The weird workplace

Maybe don't joke with the police; Desperate dad; What about floss?; It's a dog's life; Tripped up
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 10/05/2015

What about floss?

LONDON, U.K. — If you’re heading into space, there are probably a few essentials you don’t want to forget — including a toothbrush. That’s what happened to Russian cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova, the first woman in space, when she headed into orbit in 1963, according to the Telegraph. “Unfortunately, it is a fact,” said Tereshkova, speaking at an event in London recently. “But I’m very resourceful, as any woman would be. I had my toothpaste and I had my hand and I had water.” More importantly, the cosmonaut also realized her spacecraft — the Vostok 6 — had an error in the control program that meant it would travel away from earth on the way home, instead of descending. “The spacecraft was orientated to ascend not descend,” she said. “I would have gone up and up instead of going back down to the ground. I reported back to ground control and they corrected it.” Soviet spaceship designer Sergey Korolev asked Tereshkova to keep the error a secret for decades. “I asked them not to punish the engineer who had made the error because he was going to be punished. Sergey Korolev said that he wouldn’t as long as I didn’t tell anyone,” she said. “I kept that secret for 30 years.”


Maybe don't joke with the police
MIAMI, FL. — An Arby’s restaurant manager was fired recently, and a clerk suspended, after a jest did not go over well with the local police. Pembroke Pines police officer Jennifer Martin ordered a meal at the outlet but then accused the clerk of refusing to accept her credit card, according to Reuters. She said the manager told her “He doesn’t want to serve you because you are a police officer.” Martin was eventually served but decided to return her food and was given a refund. The clerk, Kenneth Davenport, said there was a delay serving the officer because he was busy handling several customers, and the manager’s comment was meant as a joke. The restaurant chain appeared to accept his version of events, saying, “We believe this was based on a misunderstanding and ill-considered joke gone awry.” Arby’s CEO Paul Brown wrote a public letter to all Miami-area police departments apologizing for the incident and officers were offered a free combo meal.

Desperate dad 
MADRID — Looking to help his “desperate,” unemployed son, a Spanish pensioner recently offered 5,000 euros (C$7,400) to any employer that would hire him, according to Reuters. The father placed an ad in the El Heraldo de Aragon newspaper stating he would pay anyone who hired his 39-year-old son, a father of one, calling him “qualified, responsible and hard-working with good references.” The pensioner, a retired lawyer, said he could not watch his son suffer without doing anything: “The advert might look undignified but I lost my sense of shame a long time ago.” Spain has the second-highest unemployment in Europe, at 22.4 per cent. 

It's a dog's life
FRANKFURT, GERMANY — Air Canada often comes under fire for its customer service, but one recent incident won over the hearts of many. An Air Canada pilot flying from Tel Aviv to Toronto noticed the temperature in the plane’s cargo area was plummeting after a heating system malfunction, according to CityNews. Concerned about a seven-year-old French bulldog named Simba, who was in the hold, the pilot decided to land the plane in Frankfurt, Germany, to have the pooch placed on another flight home. Despite delaying the flight by 75 minutes — and an extra $10,000 in fuel costs — the pilot made the right call, said aviation expert Phyl Durby. “If you look at the outside temperature, if it’s minus 50 or 60, there is some insulation but it will probably still get down to below freezing (in the cargo area)... The captain is responsible for all lives on board, whether it’s human or K-9.”

Tripped up
ROSZKE, HUNGARY — There has been plenty of unsettling footage showing the plight of migrants overseas, but one recent incident stunned many — and lead to the firing of a camerawoman. A man carrying his young child near the town of Roszke, Hungary, was seen running from police, trying to escape from a collection point, according to Reuters. He was allegedly tripped by the woman, causing the father and son to tumble to the ground. Still photos of the incident went viral and Hungarian channel N1TV later issued a statement condemning the employee’s alleged actions — and she was later fired. About 100 migrants were stopped by police trying to make their way to Budapest by foot. It’s estimated 150,000 migrants have crossed from Serbia into Hungary so far this year, with most of them fleeing conflicts in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.

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