The Weird Workplace

Sour – and very stinky – grapes
FRENCH LICK, IND. — An Indiana man who police say mailed dead skunks and a raccoon to a man chosen over him as school basketball coach has been arrested on stalking, animal cruelty and other charges, according to Reuters. Travis Tarrants, 40, was also accused of spray painting the victim’s car with messages such as “You will die” in a bid to get him to resign as a coach and fourth grade teacher at the school. The caper started in June when the post office received packages that smelled like skunks and had blood coming from them, said police. In addition to the mailed carcasses, Tarrants also accused the man of child molestation. He called child protective services and claimed his rival was having sex with a 15-year-old boy.

The lack-of-judgment award goes to…
SAN ANTONIO — On Sept. 11, most Americans pause to reflect and remember the victims of the terrorist attacks that killed more than 3,000 people. But employees at a store in Texas decided the 15th anniversary was a chance for something else — to sell some mattresses. Employees at Miracle Mattress posted a video on Facebook featuring three staffers standing in front of two stacks of mattresses to promote a “Twin Tower Sale,” according to the Toronto Sun. “What better way to remember 9-11 than with a Twin Tower sale,” said a woman. She then knocks two men into the stacks, which fall over, and she screams: “Oh my God.” She follows it up with a sombre “We will never forget.” The chain apologized and said the employees would be held liable for “this serious lapse of decency.”’ The San Antonio store was later closed “indefinitely.”  

There’s no place like prison
KANSAS CITY, Kan. — The next time you see an employee burning the midnight oil at the office, it might not be dedication to the job that’s driving him: He just might really, really not want to go home. A Kansas man wanted to avoid seeing his wife so much, he actually robbed a bank in order to be put behind bars, according to Reuters. Lawrence John Ripple, 70, told his wife “he’d rather be in jail than at home” after they had a fight. Ripple walked into the bank, handed a note to the teller. She gave him $3,000. Instead of fleeing, Ripple grabbed a seat in the lobby and told a security guard he did it. He was taken into custody.

A growth industry?
BEIJING — Here’s a job title we’re guessing you don’t have in your files: Mistress dispeller. New businesses to combat extramarital affairs are booming in China, with women hiring agencies to put an end to affairs by their cheating husbands. The dispellers (a team often consisting of psychotherapists, counsellors and lawyers) give advice to women on how to save their marriages, and then induce the mistress to disappear. “For a fee that can start in the tens of thousands of dollars, they will subtly infiltrate the mistress’s life, winning her friendship and trust in an attempt to break up the affair,” said a story in the New York Times

Falling standards
TALLAHASSEE, FLA. — A high school student who didn’t make her cheerleading squad threatened to sue if she wasn’t put on the team, according to USA Today. During a tryout, the teen apparently fell twice and was ranked too low to qualify. But coaches and some of the cheerleaders at Leon High School said they would likely quit before letting the selection process be bypassed — something that has happened in the past. The school district has overruled cheerleading judges in the past. “They shouldn’t put an athlete on the team that doesn’t deserve to be on the team,” said Caylen Berry, head cheerleading coach. “A decision like this would question my integrity as a professional. It also questions the entire legitimacy of tryouts and cheerleading as a sport.”

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