The weird workplace

Google gets punked in pink; Man quits job to save his soul; Avon calling; Bad for the goose but not the gander?; 'Arrr, Matey' – but it's a job'; Airline charging passengers by weight
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 04/23/2013

Google founder gets punked in pink

MOUNTAIN VIEW, CALIF. — Google staff love a good April Fool’s joke. Look no further than the Google Nose video and the Gmail Blue videos that popped up on April 1. But employees at the company’s headquarters didn’t leave all the fun for the virtual world — they transformed co-founder Sergey Brin’s Tesla sports car into a hot pink Batmobile, complete with fins. The bold employees weren’t foolish enough to actually paint the boss’ electric roadster. Rather, the eye-popping transformation was done with a wrap that can be peeled off without damaging the vehicle, which has a base price of US$110,000.

Man quits job to save his soul

CLARKSVILLE, TENN. — A 52-year-old maintenance worker decided to quit his job after his W-2 tax form — similar to a T4 in Canada — was stamped with the number 666. That number, called the “mark of the beast,” is often linked to the devil. Walter Slonopas, a born-again Christian, told the Tennessean newspaper: “If you accept that number, you sell your soul to the devil.” He’s asked his employer, Contech Casting, for a new tax form without 666 on it but said he doesn’t want his job back — even though the company wants to rehire him. Doing so would suggest he sold out his faith — “God is worth more than money,” he said. Oddly, Slonopas was accidentally assigned employee number 666 when he was first hired. It was supposed to be 668 but someone in HR made a typo.

Avon calling
SEATTLE — An employee of Seattle City Light has agreed to pay a fine of US$500 for using her employer-provided computer and phone to sell Avon products for her daughter, according to the Seattle Times. Jean Razon allegedly sent or received more than 1,800 emails over a two-year period that contained the word “Avon.” Her department will subsequently be receiving ethics training.

Bad for the goose but not the gander?

SAN DIEGO — An employee at a Christian college is suing after she was terminated for having premarital sex. Teri James, 29, told NBC she agreed to sign a contract with San Diego Christian College that stipulated she would not engage in “sexually immoral behaviour, including premarital sex.” When the unwed woman became pregnant, she was terminated. Her replacement — and this is where it gets really weird — was her live-in boyfriend (now her husband) who was the baby’s father, a double-standard that apparently didn’t make the college uncomfortable.

‘Arrr, matey’ – but it’s a job

MOGADISHU — They may not earn an Oscar or Gemini nomination, but some enterprising Somalis have found work as actors posing as pirates. Journalists are keen to talk to Somali pirates — who have been ravaging the seas off the coast of Africa — and are paying locals to set up interviews. According to Britain’s Channel 4, unsuspecting journalists pay a fee in hopes of getting an interview. “(Journalists) go to the boss and say, ‘We need pirates.’ The boss comes to us and says, ‘The white men need pirates.’ So he says, ‘Pretend to be a pirate,’” said one man, who makes about US$200 for each gig.

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