Grisly encounter

Grisly encounter

SLAVE LAKE, Alta. — Many retail employees have faced snarling, rowdy customers, but it’s not often that the customer is a bear. Recently, Sam Assaf opened the door to look out of his Slave Lake, Alta. barbershop when he noticed a black bear outside. Curious, Assaf took photos of the creature, but then it suddenly dawned on him that the large beast was heading into his shop. “I’ve been in this business for 17 years and I’ve never seen anything like it,” he told CTV Edmonton, recounting that the bear went on to defecate on the floor and rifle through his workstation. The bear eventually departed, but for Assaf, he has a funny story for life. “How ironic — a bear is hanging at [his barbershop] the Lionsden.”

Lonely juvenile

FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — A quiet day at Peace River North School District office in Fort St. John, B.C. almost ended without incident before a moose crashed through the front door. “It wandered up to one of the windows because you could see the blood and saliva on the desk where it had obviously gone up and looked through a window,” said instructor Jarrod Bell to Canadian Press. According to Bell, after a talk with conservation officers, young moose are kicked out of their homes around this time of year so maybe “the moose was upset that it was alone,” he said. The animal was later seen running through the town, apparently none the worse for wear. 

Verboten topic

BRAMPTON, Ont. — After a book with a provocative title — The Guide for White Women Who Teach Black Boys — was seen in a photograph of a Brampton, Ont. high school principal, a mini-firestorm erupted recently. “[She’s] a bad principal,” said one Twitter user on Michelina Battaglini, while another took issue with Michelina Battaglini, the school’s new principal: “No principal should make it this far while subsequently needing a book like this.” However, the book, which was written in 2017, is a valuable resource for educators, said Michelle Coutinho, principal of equity at the Cardinal Ambrozic Catholic Secondary School. “We know that we’re steeped in a colonized kind of worldview and how do we break out of that in our everyday practices?” she told the CBC after the picture was tweeted out. 

Support clown

AUCKLAND — Many workers have faced the reality of being let go, but one forward-thinking advertising employee brought along a support person when it was his turn. Joshua Jack paid $200 (all figures NZD) for a professional clown to accompany him to a redundancy meeting, he told Auckland radio station Magic Talk. The clown quietly made two balloon animals during the meeting, which prompted Jack to lament: “I basically spent $100 per balloon animal.” The clown, who mimed crying as the layoff notice was handed out, was worth the money, says Jack. “I did get fired, but, apart from that, all smooth running.”

Burning expenses

BLACK ROCK DESERT, Nev. — Going to the nine-day annual Burning Man music festival is not exactly the ideal place to claim expenses. But some companies are beginning to view the massive party in the Nevada desert as a legitimate business cost, according to Bloomberg. Employees of software company 15Five are now able to charge the company up to US$425 in an effort to foster creativity among staff, says company co-founder Shane Metcalf, co-founder. But not all corporate experiences at Burning Man turned out so rosy: “It was very interesting, being there with a group of people who wouldn’t have been there on their own steam,” says Santiago Genochio of Faceparty, a social media company, who, in 2007, bought tickets for about 12 staff members. While the experience was “amazing,” the company had to lay off staff the following year.

High flyers

CLEMSON, S.C. — A day at work for two restaurant employees in South Carolina ended up with them becoming airborne. Before an event for Clemson University in South Carolina, employees of the Esso Club were setting up tents and tables, when a blast of storm winds propelled them off their feet. A video shows Samuel Foster being flung up in the air, higher than a building, before he is slammed into a gutter. “It took a second for me to register, but then I’m like 20 feet in the air,” Foster told CNN. He suffered cuts and bruises, but he was otherwise OK. The other employee hit a table after landing, but her injuries were not considered serious.

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