The Weird Workplace

|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 10/31/2016


OAK BROOK, ILL. — Once a beloved mascot for a popular fast-food chain, Ronald McDonald has been relegated to the sidelines thanks to the recent “creepy clown” phenomenon, according to the BBC. “McDonald’s and franchisees in local markets are mindful of the current climate around clown sightings in communities and, as such, are being thoughtful with respect to Ronald McDonald’s participation in community events for the time being,” said a company statement. The trend for individuals to dress up as scary clowns and frighten people has spread around the world, including Canada, the United States and Australia. In the United Kingdom, for example, a 19-year-old student was arrested after dressing up as a chainsaw-wielding clown and chasing students on a university campus.


THE HAGUE, NETHERLANDS  — While the mile-high club might be popular with some flying customers, apparently cabin crew are also keen to join. That’s according to a legal case being decided in the Hague, in which a flight attendant is seeking to block her husband from serializing a sex diary she wrote about her dalliances with fellow crew members. The 46-year-old Transavia employee kept the diary on a computer but when her husband discovered it, he promptly leaked it to the press in Holland. But when the airline, owned by KLM/Air France, was approached for a comment, it tried to have the diary blocked, according to the Daily Mail. “We take everything very seriously. An internal research has shown that the safety of passengers was never in doubt,” said a spokesperson. The low-cost Dutch airline is also said to be unhappy with the fact the husband was sharing emails his wife sent to other staff.


CHINA — Ikea has 21 stores across China, filled with its usual make-it-yourself furniture including sofas and beds. But those sofas and beds may also be filled with sleeping customers as many have no qualms about taking a quick nap while at the store, according to the New York Times. And while snoozing is not allowed at other Ikea stores, the Swedish retailer permits Chinese customers to take advantage of the comfy digs, rather than alienate potential customers in a country where sleeping in public is commonplace.


LONDON, U.K. — A law firm’s billing practices came to light recently — and faced considerable mocking on social media — when it was revealed lawyers there were encouraged to charge clients for breaks from their work of up to six minutes — meaning bathroom breaks could be included. “Any short break” was cited by the firm Nabarro in London, U.K., in a leaked memo, according to the Daily Mail: “(For) eg. a coffee break of up to six minutes should still be recorded to the matter you are currently working on, on the basis that you would still be thinking about it.” Leading commercial firms in the city now bill clients up to £1,000 (C$1,600) per hour so a six-minute break could add up to £100 (C$160).


CLEVELAND, OHIO — Thrilled that his team the Cleveland Cavaliers won the NBA championship in June, majority owner Daniel Gilbert decided to celebrate with a bit of bling — one million U.S. dollars’ worth, to be exact. But the expensive trinkets weren’t for himself — they were being distributed to Gilbert’s more than 1,000 employees throughout the Cavaliers and Quicken Loans Arena organization, including star players LeBron James and Kyrie Irving, according to While a diamond-crusted ring wouldn’t be given to everyone, ticket takers, seat ushers, security guards, hot dog sellers and police officers were to be rewarded. It was the first major sports championship a Cleveland team had won since 1964.

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