The weird workplace

Drive-thru conflict; Hard to know if Kanye was annoyed; Not so ship-shape; Lapse leads to layoff; Glitter goes too far
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 01/22/2016

Not so ship-shape

OTTAWA — A sailor whose weight rose to 301 pounds while in the Canadian navy is receiving a disability award after arguing his health problems were partly due to unhealthy food in the military, according to the Ottawa Citizen. The 47-year-old was able to prove to the Veterans Review and Appeal Board that his chronic high blood pressure was linked to his service. Originally 160 pounds and fit in 1986, the man was obese by 2005. Along with developing an alcohol problem, he was not used to the diet on ships. “There was only fresh food for the first few weeks of a sail and the rest of the time food came out of a can and was cooked in a deep fryer or on a grill in cooking oil,” the ruling noted. “The diet was high in sodium, salt and fat.” The sailor also suffered injuries that limited his ability to exercise, but has lost close to 70 pounds since leaving the military.

Drive-thru conflict

WESTLAND, MICH. — A Tim Hortons drive-thru became a scene of conflict recently, according to Local 4 News. A video shot from inside shows a customer at the take-out window reportedly asking a female employee to throw out his old cup of coffee, but she refuses. So the man in the car decides he doesn’t want the new cup of coffee and starts to drive off. A male employee then grabs the hot coffee and throws it at the customer’s vehicle. The customer gets out of his car and the two men end up throwing things at each other. The customer’s attorney, Majeg Moughni, wanted the employee charged with felonious assault. “He threw hot coffee, it struck him in the face,” he said. “My client was called an Arab, that he should go back to the Middle East.” Tim Hortons said it was aware of the incident and the franchisee had taken appropriate steps: “Guest safety is of paramount concern to Tim Hortons.”

Hard to know if Kanye was annoyed
ILLINOIS — Internal training newsletters can be dull affairs but Goodwill apparently took it a bit too far recently when it used an image of Kanye West in its communications. The organization sent out a newsletter to supervisors warning them against looking like the rapper when dealing with employees so they don’t look unapproachable, according to the Daily Mail. The newsletter featured the headline: “Do you suffer from Resting Kanye Face?” and showed five headshots of West with the same straight face and  descriptions underneath such as “happy,” “sad” and “excited.” The letter then talked about the various ways senior staff can appear more approachable, such as smiling, keeping their heads up and making eye contact. Goodwill subsequently apologized for using the celebrity’s image: “It was unacceptable and Goodwill takes full responsibility for this action and meant no disrespect to Kanye.”

Lapse leads to layoff
NISKAYUNA, N.Y. — A Wal-Mart worker was fired recently after he apparently took too long to return cash he found in the store’s parking lot, according to the Times Union. Michael Walsh, a maintenance worker for 18 years, found a small stack of bills adding up to $350, with no envelope or identification, and stuffed them in his pocket. Going back inside, he heard a woman yelling, upset she lost her money. “I got nervous,” said Walsh. “I kind of froze and didn’t want any trouble.” The worker gave the manager the cash and heard nothing more, but two days later, a manager showed him a surveillance tape confirming the 30-minute time lapse between Walsh finding the money and returning it. He was fired for gross misconduct. “They didn’t let me explain and said they knew what happened. They told me how it happened in a way they wanted it to go,” said Walsh. “The only thing I did wrong was hesitate… I didn’t steal anything. They didn’t give me any warning. They just fired me.” Wal-Mart said it had no comment.

Glitter goes too far
AKRON, OHIO — Whether looking to be festive or to express her anger, a county government clerk in Ohio was fined $1,000 and given a nine-month suspended sentence after trashing her former supervisor’s office cubicle. Samantha Lockhart, 25, was found guilty of vandalism, a fifth-degree felony, after she dumped glitter, toilet paper, silly string and an unknown powder on the employee’s desk, according to Reuters. This damaged a computer and other equipment, said James Pollack, a spokesperson for the Summit County prosecutor’s office, who said Lockhart was in the process of leaving her job. While the woman’s motives were unclear, she was sentenced to 50 hours of community service and ordered to write a letter of apology for her actions.

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