Recently before I taught, I stopped to get a drink and beheld something quite odd: a man with a bird on his shoulder. Keep in mind this was in the Technology Building as opposed to, I dunno, the Zoology Annex on IU’s little-known Bahamas campus. I was taken aback but the man simply got a bev and went on his way. He was even wearing a preppy button-down Oxford cloth shirt that matched his bird’s feathers. So odd was this experience that after it was over, I thought I might’ve hallucinated from inhaling printer toner so I asked my students about the Birdman. Several confirmed having seen him as well and on more than one occasion. Having worked at IU and the State to ensure their Web sites were ADA compliant, to cover my bases I inquired as to whether it might be a guide bird, even though that seemed a bit…unprecedented. My question was met with giggles and odd stares. I guess I don’t really mind if someone brings a bird to campus as long as it isn’t disruptive but I can see this type of thing causing quite a stir. And you have to admit that even in the strange world of academia where people use the word “pedagogy” a lot, it’s on the limits of what’s generally acceptable.

I often think how much I would love to bring Abby with me to work. She’s very well-behaved and after casing the joint with some power sniffs, I’m sure she’d just settle down close to me and observe. I know there are lots of reasons why this sort of thing usually doesn’t happen but I’m positive it would make my demeanor and work experience more pleasant. What are your thoughts on critters in the workplace?


6 Responses to “Caw!”

  1. Amy Says:

    Casper would be a perfect underdesk foot warmer! And cheaper for the company than the plug-in foot warming footrest I currently have. I wish for this a lot but since we can’t even have live plants, I really don’t think a big hairy beast will be allowed. Also she’d be afraid of the automatic revolving doors…

    My cousin has a bird she takes to outdoor restaurant seating and anywhere else he’s allowed.

  2. picklesdimes Says:

    A bird would be odd to see in a setting like that!

    My old employer allowed dogs on Fridays, and it was sweet. Most of the dogs were well-behaved, and it was a nice mini break to pet them or play with them. I miss having that.

    I love going into little mom & pop businesses and seeing a sleeping cat or dog on the premises. This little sandwich shop by my old workplace had a black kitty who greeted you at the door. Awesome.

  3. lydia Says:

    I used to have a co-worker who would bring her dog (a Maltese who I loved dearly) to work every once in a while. I loved having him there. Something calming about it… although I think dog owners should be careful about anyone who has a dog allergy, because any other type of dog and I’d have been miserable all day from not being able to breathe. And that ain’t fun no matter how cute the dog is.

    Also, I can’t help but wonder, how does a bird owner know when their pet needs to do its business? And how does that work, exactly? Does Junior Birdman take the bird off his shoulder and set it on the lawn? Does he encourage the bird to go ahead and get on with it? Do birds just not poop very often? If you ever strike up a convo with this guy, can you ask? Because now I’m really curious. 🙂

  4. Kristie Says:

    I used to have a co-worker who would bring her siberian husky into work every now and then. Now i have a co worker who has brought in kittens (trying to give them away to people here) but she woudl bring them down to my office and i’d play with them.

    I would love if we could bring animals into the workplace, they help relax the mood and in my department with all the drama that is much needed around here.

  5. Kris Says:

    *snort* at the guide bird. That’s quite a concept.

    Hee! Lydia – my first thought was about the bird poop, too! Great minds think disturbingly alike.

    As far as bring your pet to work day, I’d be for it; but I can see it being a huge liability issue. What if one dog was aggressive towards another, and a fight broke out? If the employer made everyone sign a waiver, I think it would be okay; otherwise, imagine the lawsuits. 😦

  6. SweetBasta Says:

    If you work for Google you can bring your pets to work. Not very likley for most Indiana businesses though.

    Maybe the guy was a pirate that was in disguise, casing to joint for some good ole looting and pillaging. Did he have a cleverly hidden wooden leg, or maybe and eye patch. You wouldn’t think that Indiana would be subject to pirate attacks, but they could make it across the Saint Lawrence Seaway into the Great Lakes, or they could come up the Mississippi River to the Ohio River, and then up the White River. I don’t know if pirates are that ambitious though, and I doubt that they would ever use the word “pedagogy”.

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