Office Pet Plea


Kayla Pongrac

Dear Mr. Buckneffer,


     I am writing to let you know that a petition has been circulated in regards to adding another member to our diverse intellectual team here at Distinct Designs, Inc.


     I am the one who started this petition. I am the one who firmly believes in the morale boost that would happen upon our office if you were to consider our request. This letter is an addendum to the petition, if you will. Please understand that honoring this request would not cause you any financial stress. Last time I stopped by the pet store, I was told by a youthful young man that hamsters don’t expect a salary plus full benefits.


     You see, the idea to have an “office pet” came to me while I was looking at my elementary school yearbook in the midst of a recent basement renovation. There, right there on page 161, was a photo of Mrs. Shippey’s homeroom full of fourth graders (if you were to look at this picture, I’m the blonde kid on the far left, giving Cathy Croisner bunny ears) surrounding a small cage near the back of the classroom. In that cage was a hamster—a cute little hamster that our entire class loved and cared for (aside from Jimmy Nuggeti, who tried to steal our poor hamster by stuffing him in his coat pocket one day after school). I fondly remember that hamster and how much I loved my teacher for sharing him with us. Earl was his name, and Earl was very quiet (except of course, when he got on his wheel, but even then nobody minded) and friendly. He taught us responsibility. He taught us compassion. He taught us how to love.


     And now I kindly and respectfully request that you buy us a hamster of our own, so this little guy can teach us how to love in the workplace. Because let’s be honest: not all of us get along here. Suzie is always talking about Margaret, and Margaret always tries to get Suzie in trouble by keeping a list on her desk that details what Suzie has and hasn’t done during the day.


     I think that if we were to have a hamster in this office, we would be able to bond over an animal and forget about all the little petty stuff that occurs on a daily basis. Just when Suzie is about to say something to Margaret—bam!—Suzie realizes that she’d rather pay a visit to Earl II (a working name, for now) instead.


     But what’s more . . . I think that our future office pet would be a great mascot for us. It’s quite obvious that every successful business has a mascot. They’re not just for high schools anymore. You know Whitman Brothers Printing across the street? On particularly sunny days during the summer, it’s hard to miss the man-sized quill pen wobbling around on the sidewalk, correct?


Last week, I took it upon myself to conduct an office-wide survey in which asked my co-workers three Y or N questions:


  • Are you allergic to hamsters?

  • Do you like hamsters?

  • Would you like to have a hamster in our office?


     The results of the survey were favorable. Everyone seems to like hamsters (except Kevin, who claims that he is allergic to them, and Melissa, who claims that our office would smell like poop). But I figure that if we can move Kevin’s desk far away from the cage and just flat out tell him that he’s not responsible for cleaning the cage at any time, then we’ll be just fine and our little hamster’s life here at Distinct Designs, Inc. will thrive. Same goes for Melissa. We’ll ship her off to a different desk as a sign of professional courtesy.


     Honestly, I think the only person who we would really have to worry about when it comes to our beloved future office pet would be Maxwell because I’ve seen him steal Post-It notes in the past and, to be honest, I’ve often thought that he could pass for Jimmy Nuggeti’s uncle. They have the same chin. Other than that, I get the impression that a lot of people in our office are animal-lovers. Therefore, wouldn’t it be nice to give us all some company during the day? I know that I could definitely see myself hanging out with a hamster during my lunch break.


     Besides, those of us who have animals at home (dogs, cats, betta fish, etc.) miss them a lot during the day. Think about it: we are here about 8 hours a day (some of us even more), sitting at our desks, wondering what our dogs are chewing on or if our cats brought a dead bird through the cat door again or if our fish look just as unimpressed with us as they did before we left. My point is, if we have an office pet here, it would benefit everybody, and I would be the first one to volunteer to clean its cage and change its water and put food in its food bowl. Our little hamster would remind us that we are a team, and how great would it be, Mr. Buckneffer, if one of our biggest fans came in the form of a furry little rat-creature?   


     If by chance you aren’t a fan of hamsters and would prefer a member of the reptilian family, I would have no hard feelings if I had to start a new petition that respectfully asks you to buy us a lizard. I would just need to know sooner than later because that aforementioned young man at the pet store mentioned that their Annual Lizard Sale ends Monday.


Your trusted animal kingdom supporter,


Jacob Frickes

   Graphic Designer Here at Your Company


 About the Writer

Kayla Pongrac is an avid writer, reader, tea drinker, and record spinner. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in theNewerYorkHOOTOblongThe BohemythDUM DUM Zine, and Mixtape Methodology among others. When she's not writing creatively, she's writing professionally—for two newspapers and a few magazines in her hometown of Johnstown, PA. To read more of Kayla's work, visit or on Twitter @KP_the_Promisee.