Democracy within firms should result in workers having a fair shot, absent insider information. Unfairness emerges when the workplace is not in fact a level playing field – when friends purchased with corporate funds run amok, behaving badly, then hiding behind the boss’s skirt. Pets at work receive the same protection as the four-legged types – cared for, coddled, paraded around like a faithful Tonto on a short tether, sitting center stage within meetings. They nod bobble head laughing in all the right places, massaging the manager’s ego. Organizational ambrosia of continued employment serves as a powerful motivator.
Ethical dilemmas arise when players (whose input might negatively impact pet status) are eliminated from key decisions, when bosses who buy their friends gum up the corporate works with favoritism that exists solely to advance their own purpose. Blatant pet protection does the employee with most favored pet status a disservice, for they are never permitted to fend for themselves, to develop inner strength from dealing head on with workplace struggles, or to see any semblance of cause and effect – because their actions occur in a bubble in which consequences do not exist.
Pets are believed without question, vindicated upon command, exploited as confidant and boss sounding board as long as those with a collar keep up their end of the bargain – serving as boss surrogate to anyone who looks sideways in the supervisor’s direction. They are bequeathed unearned chips of organizational capital, which they use either for or against other people at work.