The Weird Workplace

A collection of unusual and quirky stories from across Canada and the world

The Weird Workplace
PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) is abandoning traditional work hours in its latest recruitment effort. Credit: Bikomins (Shutterstock)

Ditching the 9 to 5

LONDON — PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) is abandoning traditional work hours in its latest recruitment effort. The London-based accountancy firm has launched the Flexible Talent Network, aimed at recruits seeking to work non-traditional hours. Within two weeks of the launch, 2,000 people had applied, according to the BBC. “In order to recruit the best people, we recognize that we need to offer greater flexibility, different working options and a route back in for those looking to restart their careers,” said Laura Hinton, PwC’s chief people officer. The program allows applicants to suggest a preferred work pattern, such as shorter weeks or fewer months throughout the year.

Delivery gone wild

MIAMI — A doorbell surveillance camera caught a FedEx deliveryman going rogue recently in Miami. Parked in front of the customer’s home, the driver did not exit the delivery truck, choosing instead to carelessly heave three large boxes said to have contained audiovisual equipment onto the client’s porch. Each of the boxes bounced several times before coming to rest, and then the man closes the truck door. “FedEx Ground? More like Fedex Air!” said homeowner Marcell Cubilla, who shared the video on social media. The extent of the damages — if any — was not revealed, according to ABC News.

Fraudster busted

TORONTO — A Porter Airlines payroll specialist was terminated recently after the company realized she was a convicted fraudster. Monique Clarke was working for the Toronto airline while on bail, pending appeal of a three-year prison sentence for a scamming incident in which she cheated her former employer, Acxsys/Interac, out of $320,000 according to the Toronto Sun. Her bail was revoked when the court discovered she was working in payroll at Porter, and she was subsequently jailed for three years. While at Porter, Clarke stole more than $873,000 over a three-year span and was recently sentenced to an additional three years of jail time. If unable to repay her debts within 10 years of release, she will be forced to serve another four years.

Clapping back

BELGIUM — A weather presenter on Belgium’s French-language public TV RTBF fought back recently, after enduring a string of racist comments. Cécile Djunga  — the only black TV personality in the country — shared a video on Facebook where she told of one such comment that said she was “too black” and all viewers could see were her clothes. “It doesn’t stop. I’ve been doing this job for a year and I’m fed up of getting tons of racist and insulting messages... It hurts because I’m a human being,” she said in the video that went viral, according to the BBC. “There’s no place for this torrent of mud in Belgium. Racism is a crime, punishable by law,” said Jean-Paul Philippot, head of RTBF. The video appeal resulted in a strong reaction, including supportive comments from Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel.

Hidden death threat

TORONTO — A former account executive at Juice Mobile (a subsidiary of Yellow Pages) recently discovered his former boss had delivered a chilling death threat against him that was never disclosed. Via text message, Ben Hemming’s former boss allegedly threatened to put an axe so far into his head “they would have to bury him with it,” according to the CBC. The threat, made two years ago by Neil Sweeney, was never shared with Hemming, who was terminated without cause by Juice Mobile as part of “normal business activities.” Hemming challenged his dismissal, and found the text in court documents. Three months following Hemming’s dismissal, Sweeney was fired by Yellow Pages after an investigation revealed he had engaged in bullying and harassment. After Sweeney filed a wrongful dismissal suit, the text in question was presented as evidence. It had been sent to Juice Mobile’s vice-president of sales at some point following Hemming’s dismissal. A Yellow Pages lawyer told CBC the company “ensured that appropriate steps were taken in connection with Mr. Sweeney’s termination to protect the safety of the people he had threatened.”

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