The weird workplace

Schoolgirl outsources homework to dad's staff; Faxing embraced in Japan; $500-million sick day; Student sues professor for poor grade
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 04/08/2013

A $500-million sick day

PORTLAND, MAINE — We’ve all had days where we didn’t want to go to work. But not many of us can say we caused US$500-million damage to a nuclear submarine so we could stay home and relax. That’s a claim one civilian painter can make after he twice set fires on a United States Navy nuclear submarine last year so he could get out of work. Casey Fury, 25, was sentenced to 17 years in jail for the damage he caused to the USS Miami attack submarine that was in a shipyard for maintenance work.

Schoolgirl outsources homework – to her dad’s staff

BEIJING — Having trouble helping your daughter with her homework? No worries. Just bring it to work and have your employees do it. That’s what one enterprising manager in China did for his 12-year-old daughter. A worker, who complained about the task to a local newspaper, said: “We stayed up late for two nights. The girl was quite demanding. She only needed to do one of the four options but insisted on doing them all, without getting involved herself in any way,” according to the Telegraph. The homework involved video and photography, among other tasks, and the manager even used a company driver to transport employees around town to finish the schoolwork.

Texting? That’s so passé – fax me

TOKYO — While Canadians have long fallen out of love with the fax machine, it is still being warmly embraced by the Japanese. Last year, 1.7 million fax machines were sold in Japan, according to the New York Times, and government figures show almost 100 per cent of business offices and 45 per cent of private homes had a fax machine in 2011. One business owner summed up the country’s love affair with the fax to the Times: “There is still something in Japanese culture that demands the warm, personal feelings that you get with a handwritten fax.” Which, we have to admit, sounds kind of nice. No word if iPods are also being spurned for eight-track tapes, but we’ll keep our eyes peeled.

Have fun giving this performance review

EASTON, PA — Giving a negative performance review is right up there with a root canal. It’s not fun, but it’s sometimes necessary. So let’s feel some sympathy for whoever has to evaluate Megan Thode’s performance in the future. The 27-year-old sued Amanda Eckhardt, her professor at Lehigh University, for US$1.3 million, according to NBC 10 in Philadelphia. The reason? She was given a C+. The therapist program she was taking required her to maintain at least a B average in order to continue, so she was seeking compensation for damage to her career. After a four-day trial, the judge ruled against her. Thode, whose father is a professor at the same university, has asked the judge to reconsider the ruling or grant a new trial.

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