A worker whose pet chat was branded ‘unprofessional’ for interrupting a Zoom meeting has sparked debate – and laughter – online.
In a post on Reddit’s r/antiwork forum on Monday, user u/abovepeach wrote that his cat jumped into his lap during a video call with his new employer.
Shortly after the meeting ended, she received a message from her boss telling her that it is unprofessional to have pets on screen.
Asking his fellow Redditors for advice, the poster wanted to know if the post was a “red flag.”
However, users seem to be split on whether it’s appropriate for pets to hold virtual work meetings, with many focusing on the cat’s lack of professional decorum.
Reconciling work and animal care
Americans love their pets, with 88% of owners saying their pets are part of the family, but even beloved pets have their irritating moments, a study conducted at the height of the pandemic has shown. .
By surveying 3,670 U.S. pet owners between April and July 2020, researchers found that our furry friends were an added stressor for those working from home.
Owners said they worried about not meeting their pets’ social demands, as well as frustration with their pet’s constant need for attention. Bad behavior and regular work interruptions were also issues raised by owners in the study, with many struggling to balance work and animal care.
“Cats are unprofessional”
In his post, u/abovepeach said his new job required him to work from home. During a video call with a client and her new boss, her cat jumped into her lap, which was caught on camera.
The hiatus was deemed “unprofessional” by her boss, and now the poster fears she may have fallen into a toxic work culture.
“I was actually really excited about this job,” she wrote. “Ugh I hate corporate America.”
Reddit users were split on whether the boss’s post was a bad sign, with the post receiving more than 5,000 upvotes and 1,100 comments, mostly about cats and their lack of work ethic.
“Cats are unprofessional,” jmbsol1234 wrote. “They don’t even dress up for calls…unless it’s a cat in a tuxedo. Then they might be slightly overdressed.”
“Have you seen their work? Capt-Cupcake posted. “All their emails and documents are typed as if they just landed on the keyboard and pressed all the keys.
“What is ‘whdusbdidabeuxahahehxjwoexogjs’?”
Cassierae87 wrote: “Just reply in the email that you will forward this email to your cat and have a meeting with the cat regarding your cat’s unprofessionalism.”
Some posters wrote serious replies, with Lopside_Purpose_574 posting, “At my monthly zoom meetings, we start the day by showing off our pets.”
However, ritswd wrote: “I’ve worked for big companies that marketed themselves on ‘you can take us seriously’, where formal dress and respectful speech were part of the package.
“A chat on Zoom would have made everyone livid.”
Gixis commented, “Other places might not care, but they do. If you get to WFH and that’s the biggest deal, that sounds fine to me.”
Newsweek contacted u/abovepeach for comment. We were unable to verify the details of the case.
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