Dog days in news­room may not be all that ruff

Austin American-Statesman - - METRO&STATE - Her­man

From time to time, I like to take you be­hind the scenes here at the News­pa­per-by-theLake-That’s-Re­ally-A-River. To­day is one of those days. Lucky for you.

The two ques­tions I get most from read­ers are (1) Please tell me how you folks pro­duce the magic that is the news­pa­per and web­sites we are so blessed to have, and (B) Hey, Brook­lyn boy — they pay you to write this stuff ?

The an­swers are (1) A to­tal, self­less ded­i­ca­tion to the bet­ter­ment of our com­mu­nity, and (B) No, they over­pay me.

To­day’s topic is an an­nounce­ment at a re­cent staff meet­ing. Per­haps you’re aware these are times of great change and chal­lenge for news­pa­pers. At this re­cent meet­ing, we were up­dated on var­i­ous up­com­ing changes, in­clud­ing the ad­di­tion of our con­tent to the Alexa de­vice, which will give you an ex­cit­ing new way to yell at us.

And we heard about a new pro­gram aimed at keep­ing news­room folks happy. You ever try to keep news­room folks happy? Not easy. We’ve got good ben­e­fits, river/lake­front views and a bot­tom­less candy drawer. Yet, some­how, not every­body in the news­room seems happy each and ev­ery mo­ment of each and ev­ery day. Go fig­ure.

So man­age­ment (and let’s stop here for the usual re­minder that every­body in man­age­ment here is bril­liant) has come up with a new pro­gram. Turns out in ad­di­tion to be­ing bril­liant, the man­age­ment folks are kind to an­i­mals. At least some an­i­mals.

Em­ploy­ees with dogs — and only dogs — are be­ing in­vited to bring them to work. I’m aware this is a thing in some busi­nesses. It’s a new thing at this busi­ness that started in our sales de­part­ment weeks ago. And there are rules, de­lin­eated in the “Bring Your Dog to Work News­room Guide­lines and Ac­knowl­edg­ment” posted for our pe­rusal.

These are good rules. (Man­age­ment never makes bad rules.) Un­for­tu­nately, they in­clude some rules for dogs that I fear some of my col­leagues (in­clud­ing me on some days) would have trou­ble liv­ing up to.

Vis­it­ing dogs must be “up to date on vac­ci­na­tions, flea and heart worm treat­ments (and have) been neutered.” (I’ll give you a few sec­onds here for your own joke about whether jour­nal­ists should re­pro­duce.) Dogs also must be “friendly, clean, house­bro­ken and gen­er­ally well-man­nered.” (Hey, isn’t that the motto of the Dog Scouts of Amer­ica?)

The guide­lines re­mind us “Your co-work­ers are here to

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