National Wildlife Day and Organizational Culture

Among other curious observations in the United States, today is Wildlife Day.

True story.

When I worked in Boulder, all employees received an annual memo reminding us to “share our space” with wildlife. “Space” included parking lots, entry and breezeways, sidewalks, open areas, and Dumpsters. Wildlife included raccoons (which are gigantic in Colorado), prairie dogs (aggressive and plague-infested), elk, deer, errant colleagues, and bears.

If we observed wildlife behaving “out of character,” (bear officed in Administrative Building generally chill, today disassembled server room), we were to report the incident to Facilities.

One year a bear took up residence in a Dumpster in the corner of a campus parking lot. In the spirit of “share our space,” the bear remained in this habitat for 4 weeks. Perhaps due to renter’s rights or something equally inane (bear had no contact info on file), it refused to vacate the Dumpster.

Finally it was removed, tagged, and relocated to a place where bears live. And likely returned to a resident’s backyard.

So the next time you find your working conditions unfathomable, please remember that your leadership does not expect you to work with a big hungry bear hanging out in the parking lot.

Image by Marcel Langthim from Pixabay.