The weird workplace

Construction site buzzing with activity; 'Come on down, you're the next contestant... to get busted'; Surprise package; Stanley Cup hangover
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 07/14/2013

Stanley cup hangover

CHICAGO — Hockey fans across Canada lamented yet another year that will see the Stanley Cup reside south of the border after the Chicago Blackhawks defeated the Boston Bruins last month. But Canadian business owners might not share in their misery — about 25 per cent of the workforce in Chicago came in late on the Tuesday morning after the big game, according to Challenger, Gray and Christmas, a consulting firm that calculates the economic impact of major events. “We see millions of dollars in productivity losses,” CEO John Challenger told CBS 2 in Chicago. By that logic, Toronto must be bursting at the seams with productivity, seeing as it hasn’t had a Stanley Cup hangover since Lester B. Pearson was in power
way back in 1967.

Construction site buzzing with activity

TORONTO — There are plenty of reasons construction sites grind to a halt — inclement weather, labour action and a lack of materials are among the more common ones. But crews working at Union Station in downtown Toronto abandoned their posts on June 26 for another reason: A swarm of thousands of bees buzzed the site before landing en masse on a backhoe. The bees were following their queen who was apparently looking for a new home, and experts suspect they came from the iconic Fairmont Royal York hotel across the street. The hotel has six beehives on its rooftop that are home to about 350,000 bees, producing about 200 kilograms of honey per year. A beekeeper was called in and, after he “whispered sweet nothings” to the bees, they disappeared, Toronto Transit Commission spokesman Brad Ross told the Toronto Star.

‘Come on down, you’re the next contestant… to get busted’

GREENVILLE, N.C. — Contestants on The Price is Right game show often win fabulous prizes, such as new cars and trips to exotic locales. But a postal carrier from North Carolina learned that an appearance on the game show doesn’t always make you a winner after she was convicted of fraud. Cathy Wrench Cashwell filed a disability claim in 2004 because of a shoulder injury, claiming she couldn’t lift mail trays, according to television station WRAL. But in 2009, she appeared on the popular TV show hosted by Drew Carey and spun the big wheel twice without any issue. And Cashwell and her husband also went ziplining while on a Carnival cruise in 2010, according to the indictment. She pled guilty to fraud and is expected to be sentenced in September.

Surprise package

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Emily Dreyfuss, daughter of actor Richard Dreyfuss, knew something had gone amiss as soon as the package she ordered from Banana Republic arrived at her door. Her fiancé had ordered a tie and pocket square to go with his suit in preparation for their wedding. But the package was really heavy and the label said it was from the Gap (part of the same family as Banana Republic). Rather than being accessories for the big day, the box contained three sealed folders labelled “HR Administration,” according to the Associated Press. Inside was a treasure trove of tax and social security information, handwritten resignation letters, doctors’ notes and salary information. “I got a queasy feeling and felt like I should stop looking,” said Dreyfuss. The Gap apologized, blamed the mistake on human error and said it was “taking immediate action to evaluate and strengthen our processes to prevent mismailings in the future.” Here’s a place to start: Since the Gap’s clothing and confidential information are apparently sent out in the same grey bags, perhaps sensitive employee data could be given its own colour.

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