28 June 2011

Welcome to International Dog Agility Workers Day.


It has come to my attention that agility workers are being exploited with grueling work days and hard jobs offering no pay or health benefits. That's right. No pay. They are not being provided with adequate safety equipment. Workers are not being compensated for performing dangerous jobs at trials, and the time has come to speak out against this bourgeoisie exploitation of the proletariat of the dog world.


Do you hear this, agility workers of the world? There is no reason to stand for this oppression and the time for uprising is now.


That's right. You want that a-frame moved? The right size legs put on the table? The chute lovingly fluffed and securely fastened on to it's plastic barrel? These jobs are performed by skilled agility workers, and agility workers around the world have decided to leave the equipment where it lies. The jump order is tall to small? Well, those jump bars are still sitting out there in a plastic garbage can in the trailer and they're not getting out to that ring anytime soon unless basic, humanitarian needs of workers worldwide are met.


Union busting radicals disguised as trial organizers historically have plied workers with sparkly little trinkets like sandwiches and raffle tickets. Those bastards. Workers can see right through these ploys to lull workers into the lazy complacency of corporate tyranny.


They use cloying terms such as volunteerism. For the good of the sport. Community. Grass roots. Then they whirl around with a sneer and shriek at one of our brethren for not setting the tire at the right height. And perhaps leaving it's little chain dangling at the top. Which really is a safety hazard and shouldn't take a rocket scientist to remember that you have to wrap it around the thingy at the top so the big dogs don't whack their heads on it?


There are 12 hour days with no breaks. Porta potties being provided for bathroom facilities with no hot water, no mirrors, and the cheapest, low grade toilet paper that K-mart offers on two-for-one day.


Workers aren't provided with basic safety equipment for heroic acts such as resetting dropped bars between the opening and closing rounds of snooker. Occasionally, child labor is used for the of running leashes from one gate to the other, working their little toesies to the bone.


The time is now for the masses to revolt. The fat cats sitting up there on top of their dogwalks made of gold are in for a rude awakening as the quiet growl of revolution grown less faint. They may argue that the workers benefit from the fruits of their labors. With what? A tiny dog show ribbon? A crappy piece of pvc for earning a title of distinction?


No. The time is ripe for workers to band together. They have nothing to lose but their choke chains. Not that any of them were using these. Their comfortable, velcro attached dog harnesses. Nothing to lose but those. And possibly their silvery mesh shade cloths. And folding chairs with little cupholders. And also maybe their little fans that they attach on the side of their dog crates to blow cool air in on their dogs.


But aside from that, nothing to lose. Except also maybe running their dogs. Because in an anarchy state, who knows how to set the measuring tape on the center line so the courses get built right? And the electronic timers? And good god. The score table.


And there would be no jars of candy or muffins on the score tables because no one is going to do a Costco run now? Oh, and no broad jump because only like 3 people know what size that's supposed to be in Steeplechase and now they're out marching?


Oh, and also, actually, there would be no ice. Um, or equipment trailers with all the stuff. And the potential mayhem at the gate without a gate steward would be even uglier than any revolution in the streets. Actually, pretty dangerous. Oh yeah, and the motorhome people duking it out without anyone to arrange the parking places. And there wouldn't even be judges since who would hire them, and even if they magically showed up because they booked their flights on their own credit cards, no one around to find them murderer-free hotel rooms and rental cars.

So likely, everybody might just need to stay home and actually, no use for dog agility workers anymore.

So not sure if marching still necessary? Just hold off on the uprising? And everybody take a turn at setting some bars.

26 comments:

Shenna Lemche AKA Project Leader said...

As usual, you've made your point in the best way possible in the history of point making. If fat cats on golden dogwalks... or whatever you said...didn't get it before, they will now. I mean, who'd argue with the lady with the dozer??

Speaking of... did you break into a constructions site? Or waste refinery?

team small dog said...

Phew. Glad I made a point. Much of the time I forget to do that.

I was just trying to find a photo shoot site that looked sort of like where we might have dog agility. Except with giant tractors. Which would actually be super useful at dog agility! More tractors!

nosemovie said...

This IS the finest post on that particular subject I have yet to read... and I've read many.

But I've not written mine yet... so? I think it will be WAAAY less awesome, but possibly WAAAY more bitchy. :)

nosemovie

vici whisner said...

Alrighty. This is the best post ever. Thank you Laura for making my day bright and shiny with unicorns in it. See ya this weekend...looking forward to seeing you with your brand new dump truck.

Anonymous said...

Love it Laura -- especially the grappling hook thingee! See ya this wknd :) Shelley Permann go short dogs!!

Celeste said...

Brilliant!

maryclover said...

FANTASTIC!! Usually you are the photographer for your photo essays. Who helped you out this time? They should get props too. Thanks for another fun read.

Diana said...

LOL, that was great!!! Thanks!

Elf said...

As always, you have the BEST POST EVER. I was mumbling about how much time I spent tracking down photos of me working at trials for my blog, and now I realize that SO MUCH MORE is possible in the way of preparing photos for blogs. Very well done, and thanks for the huge laughs.

Elf said...

Plus, P.S., I'm so lazy that I even stole a TSD photo to use in my post. Some people are such lazy workers, cutting corners everywhere.

steve said...

Laura - Down with the Bourgeoisie! Workers Unite to topple tyranny! More heavy equipment!

I don't have the words to describe how incredible this article is. Thanks so much for writing it!! You've really made my day!

sally said...

this was great! LOL that's so on target. thx

Melanie said...

Well said! Thank you!
I guess I can put down my placard now.

Bossy But Friendly said...

I have my gate steward voice all ready for the picket line.

But I am not sure if I should march. The fat cats in my area give us tiny bottles of water. Sure it's to keep us on our feet after a long day in the hot sun, but it looks like we have it pretty good compared to the rest of the masses.

Very well said!

team small dog said...

Viva la revolucion.

MaryC, I have a 10 second beep delay and I usually just set my camera on a bucket and run. But if I need to climb up on tall machinery, I have a super foxy assistant who likes to remain anonymous who grudgingly come out with me to hit the camera button after I set up my shots.

Sounds like Steve's agility blog action day was a success and lots of people could relate to this topic!

Lisa said...

LOL

Amanda said...

Fantastic! And I loved you finding Otterpop in the trash. And I agree, dog agility could definitely use more tractors.

Maggie Guthrie said...

You have awakened my union spirit, comrade Laura. We need your voice on the Workers Committee! Join us and speak for all of us!

Maggie Guthrie

Jodi, eh? said...

You Americans are crazy to do all that shit for free. Come to Canada to do agility where the workers get paid, BIG TIME!!!

Anonymous said...

Gosh, I miss one day of reading your blog and a revolution was started! Funny stuff, Laura, thanks for a good chuckle while drinking my morning coffee!

I quietly revolted against setting bars a couple years ago when I got yelled at by the gate steward and competitors (clearly I didn't do a very good job!). I knew the day would come when others would join in the revolution!

Beth & Lexi

Joan said...

Best post ever, Laura. So funny, but still making the point

Rose said...

Great post. Love your photos and their captions.

team small dog said...

Beth I hope you are revolting by becoming a kinder and gentler gate steward! Viva la revolucion!

shawn said...

For years I've volunteered and those power-hungry volunteer coordinators have never been worried about my safety! (well, I've never really been worried, either). But now I know not to volunteer unless I'm given proper safety equipment - goggles, hats, gloves, grappling hooks....

Rachel said...

LOVE.

Jackie & Stevie said...

Oh my, where has this been hiding? Laura you are brilliant, talented, and so funny!!! I may have to get to Bay Team, before Regionals, just to see you sooner rather then later!!!