The Weird Workplace

Scatalogical misbehaviour; Should they put it on or take it off?; Spelling 101; Crayons aren't just for kids; Time to cover up
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 07/14/2014


EVANSTON, Ill. — Journalism students at an Illinois university might want to reconsider their academic choice after the school made a major boo boo when it proudly handed out diplomas to graduates. Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communication, gave 30 diplomas to graduates on which the word “integrated” was spelled as “itegrated.” Of course, a photo of the error was then tweeted out by one of the grads and word of the mistake soon spread, according to the Associated Press. Desiree Hanford, Medill’s journalism residency co-ordinator, said the diplomas are issued by the university and new versions will be provided.


DENVER — You might want to watch your step if you’re ever at the region eight office of the Environmental Protection Agency in Denver. Management wrote an email earlier this year to all staff in the area asking them to stop inappropriate bathroom behaviour, including defecating in the hallway, according to Government Executive. The email mentioned “several incidents” in the building, including toilets clogged with paper towels and “an individual placing feces in the hallway” outside the restroom. EPA management consulted with an expert who said the poop was not only a health and safety risk but dangerous and the person responsible would “probably escalate” his actions.


SINGAPORE — Job applicants applying for a job in Malaysia’s financial industry might want to consider going on a diet — but it’s not clear whether they should try to gain or lose weight. A jobseeker seeking a managerial post at CIMB was asked to fill out her weight and height on the job application form, according to Channel NewsAsia. "I thought it was quite strange and I don't know how that will affect my chances of getting the job,” she said. A CIMB bank spokesperson said it adopted the group-level application form many years ago, and while the fields for a candidate's height and weight are to be filled out, it hires based on suitability for the job. Singapore's workplace anti-discrimination watchdog, the Tripartite Alliance for Fair and Progressive Employment Practices (TAFEP), said complaints relating to physical attributes are rare — it receives only about five each year.


SILICON VALLEY — A Google employee will get to enjoy an entire week off in July thanks to an endearing plea from his young daughter — in the form of a letter. Katie decided her father had been too busy at work, so she wrote to the tech giant asking for leniency. Her letter read: "Dear google worker. Can you please make sure when daddy goes to work, he gets one day off. Like he can get a day off on wednesday. Because daddy ONLY gets a day off on saturday… PS. It is daddy's BIRTHDAY… PPS. It is summer, you know." And Google dutifully replied: “Your father has been hard at work designing many beautiful and delightful things for Google and millions of people around the globe… On the occasion of his Birthday, and recognizing the importance of taking some Wednesdays off during the summer, we are giving him the whole first week of July as vacation time."


OTTAWA — Three employees of the Ottawa Convention Centre are unhappy with their employer's policy when it comes to tattoos, according to the Ottawa Citizen. The two equipment movers and housekeeper said when they refused to cover up the artwork, they were asked to leave. Since then, their building pass keys have not worked. Employees are very aware of that term of agreement to cover up tattoos, said Daniel Coates, marketing manager at the centre. "It helps protect an image that is pleasing and serving to the public... We serve the public. We serve delegates. We like to maintain a neutral sort of look because we sell rooms and meeting space." But one of the inked workers called the policy discrimination based on body mofidiation and said it is a matter of freedom of expression and human rights. In 2012, an argibrator struck down an Ottawa Hospital dress code requiring workers to cover up tattoos and remove piercings, said the Citizen. The arbitrator agreed some of the older patients might have a more negative first impression but there was no evidence body art affected patient health.

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