The Weird Workplace

Plaid no longer cool?; World's toughest job; Look out below; A little too friendly in the skies; Wasn't the prison garb a giveaway; A profession that really needs Swiss precision
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 05/06/2014

Look out below

MISSISSAUGA, Ont. — Air Canada is in full apology mode after a passenger filmed workers dropping luggage from a height of about 20 feet from the boarding gate into a bin. Dwayne Stewart, of Abbotsford, B.C., filmed the video while on the tarmac before a flight to Vancouver, according to Global News. The luggage being dropped was carry-on luggage — where people often stow valuables such as laptops and other electronics — that wouldn’t fit on the plane. "Sorry, Air Canada, this is a fail," said Stewart in the video, which was posted on YouTube. Air Canada immediately took to Twitter to apologize. "This clearly goes against our standard baggage-handling procedures which dictate that gate-checked bags are to be hand-carried down the ramp," it posted. "An investigation into this has been launched." Angela Mah, an Air Canada spokesperson, told the CBC the airline was trying to identify those involved, saying their "employment will be terminated pending the outcome of our investigation." Some observers are pointing the finger not at the poorly behaving employees but the airline itself for not having a better method to deal with gate-checked baggage.

Plaid no longer cool?

MISSISSAUGA, Ont. — A Canadian flight simulator instructor who rose to fame with regular appearances on CNN’s marathon coverage of the missing Malaysian airliner has been fired. Mitchell Casado was let go because he "shamed Canadians" by dressing like a teenager and showing up late to work, according to his former employer. CNN’s Martin Savidge appeared regularly with Casado in the simulator near Toronto’s airport, and Casado’s casual dress caught a lot of attention. Claudio Teixeira, owner of uFly, said he made Canadians "look very bad all over the world" and he received email complaints about the worker’s dress while on CNN. "Even though I let him be on TV, he shamed us Canadians and shamed my company with the way he was dressing like he was 15 years old," he told the Associated Press. "People were complaining that it wasn’t professional at all. If you go to any plane, you don’t see them in shorts and sandals." Casado was given two weeks’ pay.

World’s toughest job

TORONTO — This may hold the world record for the least effective recruitment campaign: A job ad viewed 2.7 million times got only 24 applicants. The posting was for a director of operations at Rehtom Inc. The hours were full-time, on call 24-7. Requirements included working 135 hours to unlimited hours per week; a workload that increased on all major holidays; willingness to forego any breaks; work mostly standing up or bending down; and unlimited patience. The salary? $0, with no health or dental coverage, no pension and no paid holidays. A video explaining the job — featuring interviews of those who actually applied — had been viewed more than 14.8 million times on YouTube as of press time. (You can view the video here.) Spoiler alert: If you didn’t guess it, the job was for a mother — Rehtom spelled backwards. It was all part of a clever marketing scheme by Hallmark leading up to Mother’s Day.

A little too friendly in the skies

TEMPE, Ariz. — U.S. Airways is investigating after a pornographic tweet was sent out from its official Twitter account in response to a customer complaint about a flight delay. The tweet, predictably, went viral. It featured a photograph of a naked woman lying on a bed with a toy airplane. U.S. Airways deleted the photograph immediately and apologized, Davien Anderson, spokesperson for the airline, told Reuters.

Wasn’t the prison Garb a giveaway?

PRAGUE — A Czech fraudster who escaped from prison not only managed to evade the cops but also landed a plum gig. Vladimir Prokop was hired as chief economist at the National Agriculture Museum while on the lam, and promptly stole 10 million Czech crowns (about $553,000 Cdn). When police came to arrest Prokop at his new workplace, he fled through the exhibition halls, an emergency exit staircase and then hailed a cab, according to Reuters. So if you’re hiring in the Czech Republic, don’t skip that background check.

A profession that really needs Swiss precision

DUBLIN — Police in Ireland say a bomber had a bomb explode in his face because he forgot to change his clocks for Daylight Savings Time, according to the Mirror newspaper. (While Canada puts the clock ahead in March, the United Kingdom doesn’t switch to summer time until April.) The man was apparently trying to plant the bomb under a Volvo SUV when it exploded. The bomber, who was injured in the blast, eventually staggered into a taxi.

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