Weird workplace

27 years, 3 missed • 7 storeys, 8 officials • The raise of the beast • The job market is tough, but…
By Todd Humber
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 11/19/2013

27 years, 3 missed games

MONTREAL — How’s this for an attendance record? Philip Fleming, 72, an usher who works at Montreal Canadiens games and other events, has missed four games — “maybe even three,” he says — in 27 years manning the gates at both the old Forum and the new Bell Centre. He missed a game in October, which broke a 21-year streak without missing a game, according to the Montreal Gazette. Ushers earn about $70 per night and Fleming, a former bill collector for Coca-Cola, plans to keep the gig as long as he can. “It’s not work,” he said. “It’s a pleasure coming in.”

7 storeys, 8 officials

YUNGAI, China —A seven-storey luxury office was built in an impoverished Chinese village at a cost of US$2.46 million, according to Time magazine. That may not sound overly lavish, until you take into account the fact that only eight government officials are working in the building — that’s some serious legroom. One of the politicians said the building was also meant to attract business and foreign investment, but that did little to calm the furor. China is no stranger to eccentric office building by government officials — in 2007, an office that resembles the White House was built in Fuyang.

The raise of the beast

CLEVELAND — A group of law professors at Cleveland-Marshall College of Law in Cleveland, Ohio, have filed a complaint after they were awarded raises of $666 by their dean, according to the Wall Street Journal. The teachers had led a unionization drive and allege the raise was retaliation. Other professors received larger wages that were “free of Satanic symbolism,” said the paper. The school denied the charge in a filing in its defence, according to TaxProfBlog, claiming the $666 merit award was “the result of mathematical division, not anti-union animus.”

The job market is tough, but…

TOKYO — We all know the job market is tough for new graduates, but college students in Japan are so tormented that one in five contemplate suicide while searching for a job, according to a report in the Japan Times, based on a poll by Lifelink of 122 students. While the overall suicide rate in Japan is declining, the number of people in their 20s who have taken their lives has risen since the 1990s, with more than 3,000 deaths last year. And “failures in job hunting” accounted for 149 of those suicides. Nearly seven in 10 respondents to the survey said Japan is “a society where honesty and hard work are not rewarded.”

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