Employee of the Month: Ella Roding

Employee of the Month: Ella Roding

She gets paid in “pats, love and the occasional toy”.

Everybody stop what you’re fucking doing. There is a doggo at OUSA student support (5 Ethel Benjamin Place) every Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, and she has an employment contract.

Ella Roding, a rescue dog from a Community Led Animal Welfare organisation in South Africa (CLAW), had an unfortunate beginning. When CLAW rescued her she’d had hot oil poured over her, and to this day still has the scars beneath her beautiful golden coat. Her adoptive mother, Ingrid Roding, has given her a full, happy life ever since.

Her casual individual employment agreement stipulates a payment of “pats, love and the occasional toy” and will be provided “tea and coffee free of charge”. In the “unexpected” case that she has puppies (she is fixed), she is guaranteed the full rights of parental leave like any human employee #equality.

Ella’s contract can be terminated without notice for serious misconduct, including “pooping on the floor in front of the CEO” and “barking at the University Chancellor” - though no word on what happens if she poops in front of the Chancellor.

Although the jury is still out on the legalities of said contract (which was signed with a paw), when Critic sat down with Ella at her place of work, she said overall she was “chuffed” with the agreement.

“There aren’t many jobs for talking dogs,” she said. “Especially in the care industry. It puts people off. So I don’t speak to people who need support unless they are really, really special.”

When asked about how she felt about the stipulation in her Code of Conduct that she is not to use emails or internet to “peruse other dogs” she said, “we all have to draw the line somewhere. But it won’t be an issue for me. I’m an incredibly good girl.”

Before Ella, there was Nina the support doggo, who sadly left the organisation when her owner and former student advocate left OUSA. In a statement to Critic, Nina wished the best for Ella, and said, “just as no problem is too big or too small for the helpful advocates at Student Support, no problem is too big or too small for a support doggo. Greet everyone with warmth and enthusiasm whether they walk in crying or laughing, but remember, not everyone likes being licked on the face. Take pride in your appearance. A smart sweater or a colourful cravat goes a long way in cheering people up."

Ella chuckled softly at these comments and passed on her thanks. “It’s great to know I’ll be carrying on a good legacy.”

This article first appeared in Issue 21, 2019.
Posted 11:43pm Thursday 29th August 2019 by Sinead Gill.