The internet is behind a woman who says she can’t and won’t go back to working from home so her co-workers can bring their dogs to work.
Posting to the infamous Reddit forum r/AmITheA**hole, u/nomoreofficedogs, otherwise known as the “original poster” (OP) shared “[Am I the A**hole] for refusing to work from home, so now people can no longer bring their dogs to the office?” to over 6,400 upvotes and 1,200 comments.
In her post, u/nomoreofficedogs says that before the COVID-19 pandemic, dogs weren’t allowed in the office at all. During the pandemic, everyone worked from home, but with cases decreasing, her office opened in waves. She wasn’t part of the first wave, where employees were allowed to bring their dogs to “ease the transition.”
Her team stayed working from home for another year, but now the office is open for all. The issue is that u/nomoreofficedogs is very allergic to dogs, with the smell of them triggering her migraines.
“Huge bummer, because I do like dogs, but it explains why in one foster home I was always feeling sick,” she wrote.
Her boss told her that they’d figure something out, but that the people with their own offices aren’t willing to give up the ability to bring their dog to work—and unfortunately, u/nomoreofficedogs is not one of the people with a private office.
After failing to come up with a solution, her boss suggested u/nomoreofficedogs go back to working from home full-time. She says that’s not an option.
“I live in a tiny studio that barely fits my bed, and I have to sit on it or on my floor to have a workspace. I have one window. It’s suffocating and I was starting to go crazy living there during the pandemic and [working from home],” she wrote. “So, I say that if I can negotiate a raise that will be enough to help me to move to a larger place, I will consider [working from home].”
This isn’t in the budget, the boss told her, and that “everyone had to make adjustments.” But u/nomoreofficedogs says she won’t return home—but that if someone were to offer up an office so she could work sequestered from the dogs, that would work too.
There are no takers, though, and her fellow employees are calling her selfish. She says they’ve told her they’d love to be able to work from home, since “most of my other coworkers live in houses that they own, most have huge backyards, entire rooms to dedicate as an office… So of course they don’t think it’s a big deal.”
They’ve also given her “advice” like “just move back in with your parents,” “just stop buying starbucks”, “start doing uber/uber eats after work” and “move to X suburb,” none of which are reasonable—or in the case of the Starbucks suggestion, likely to make much difference. She says others have accused her of lying about the migraines.
“Each of them has a suggestion about how I should go out of my way to make all these changes (some of which I can’t even do!) just because people want to bring their dogs to an office,” she wrote, asking if she was the wrong.
In a comment to Newsweek, she talked about how the focus on bringing the dogs back to the office makes her feel.
“It’s really dehumanizing to be treated like this by some of my coworkers. I understand that people love their pets, but humans should always come before them when it comes to spaces meant for people,’ u/nomoreofficedogs told Newsweek.
The American Kennel Club cites many pros and cons to allowing dogs in the office. Dogs can relieve stress. In addition, allowing dogs can be a perk that not only attracts workers but decreases turnover.
But, on the other hand, aside from co-workers with severe allergies, like u/nomoreofficedogs, or a fear of dogs, there are other issues. Dogs can easily be distracting with noises that they make, or in interactions with other people. They can also be disruptive, especially if a dog fights with another worker’s dog. Dogs can also make their owners take more-frequent breaks to allow the dog to relieve itself. And, of course, if a dog bites someone, that could cause legal issues for both the employee who owns the unfriendly dog and the company itself.
The subreddit was nearly united in backing u/nomoreofficedogs.
“[Not the A**hole]. But I’d start looking for a better job,” u/CranberrySafe3271 wrote in the top-voted comment, earning over 12,000 upvotes. “People are a**holes in an office and they won’t get over this. Your environment there is only going to get worse.”
“They give off the ‘oh you’re poor? Just stop being poor’ vibes,” u/TheForkWitchandWorm wrote.
“Personally, as a dog person who is [working from home] and loves his dog more than anything else, I don’t care for dogs in the office. Risk of a constant distraction, especially with multiple dogs – even well-socialized ones aren’t going to be keen on just chilling in a cube, knowing another dog is right there,” u/SandyDelights wrote.
“[Not the A**hole],” u/niennabobenna wrote. “If they want to be with their dogs so much, one of them should make the sacrifice of giving up their office or they should be given the option to work from home.”
“Yes. All of this. And she’s even willing to compromise – one of them just have to give up a personal, enclosed office for everybody to keep their dogs. Maybe OP should suggest all the dog-people with personal offices draw lots to see who is giving her a personal office,” u/Embarassed_Bat_88 wrote. “At this point, she’s suffering in a Hostile Work Environment with everyone being a**holes to her over her medical condition, which needs to be accommodated MORE than they ‘need’ their dogs in office.”