The weird workplace

Bonus in bagels; Mugging for the camera; What goes around comes around; Not exactly model behaviour; Public shaming
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 04/02/2015

What goes around comes around

TORONTO — When it comes to retail, there’s always that last person responsible for closing up at the end of the day. But when one of the owners of a tire store in Toronto failed to lock up or set the alarm, amazingly, there was no burglary, according to the Toronto Sun. For the three hours it remained “open,” the store’s security cameras showed five people came into the business, and no one took anything. “They could have taken a set of tires, rims, batteries,” said Diego Catala, who owns the store along with his mother and father. “They could have just helped themselves. But no one did.” The potential customers wandered around, confused, and then left. The last man, however, apparently tried to look for a way to contact the owners and — after flipping the sign to “CLOSED” —drove to the local police station to alert them about the shop  “Next time he comes in, he gets a free set of tires, right off the bat, no problem,” Diego said. Officers arrived around 7 p.m. and alerted the family.


Bonus in bagels
BERLIN — Earlier this year, German Chancellor Angela Merkel introduced the first nationwide wage floor of 8.50 euros per hour. But German employers are coming up with resourceful ways to avoid paying the new minimum wage, according to Reuters. These include compensating staff with tanning salon vouchers and not paying for overtime. The NGG food and catering union is fielding up to 400 calls per day from frustrated employees. “We’re seeing some employers display an awful lot of creativity to get round paying the minimum wage,” said Burkhard Siebert of the NGG. Butchers have complained they must pay up to 100 euros per month to use knives they need to cut meat while bakers said they are being paid in buns and bread instead of cash. People have had their holiday entitlement reduced or premiums for working nights, holidays and Sundays slashed. 

Mugging for the camera
JOHANNESBURG — Johannesburg has an unenviable reputation as a crime-filled, violent city. But that reputation reached new heights — and brazenness — when a TV reporter preparing for his live report was mugged on camera. Vuyo Mvoko was standing with a mic in front of a hospital, ready to talk about Zambian President Edgar Lungu’s hospital treatment. But then two men walked by, pacing around the reporter, and a scuffle ensued, with Mvoko heard shouting off-camera, “Hey, we’re being mugged.” The man was looking for the reporter’s phone and when he was refused, he called the other mugger, who had a gun, saying, “‘Shoot this dog’ or something like that,” said Mvoko, who works for the national broadcaster. “So I gave him the phone.” 

Not exactly model behaviour
VORONEZH, Russia — Anger management courses might be in order for employees at a local beauty salon in Russia, judging by a recent incident. Model Maria Lomovskikh went to have her nails done but after she criticized the manicurist about the quality of service, calling it “shoddy and unprofessional,” Anastasia Kretova filed the woman’s nails so fiercely they began to bleed and swell. “I was in absolute agony,” said Lomovskikh in the Mirror. The model eventually went to the hospital and was diagnosed with acute purulent inflammation of two nails, which had to be removed. “It is difficult to say if they will ever grow again,” said head surgeon Igor Korotkiy. The model is now suing the beauty salon. “I have lost three jobs because of the deformity caused by this woman... I want her and the salon punished for this.” But the salon didn’t seem overly concerned, with a spokesman saying, “We understand the lady’s complaints and we have accepted responsibility and punished the beautician concerned by deducting £30 from her pay.” 

Public shaming
QATAR — Coming into work hungover is often punishment enough for an employee after a night out, but one flight attendant was publicly shamed by her boss after a drunken stupour. The Qatar Airways crew member fell asleep in the hallway of a staff accommodation and had to be carried upstairs by co-workers, according to the Mirror. When she awoke the next morning, she found out the airline’s senior vice-president, Rossen Dimitrov, had included the photo in an email to crew members with a stern warning. “Attached, please see a photo of a CSD who had returned heavily intoxicated to her accommodation,” he said. “I am so ashamed and disturbed by this behaviour displayed by a tenured member of our team, an adult who had been with the company for over nine years. How can we change rules when we do not behave as mature individuals. I am very disappointed.” The email has since gone viral and in confirming the email was genuine, the airline said staff must respect the cultural values of Qatar, where the firm is based — drinking by foreigners is frowned on in the conservative Islamic nation.

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