The weird workplace

Who needs Santa?; Not just for kids; 'Snakes, why'd it have to be snakes?'; Nemo would be impressed; It's getting hot in here
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 01/21/2015

'Snakes, why'd it have to be snakes?'

SASKATOON — Dealing with harried customers all day, fast-food employees probably get used to all kinds of abuse being thrown their way. But what about reptiles? Two men — unhappy that the onions on their breakfast sandwich were not diced — recently threw a snake over the counter at a Tim Hortons worker in Saskatoon, according to the StarPhoenix. “I’ve never heard of a snake being thrown at an employee by a customer… It was definitely a little chaotic,” said Saskatoon police spokeswoman Alyson Edwards. “The staff was shocked and afraid and fled the store.” Officers managed to find the garter snake and secured “Outlaw” a temporary home until it could be released into the wild in the spring. The two men, both 20, are facing charges of mischief and causing a disturbance. 


Who needs Santa?
LAVAL, QUE. — Christmas cards range from the religious to the sappy but one group of employees took a different approach in December, generating backlash in the process. Several members of the police force in Laval, Que., posted a photo to the force’s official Twitter and Facebook accounts showing themselves in black tactical gear, according to the National Post. The six officers were in full tactical gear — complete with helmets, face masks, tinted shades, a shield and battering ram — looking directly at the camera holding a sign saying, “Joyeuses fêtes Laval.” But the “festive” image was quickly criticized online. “Do these guys take themselves for marines or what?” wrote one user on Reddit. The photo was eventually removed and, in response, spokesperson Lt. Sylvain Lauren revealed the limits of his job. “I can’t tell you why it was removed, what the reasons were, I don’t know,” he said. “I’m not a fanatic of social networks so I can’t tell you more about what’s on our Facebook page than what’s in the papers.”

Not just for kids
MANILA — Traffic enforcers in Manila were planning to wear more than their uniforms when Pope Francis visited the Philippines capital mid-January. About 2,000 were required to wear adult diapers, according to the Associated Press. The prospect of wearing the extra padding while on duty was “well-received” by the men, according to Metropolitan Manila Development Authority chairman Francis Tolentino, adding there wouldn’t be enough portable toilets for the millions of people expected to attend the open-air mass with the pope. The diaper idea was to be tested earlier by 800 traffic enforcers — for the first time — who would work shifts during a nearly 24-hour annual procession of the Black Nazarene. Priests, nuns, seminarians and the elderly also should consider wearing diapers when the pope visits, said Tolentino. Asked if he will also wear one, he said, “I will try but, in my case, I have less hydration.”

Nemo would be impressed
NORTH WALSHAM, U.K. — Ailing animals can be given all kinds of treatments these days to help them recover — and pet owners know too well the bills that go with those cures. But one man in England was willing to fork out £300 (C$535) to have his goldfish healed — of constipation, according to the BBC. Vet Faye Bethell put the fish in anaesthetized water before removing the blockages and the operation took almost one hour, with two veterinary nurses assisting. “We’ve got one nurse who bubbles anaesthetic gas through a tube that goes in through its mouth and over its gills, and then we have a second nurse to monitor with a probe to check the heart rate,” said Bethell. “Obviously, we discussed all the options (with its owner) and he made the decision to go for surgery… At the end of the day, they’re all pets and everybody does have a commitment to their pet.”

It's getting hot in here
BANGKOK — Another profession facing all kinds of abuse is flight attendants, as seen recently when a woman was scalded with hot water and noodles by an unhappy passenger. Photos taken by fellow travellers captured the moment the employee on a Thai Air-Asia flight between Bangkok and Nanjing was allegedly assaulted, covering her face in pain. The assailant apparently wanted to sit next to her boyfriend on the plane, according to the Daily Mail, though the man — who also apparently threatened to blow up the plane — later said the flight attendant was scalded by accident when there was a tussle over a receipt they requested for the hot water. In the end, the pilot aborted the 90-minute journey and returned to Bangkok to make an emergency landing, leading to a five-hour delay. The culprits were reportedly ordered to pay 50,000 Thai baht (C$1,800) in compensation to the injured flight attendant. China’s National Tourism Administration said the tourists “badly damaged the overall image of the Chinese people,” said the Daily Mail.

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