First and foremost, I am a dog owner, and I love dogs. So last wednesday I had to clean the air ducts of this house. The homeowner wasn’t present, but his 80 year old mother and 40 year old brother were present throughout the air duct cleaning.
These people had 2 giant bulldogs. One of the dogs wouldn’t stop barking at me and was UP MY A** the ENTIRE 4 hours I was there. Literally walking on its hind legs, trying to jump on the ladder as I was standing on it, barking in my face when I had to reach down and grab various tools and cleaning supplies from the toolbag.
I also had previously noticed how flies were swarming on the dog when I had first arrived, needless to say I didn’t want to pet him. The dog wouldn’t let up on me. He was constantly on my legs, was constantly barking at me as I was operating the machinery and navigating the hallways.
It wasn’t until I was cleaning the boots with a chemical that I finally asked the 40-year-old son to please put the dog away so I don’t accidentally get a chemical on him (which would get me in trouble.)
The 80 year old told me that the dog will leave me alone if I gave him a belly rub. I’m not kidding. I told her I’m not doing that, and to once again please put the dog away so I don’t accidentally hurt him, as he was up my a**.
The 40-year-old son sighed and struggled to get control of the dog before having to physically pick him up and bring him into the bedroom. I was able to finish the duct cleaning around 12pm.
These people proceeded to report me to my HR department for “being rude” in how I approached the situation. All I did was, in 2 sentences, ask for them to please put their dog away while I worked with chemicals. I had a meeting on friday, and I couldn’t believe it was actually being “investigated.”
Come today, I’m called into the office again and informed that I’m being let go, as they had further spoken to the customer over the weekend. They wouldn’t tell me exactly what was said, only that I “wasn’t being truthful” in how I went about asking them to put their dog away.
These companies don’t give a single f*ck about you if it means they can retain another customer and milk thousands of dollars from them for air duct cleanings and overpriced AC components. I plan on taking this to my local labor board, but it feels so demoralizing that I can be fired because a customer gets offended I didn’t pet her dog or entertain the dog while on duty. I don’t know what to do.
Most companies have dog safety policies to protect employees. That dog should have never been out in the first place. I'm glad you're in a union. Hopefully they are able to help you.
OP should complain to to Department of labor about unsafe work practices, get a lawyer involved and claim to feel unsafe while working.
I'm not sure why you would've even taken out your equipment in a situation like that - your company doesn't have policies about interactions with pets / children? Take the customers to court. Why the hell not? Sue for your annual salary because they ruined your livelihood. I was on a jury trial where somebody sued their previous employer over a bad referral, this seems similar enough.
Work smarter, not harder.
Disgusting behaviour from customer, I know it’s demoralising but do not back down.
My partner just told me about a company wide meeting where someone brought up a close call with a clients dog. My boss told the company if you feel threatened, kick the dog. I know, most people aren't cool with that, but this dog almost bit my partners coworkers face.
If people aren't going to control their animals and your life is at risk, your safety comes first. Sorry you had to deal with that. I am also an animal lover but I really dislike when people don't train their dogs, let them do whatever they want, and then get mad when you don't want anything to do with it.
Probably not a comment you care about, but thank you for this! One of my hairless cats loves when the maintenance people in my building come by. He always wants to watch them work (especially if they’re crouched down — he’ll sit under their butt) and meow as if he’s giving his own advice.
I think it’s cute, but now that I think about it, it probably isn’t for them, and they’re probably just being nice by allow him to stay nearby and give them his two cents. I’m going to start putting the cats away when we need work done! Thanks for making me a better person lol.
Thank you for realizing this. That alone made you a better person. Regards A Maintenance Worker.