The Weird Workplace

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


VANCOUVER — A Vancouver doctor surprised many recently when he asked patients to help him ease into retirement — monetarily. Saying he “did not make much money,” Myron MacDonald cited his lack of pension, limited savings and tendency to not charge patients for uninsured services, according to the CBC: “I fully understand that most of you do not have an extra $1,000 lying around but any amount will be of help to me.” One supportive patient cited the doctor’s unconventional career, as MacDonald was a founding member of Greenpeace in the 1970s. “He’d been so good to us over the years,” said Ilze Bebris. “It felt like a way of our expressing our gratitude for the extra mile he’s gone for us over the years.” The College of Physicians and Surgeons of B.C., however, spoke with the physician to resolve the situation, saying: “All of his patients can be assured that Dr. MacDonald will make this matter right, and no money will be accepted by him, even if offered.”


OTTAWA — Kijiji can be a handy site for selling unwanted household items, but one public servant took the service a little too far recently when he tried to sell government computer parts on the classified website. Andre Heggaton pleaded guilty to fraud and breach of trust after stealing nearly $1 million in parts from the Department of National Defence between 2011 and 2015. Eventually, his superiors started noticing irregularities with the invoices, said the Ottawa Citizen. Plus, no one could find the items. His lawyer said addiction was partly to blame, and Heggaton has since been fired. “He got pulled into it and things just spiralled out of control.”


OTTAWA — Back in November, Jill Skinner made comments that didn’t go over so well during a presentation: “We have some very hard-working members on patrol who should be recognized for their hard work, and we also have members who are canine fornicators who will be held to account,” said the newly appointed front-line deputy chief of the Ottawa police force. That’s according to a complaint by a senior officer who found the comments shocking and “detrimental to our sustained, daily efforts to boost morale and ongoing enthusiastic commitment to the service initiative.” Skinner later apologized, according to the Ottawa Citizen, saying she was speaking in general terms about accountability on the job. “I used inappropriate language in describing those sentiments,” she said. “I have been an Ottawa police officer for 35 years and I am very proud of the members I serve with.”


TAMPA, FLA. — If you love dogs, are proficient in nighttime HALO jumps, have apprenticed under a Cuban cigar roller and know the difference between Afghan and Afghani, then Judge Public Relations has a job for you. The Tampa, Fla.-based PR firm recently sent out a tongue-in-cheek job ad for a business development associate, listing 69 requirements that included owning more than one tuxedo, demonstrating proficiency with a chainsaw, believing in Bigfoot and working on a third marriage (with no regrets). Compensation? One winter’s worth of firewood and two months’ rations of Cuban rum, plus commission. Lower down in the ad, Judge clarified its offer: “In all seriousness, this position provides high earning potential for candidates looking to build a career in a fast-paced and exciting industry… If you meet the above criteria or possess a sense of humour, and have a strong desire to pursue a career in sales… apply.”


WATERLOO, IOWA — Talk about an incentive: A cabinet manufacturer promised his employees a week-long cruise if the company met its goals for the year. Happily, they succeeded. Now, 800 workers are going on a company-paid Caribbean cruise, according to the Associated Press. Bertch Cabinet had offered cruises as a reward since 1989, but they had stopped as of 2005, and recovery has been very slow, said co-founder Gary Bertch. “We finally got into the black again last year,’’ he said. “We just tried to get all of our people pumped up a little more to achieve the various goals, both customer-oriented goals and financial goals.’’

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