Plant Etiquette

White-topped Pitcher Plant

White-topped Pitcher Plant

The title of this post might suggest a continuation of yesterday’s post, but that subject was covered under email etiquette and is not part of today’s post, which is all about plant etiquette, hence its title. Also, I’m not talking about deportment expectations within a manufacturing facility here. I’m speaking of plants of the green and growing variety. Apparently, they have grown to become a major office nuisance and also a safety hazard. And to think that I missed this new development, for not being able to see the forest for the trees. Thank goodness that this has now been brought to my attention.

Unkempt plants can be both dangerous and disgusting. Long vines can reach out and grab an unsuspecting passerby or at least trip them up and then cause them to fall and maybe break their necks. You might not be old enough to remember, but I still remember seeing back and white Tarzan movies where Johnny Weissmuller was attacked and ensnared by jungle vines. If not for his Olympian physical prowess, I dare not think what those evil plants might have done to him, but I’m getting ahead of myself here. I don’t really understand why some people keep plants anyway. It may be a jungle out there, but that is no reason for the office to be turned into one too.

Then there is the danger of falling plants. Plants set on high can leap down from their aerie perches on some of those same unsuspecting passersby, especially if they happen to be studiously looking down for any of those nasty grasping vines. Besides the safety issue there is also an aesthetic one too. Just like a farmer who looks out on his field dislikes seeing some strange weed sticking out above his crop and ruining his view of the beautiful monoculture that he has sought to grow, so too does a manager dislike seeing someone’s plant sticking out above his cube farm and ruining the beautiful corporate culture that he too has sought to nurture.

Finally, there are the three classes of plants that are just too dangerous or disgusting ever to have in the workplace. First, there are the dead or diseased plants. If ever a plant succumbs to anything, then the owner of that plant must don approved hazmat attire, walk the victim out to their car and dispose of said plant somewhere off of company property, even if the only reason that the plant died was because no one would water it for you, while you were on your three-week European vacation. Second, plants with thorns, like cactus, are strictly forbidden. They could put someone’s eye out. Third, no carnivorous plants will be tolerated, even if there are fruit flies everywhere. This all might seem rather Dilbert, but what if one went rogue? “Feed me, Seymour!”

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