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February 2, 2023

Are Pets a Legit Excuse for Leaving Work?

Over at the After School Special: Accounting Subreddit, someone might be trolling (sic'd throughout):

So I've just accepted a job at KPMG, and I'm so excited about it! However, I'm so worried becasue my start date is in January, and I'm in audit so that would be right at busy season. I have multiple guinea pigs (one of them has severe health needs, that requires me to, every few hours, to give him droplets). No one else can do it. (he bites!!)
I'm now really concerned because I think I did something stupid. I got an introductory email from my team, which included the email for my senior manager. I (in an extremely nice way) told him my scenario and how I wouldn't be able to do the normal busy season hours. I also asked if I could possibly just bring the sick one with me to work, he is very small and obviously quiet. I sent the email 3 days ago, and I have yet get a response.

I'm panicking right now that they won't let me. I understand that work comes first, and this sounds silly, but they are my family. Any advice would be greatly appreciated! Should I call HR?

Please, please, please let this be true. If this email landed in your inbox, kindly send it our way. We have to read it in its original form if such a thing exists.

But it brings up an interesting point — have you ever noticed how pets can be more of a legitimate excuse to leave work than other living things like, say, kids? If someone says, "I have to dive a little early, my kid has a soccer game," people shrug and say, "Okay," to their face and then kvetch about it 10 minutes after they're out the door.

But if someone else says, "Hey, I need to leave early because my girlfriend can't get home to let out Captain Fido Fuzzypants," people are all, "Oh my gosh, go right now. What are you still doing here? Do you need me to pick up anything you're working on right now? Should I draft the report for you? Do you need me to go to that meeting? IS EVERYTHING GOING TO BE OKAY?"

No one wants their home covered in dog shit and/or guinea pigs going without their medications, but it's more the attitude that people have about pets that's unusual. That is, why can people be honest about their pets as opposed to making up stories so they can spend time with their kids? Or, why are certain pets a legit excuse and others not? If a dog needed medication daily, everyone is fine with it, meanwhile our friend with guinea pigs is told to go jump in a lake. WHERE'S THE PET EQUALITY, PEOPLE? 

Alright, gang, hash this out — are pets akin to family, therefore, making their health emergencies, bowel movements, birthdays, etc. legitimate reasons to leave work? Where do you fall on this issue? This is serious for a lot of folks, so we're expecting the fur to fly. 

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