ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Prairie Dogs In The Workplace

Updated on June 25, 2013
Source

These cute little rodents live in North America in holes they burrow into the ground. They construct listening post at each entrance of their underground home and members of the prairie dog family stand guard at every entrance. These guardians are called sentinels. Their heads pop out of their holes frequently to survey the land around them. Their job is to alert the rest of the group if a predator ventures to close or is trying to dig them out.

One day I was sitting in my cubicle and I watched my co-worker’s head continuously pop up in her cubicle to insert herself into conversations that didn’t include her. She reminded me of the less endearing version of these cute little creatures. Soon my thoughts took me to other places I’d worked and different heads popping up in cubicles played in my mind. That’s when it came to me – there’s been a prairie dog everywhere I’ve worked.

As I talked to friends they too could identify workplace prairie dogs. We determined they all had similar traits. Their heads popped up in their cubes at the slightest whisper almost always adding their unsolicited two cents, if someone was being reprimanded or if there was food. The biggest trait in common -- they were the office tattle tale and gossip.

The four legged version is not only cute, but they have a noble purpose -- to alert the group to danger so they can flee from the burrows if need be to safety. In contrast, the two legged version is often the harmful troublemaker that scurries around the office waging an attack on office morale and workplace harmony.

The prairie dog in my office was also a clock watcher. Every time someone came in late her head would pop up. She’d check her watch then the clock on the wall. After that she was off. You’d see her moving from cube to cube whispering her tally of how many days that person had been late. In one instance she was obsessed with the arrival time of a male co-worker. She had everyone thinking he was a slacker who was habitually tardy. However, her co-workers were disgusted with her after learning he had been coming in late because his three year old had been diagnosed with a life threatening illness. Management was aware of this and knew in advance about the days he was to be late.

After that people watched what they said around her and walked away when she wanted to gossip or tell on someone. She went from being the office prairie dog to the office pariah. One co-worker tried to talk to her about her behavior, she seemed contrite for a short time, but was soon up to her old tricks.

A close friend of mine said his prairie dog had fleas. He later said it was psoriasis, but his tattled on him. My friend had made a mistake on a client’s order. He was handling it and thought everything was taken care of and the client was happy. His prairie dog ratted him out to his boss and my friend got called on the carpet as a result.

So before I pop my head out of my cube I check to see if there is a prairie dog on the loose. If there is, I flee to safety in some other part of the office.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • the girls profile image

      Theresa Ventu 

      6 years ago from Los Angeles, California

      This is common in many offices but I know several organizations are already trying to weed them out. It's difficult to progress if an employee is not a team player. You wrote it in a funny way :-)

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)