Friday, June 19, 2009

Toxic Workplaces

I've worked in places where the management seemed ridiculously high-strung before. A lot of times it was because they had marital problems, were overstressed from working at least two jobs, were the wrong people for the job, or were disappointed with their level of achievement in life.

There might not be a workplace in existence that is as toxic as an animal menagerie these days. "Tight safety regulations" are the refuges of the incompetent, the scoundrels, and the sociopaths, with a lot of overlap between the named groups. A person who does not handle the animals does not learn how to handle the animals. If you spend years to even get to handle the animals, generally you move on and start the whole process over again, if you even get in. Someone who is the worthless nephew of the boss's sister-in-law might go straight in and learn how to "handle" while someone who the cats obviously love might be restrained from even touching through the fence.

Zero tolerance creates a toxic workplace. Humans aren't made for that. Zero tolerance policy cannot and will not be administered honestly. Tolerance necessarily creeps in or you don't have a workforce. Even with the best of faith it's subjective and depends on the mood of whichever authority figure happens to be in a given place at a given time. With zero tolerance a worker is treated as if he has just violated the world's fertile womb with nuclear poisons if he happens to brush against the fur of a snow leopard and it can be construed as a voluntary act.

At the same time the workers are there to be with the animals. If an invisible barrier of authority stands between the workers and the animals, things happen. One is of course that that the worker never learns to work with the animals, a thing that you cannot learn without some kind of interaction. That's a thing that doesn't happen. Another is that workers get frustrated and go independent, so they interact without the help of a person who knows how to be safe around the animals. It's like learning how to drive a motorcycle by spending years cleaning the showroom floor while someone else moves them in and out. Yet another thing is that you get toxic personalities in the workplace who could give a crap about the animals but like to horse animal lovers around.

There is a toxic personality who recently took all of her son's big cats away from him and has banned her workers from contact with them. This was his mother, for the love of God. So his dream has been taken away by his mother. He probably should have read Iron John. And she's taking it away from a lot of other people who work there. The emotional atmosphere has changed with may account for the recent death that occurred there. She is going to have her profit center, she is going to change the trade for the worse, and she is going to be in league with some of the most destructive people on Earth.

As for myself, I live to have contact with the animals. Even without the "no contact" extreme, as near as I can tell opportunities for real contact with the animals are few and far between. They are few and far between enough that the professionals who are working these menageries now are failing to create enough new "trained professionals" to keep the industry going. I foresee a downward spiral as planned by some of the most evil sentient beings that the universe has brought forth. There is a lot of pork-barrel in constructing sealed habitats with their own little carefully tended artificial ecosystems that will be allowed to fall into rack and ruin in just twenty or thirty years while the scammers abscond with the money and leave their employees holding the bag.

I suppose that I will never voluntarily attempt to put myself in a position to make any kind of contact with big cats. My choice as I understand it is to obey the rules or live without. I'm not choosing the former because the rules are tainted. There is even some kind of deliberate sadism in treating animal lovers this way and it is the same sadism that is practiced by animal rights activists. There is no chance that I will put myself in a position where I have to obey "no contact" rules except occasionally I might visit a zoo and stay well away from any barriers. Mostly I figure if they don't want me to touch it they don't want me to have anything to do with it. They want some money out of me? Are they kidding?

The owners of the menageries did it to themselves. They did not dig in their heels nearly soon enough. They have let it get to the point where more drastic actions are needed and of course they could use a white knight, but if I were that white knight I would want something for that and if I'm not good enough to touch, my money is not good enough for them. I can't believe the cowardly chickenshit. All of the abuse is passed on to the customers and to the next generation of animal handlers, and then they expect good service, lots of money, and tremendous goodwill in return, just like their abusers and just like the dysfunctional family and the toxic schoolteachers.

I have to care what is in it for me. People would have me drain everything that I have into their pockets and for all I know their bloodstreams and life-forces and they want me to expect nothing in return, to give "charity" and be "altruistic." This is the epitome of the thieving scoundrel. If I could even tithe to something reasonable, group efforts to do good things, that would be all right, but they're not going to treat me like a human. They're going to treat me like a member of their own personal living blood bank. Screw them.

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