It has been quite some time since we took on the topic of strippers in the workplace. It has been even longer since we discussed a stripper with an emotional support monkey. Come to think of it, we've never discussed a stripper with an emotional support monkey, but since one has wound her way into the news, now seems as good a time as any.
A Texas stripper who goes by the stage name “Pole Assassin” has found herself in the news after an 11-year-old child attending a “haunted house” in her garden wandered into another section of her yard. The child apparently came across a cage holding the monkey, and as idiot children are wont to do, stuck their arm inside the cage. Said monkey did what monkeys are wont to do and bit the child.
Now, clearly, this is more of a general liability story and not one to fall under the auspices of workers' compensation. However, my curiosity was raised when news reports showed that this monkey actually stays with her in the workplace and while she is on the job. It literally works the pole with her. This of course raised several questions on the topic.
To begin with, why would one need an emotional support monkey? And is the monkey also considered an independent contractor? Wouldn't a dog or cat be a bit simpler to care for? Granted, no dog or cat could work the pole as deftly as a monkey, nor could they collect tips, act as a general enforcer, or do anything else that an emotional support monkey may do. We really have no idea what an emotional support monkey is capable of, but if I was a stripper with an emotional support monkey, I'd have the damn thing parking cars if it increased my income for the night.
And wouldn't this present some form of liability for whatever “gentlemen's” club she was working in? After all, some patrons at these clubs may not be much smarter than an 11-year-old finding a backyard monkey cage. And the intelligence quotient likely declines further as more alcohol is consumed. That monkey could cause severe injury should one of these strip club patrons try to stick something where it doesn't belong, and it winds up biting them in response.
Clearly, I am biased against the use of certain animals under the guise of “emotional support.” I have been critical of the use of certain animals for this purpose, such as horses, squirrels, turkeys, and peacocks. The recent surge of emotional support animals on planes was really becoming an issue of concern until the FAA tamped it down a bit by further defining what animals may qualify. Still, the number of people who now claim Fido is a support animal so that he may run free and unabated on their flight is ridiculous. I've also railed against the seemingly endless expansion of the arena of “accommodation.” Much of it defies common sense – although it is taboo to actually mention that opinion.
So, with that bias acknowledged, is an emotional support monkey something that should be in the workplace? Or is it possibly a gimmick that is only part of the show? We may never know. But we do know one thing for certain. With that monkey on the job, we will never try to stick anything in a place where it probably doesn't belong.
Robert Wilson is President & CEO of WorkersCompensation.com, and "From Bob's Cluttered Desk" comes his (often incoherent) thoughts, ramblings, observations and rants - often on workers' comp or employment issues, but occasionally not.
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