There is a universal force that unites all successful and happy business professionals: a love of animals. Some people like dogs, others like cats, but everybody likes animals except for a few cranky people in the office.
In fact, I can go through my career and identify a half-dozen miserable people. They had bouts of depression, mania, and paranoia. They had delusions of grandeur and anxiety. None of them had animals. Not one.
I worked with a woman who was all about her family. I knew she was all about her family because all she did was tell me, hey, my family comes first. You know the type. But she was also one of those super moms who worked by “choice” because she felt especially fulfilled by her job in human resources.
IN HUMAN RESOURCES. Whatever, I still can’t wrap my head around that.
So while she loved being a mom and being a VP of HR, she was a miserable human being who never missed an opportunity to stab a colleague in the back. Or in the face. Or the arm.
One day, this horrible woman happened to overhear a conversation that I was having about my cat, Lucy. Now let me tell you about Miss Lucy. She was the spruce goose of all cats. She was the apple of my eye, the cream of my wheat, and the honey bunches of my oats.
My conversation about Lucy was an opportunity for this HR lady to knock me down. I happened to have a few pictures of Lucy in my office, and this crazy bitch sprang at the opportunity to jump into my conversation and lecture me on how childish and immature I looked with photos of my cats all over my office.
And my first instinct was like — who asked you?
But I was so shocked that I said, “I’m sorry?”
So she repeated it. All of it. Guess what? In version two, I still looked like a moron with all of my cat photos.
I was just like — how is this my life? Working in HR with this witch? How much harder do I have to work to pay off these student loans? Should I let this woman kick me in the face, too?
And it should come as no shock that the mean HR lady didn’t have any animals in her house. Not a guinea pig. Not a beta fish. Not a goddamn dust bunny. No animals. None.
So all of this is just to say that people who love animals are great and happy. Everybody else will just bring you down. Especially if they are HR ladies without cats or dogs.