barking from one of the offices? Would you feel comfortable doing business there? Whether you are an animal activist or just a plain old dog lover, unless it is a service dog, a dog in an office is an accident waiting to happen.

There are many companies that allow or are in an animal-friendly building. What you may not know is that most have no signs posted on the doors or elevator walls informing their visitors that dogs may roam freely about the building. I work in an office building that is dog-friendly. There are no signs, apart from an occasional smell or bark from one of the resident dogs.

There are several dogs that roam the enclosed offices on each floor. There is a large breed called a Weimaraner, on the third floor, that is stately and as gentle as a pussy cat. He doesn't bark or advance unless has permission from his owner. He stares out the window or paces back and forth when people are outside his window on the patio. On this same floor, there are two other dog owners that occasionally bring their pets into work.

Two little short haired dachshunds are crated in the manager's office and occasionally will be let out to roam when the office is empty of clients. They are well behaved and seldom bark and never aggressive. Because these two dogs are so people friendly, they are an easy distraction, and other employees will come in the manager's office to visit and play with the dogs. This distraction affects everyone near that office.

A second employee of the company has two mutts and on occasion brings in her temperamental one because she is having work done in her home. This animal is not meant to be around other people. The owner does not use a crate and it growls at anyone that passes by the office. It is aggressive and has frightened me on several occasions. The owner does not know how to keep her pet calm and quiet and spends a better part of her day with the animal on her lap trying to calm it. The stress of hearing an aggressive animal all day in an office can be overwhelming, to say the least.

The company on the second floor has several dog owners and on numerous occasions, owners and dog will be out on their expansive patio. I've witnessed a few times as an owner is chatting on his cell the dog will relieve himself in the potted plant area on the patio. This area is meant for employees to relax, unwind, and possibly have meals on the provided tables. I have never witnessed an owner cleaning up after a pet has left a pile in those rocks.

It seems to me that this new trend has some kinks to work out. Rules need to be set in place like an apartment building maybe the employees should be required to pay a deposit for cleaning and other expected incidences that might occur. If an animal is aggressive it should be removed from the premises and never be allowed to return. If the employee is not responsible for his pet always he should be asked to leave as well. I know these are harsh rules, but to be honest it is a dog-eat-dog world we live in these days.


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8 Things To Know About The 911 Dispatcher In Your Life

In honor of National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week

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For the first 18 years of my life, all I knew about 911 dispatchers was that they were the voice that came after the tone, from inside the pager on my dad's hip. The voice telling him where to go and for what. I had no idea after I turned 19 that I would soon become one of those voices. National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week this year is the week of April 14th-20th. I felt it appropriate to write my article this week focused on that, considering it is such a huge part of my life. For the rest of the world, it is just another week. For us, this is the one week out of the whole year that the focus is on the dispatcher, the one week where we don't feel so self-absorbed about saying what we do is nothing short of heroic. Here are some important things to know about the 911 dispatcher in your life.

1. We worry about you constantly

My biggest fear in this job is picking up the phone and hearing my loved one on the other end. No matter what the circumstance. The map zooms to the area of the county where my family and I reside, and my heart always sinks. I get a giant pit in my stomach because the very real reality is it may be someone I know and love. Don't be annoyed when we call you twice in one day or overly remind you to be safe. We are just always worried about our loved ones.

2. Our attention spans can be short

We are trained to get the pertinent information and details all within a matter of seconds. I can't speak for everyone on this, but I struggle a lot with paying attention when someone is talking to me, please forgive me if it feels as though I've stopped listening after a few minutes. I probably have. I've noticed that I listen very intently to the first couple minutes of a conversation and then my mind trails off. Nothing personal, just habit.

3. We have great hearing and multitasking skills

Most of us anyways. We can hear the person on the phone, the officer on one radio channel and the firefighter on the other, all at once. I have found that this skill comes in handy when trying to eavesdrop, also not as handy when you go out to dinner and can hear all five conversations going on around you. I have yet to master shutting that off when I am not at work.

4. We are hilarious

It could be a combination of using humor to deal with bad situations and spending twelve hours at a time in a little room together. But I think it’s that we are just freaking hilarious, nothing else to it. If you go the whole 12 hours without laughing, you're doing something wrong.

5. We have a very complicated love-hate relationship with our jobs

I love what I do, and I truly believe I was meant to put on that headset. Everything happens for a reason and my education plans out of high school didn't work out because I was supposed to be here doing this instead. I love what I do. I hate it sometimes too though. I remember specifically once taking a phone call about an hour before my shift was done. As soon as I got into my vehicle to go home, I bawled my eyes out and swore to myself that I was never stepping back into a comm center again. I hated my job with a burning passion that day. My next scheduled shift, I went back to work because I love it too. See, it doesn't even make sense it's just complicated.

6. We are tired

Believe it or not, this career can be incredibly exhausting. Someone once told me "You just sit at a desk for twelve hours, that can't be that hard." Physically that's right, we just sit there. Mentally and emotionally the first phone call of the shift can drain you and then you still have a little over 11 hours to go. I won't go into details on that but trust us when we say it was a bad call. We are tired. Some of my days off I just sleep all day not because I'm physically exhausted but because my mind needs that much time to recharge.

7. We are crazy

I really have nothing more to say other than no sane person would be a 911 dispatcher. We are all a little 10-96 in the best way possible.

8. We love harder than most

We love strangers we have never met, we love our officers that piss us off daily over the radio (we piss them off too) and we love our co-workers that drive us nuts sometimes. It takes someone incredibly strong to save a life through the phone and someone even stronger to go back after they didn't. With that strength comes a weakness of vulnerability, we know our hearts will break more often than others, and we still continue to put on that headset to help others. The people with the biggest hearts work in a dispatch center. If you are lucky enough to be loved by one don't take them for granted.

The list could go on and on. Dispatchers possess so many skills and qualities that most people will never acquire in their lifetime. People think 911 and picture the police officer, the firefighter, the paramedic often completely forgetting the 911 dispatcher. For us, that's okay because other than this one week out of the year, we don't expect praise or thank you. When it comes down to it, we love what we do and we would do it no matter what.

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America Is Facing A Shortage Of Doctors, And It's Because How Society Treats Them

The United States severely overwork their residents, who are expected to work 40 to 80 hours a week. This is particularly unacceptable when compared to European residents who work at most 40 hours per week.

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You may think, doctors get paid well... really well. Why would we have a shortage if everyone wants to be one?

First, let's break down the "doctors make bank" myth. Physician income varies immensely, depending on the specialty and the region in the United States. A neurosurgeon in Montana is going to make far more than a primary care doctor in New York. This is just basic supply and demand. Then subtract income tax, malpractice insurance, and student debt, and you have a smaller income to live off of. So before you think about pursuing the career for the money, think again.

If you are a pre-med student or know one, then you know how difficult it is to get into medical school in the U.S. The struggle of maintaining a near-perfect GPA during undergraduate school and creating a competitive resume is stressful, not to mention studying for the now eight-hour long MCAT entrance exam. Because medical school is so difficult to get into, the shortage of slots creates insane competitiveness and challenges the security of choosing to go to graduate school.

Medical students are some of the hardest working people I know in my personal life, among many, but they all faced a similar dilemma at some point: do I sacrifice my youth or a stable future? After graduation from medical school, students then work during a period called residency in which they further their experience and prepare to take Step 3, the last board exam. The number of residency positions do not match the number of physicians needed. The United States severely overwork their residents, who are expected to work 40 to 80 hours a week. This is particularly unacceptable when compared to European residents who work at most 40 hours per week.

Our society requires doctors to answer to government mandates, for example, the newly instated EHRs. They have to juggle patients, hierarchy, lack of help, and too many patients. What results is a scary concept of resident physician suicide? Kevin Jubbal, founder of MedSchoolInsiders started a movement called #SaveOurDoctors, promoting better care of those who take care of us.

If we need more doctors, we need to reorganize our healthcare system, and the profession itself. Doctors should not have to sacrifice their lives to save us.

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