Weird Workplace

Is that really you?; There's porn…; And then there's more porn; Seat belts are overrated anyway; Coffee for agent 99
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 10/20/2014

IS THAT REALLY YOU?

LOS ANGELES — On any given day, it would be pretty hard to have your picture taken with the likes of President Barack Obama or George Clooney. But one attorney just did that, along with other celebrities including Hilary and Bill Clinton, Anne Hathaway, Jamie Fox and Leonardo DiCaprio. At least, that’s what the "publicity page" on her website seemed to show. But Svitlana Sangary may see her law licence suspended after a state bar investigation, according to Reuters. "Many, and perhaps all, of these photos were created by taking original celebrity photos and then overlaying the respondent’s image in order to make it appear as though (she) was in the presence of that celebrity," said Judge Donald Miles in his opinion, adding the pics "were part of an advertisement and solicitation for future work... and they were false, deceptive and intended to confuse, deceive and mislead the public." Sangary has denied the allegations, saying she was able to pose with prominent people through her political and philanthropic connections.

THERE’S PORN…

WASHINGTON — Federal workers in the United States apparently have a lot of time on their hands. One employee — earning between US$106,000 and US$139,000 — at the Environmental Protection Agency downloaded at least 7,000 files of pornography and logged between two and six hours of porn- watching per day for several years. Another was caught watching up to eight hours each week, apparently because he did not have enough work to do. As a result, Rep. Mark Meadows is introducing a bill that would ban employees from looking at porn during work, according to the Fiscal Times. Though most agencies already have rules against this, they aren’t enforcing them well enough, said Meadows, whose bill would also cover other inappropriate uses of time. "It’s not just casual porn viewing but hours and hours of unproductive time doing things we shouldn’t be condoning. There seems to be a need to reinforce agency rules that might be in place, but not enforced."

… AND THEN
THERE’S MORE PORN

TORONTO — Airline passengers may assume their pilots are busy checking switches and safety settings in the cockpit, but they could be mistaken — they could be busy looking at porn. Air Canada has been warning pilots they could be fired or face criminal charges for placing "inappropriate material" and "suggestive images" in the flight deck, according to CBC. "I am disappointed to have to raise this issue once again but unfortunately we have some people that have yet to understand the message," wrote Rod Graham, Air Canada’s chief pilot and director of fleet operations and training, in a bulletin. Transport Canada told CBC it is not responsible for regulating reading material in the flight deck but one inspector did have concerns: "Pilots are stuffing paper material inside compartments where electrical wiring is and this is a hazard, not to mention that this is a form of workplace violence."

SEAT BELTS ARE OVERRATED ANYWAY

BRUSSELS — Belgium was the place to be recently for drivers who don’t like buckling their seatbelts or obeying the speed limit. The country’s police were upset about plans by the incoming government to raise their pension age from 58 to 62 — as part of efforts to cut the federal budget — and about 40,000 officers demonstrated in Brussels. They also decided to go easy on minor infractions, according to Reuters, which included ignoring drivers who parked illegally. "Clearly this wouldn’t cover major offences, such as reckless or drunken driving," said Vincent Houssin, deputy chairman of the 18,000-member VSOA police union.

COFFEE FOR AGENT 99

LANGLEY, VIRGINIA — Anyone familiar with their local Starbucks knows the baristas there will cheerfully ask for your name so they can write it on the cup to avoid confusion with orders. But this practice is frowned upon at one location — the Starbucks on the CIA’s compound in Langley, Va., according to the Washington Post. "They could use the alias ‘Polly-O string cheese’ for all I care," said a food services supervisor at the Central Intelligence Agency, asking that his identity remain unpublished for security reasons. "But giving any name at all was making people — you know, the undercover agents — feel very uncomfortable. It just didn’t work for this location." Baristas there go through rigorous interviews and background checks and must be escorted by agency "minders" to leave their work area. "Urban myth says the CIA Starbucks is the busiest in the world, and to me that makes perfect sense," said Vince Houghton, an intelligence expert and curator at the International Spy Museum. "This is a population who have to be alert and spend hours poring through documents. If they miss a word, people can die."