The Weird Workplace

A collection of unusual and quirky stories from across Canada and the world
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 06/25/2018
Pig
Looking to modernize its farm sector, China is pushing ahead with industrialization of its hog herds – and that includes the creation of “hog hotels.” Credit: AVA Bitter (Shutterstock)

THIS LITTLE PIGGY…

YAJI MOUNTAIN, CHINA – Looking to modernize its farm sector, China is pushing ahead with industrialization of its hog herds — and that includes the creation of “hog hotels.” Up to 1,000 swine can live on each floor of these high-rise buildings, with one company running a seven-floor breeding operation, including plans for a 13-floor version, according to Reuters. The large buildings resemble hotels, and the workers easily move the hogs from floor to floor by elevator. 
“There are big advantages to a high-rise building,” said Xu Jiajing, manager of Guangxi Yangxiang’s mountain-top farm. “It saves energy and resources. The land area is not that much but you can raise a lot of pigs.”


A PLACE TO REST

VANCOUVER – A Tim Hortons outlet in Vancouver paid a fond farewell to a regular patron recently after the death of “Ted,” a homeless man who lived at the always-open restaurant. Known as kind and easygoing, the older man began sleeping, eating and hanging out at the coffee shop about 10 years ago, according to the Canadian Press. Struggling with cancer, Ted suffered a medical episode prior to his death, so staff called 911 for assistance. Tim Hortons said it is reviewing the details of the incident, adding restaurant owners and their teams have full discretion to do what’s necessary to help guests who need medical assistance. “Like other members of the community, we were saddened to hear this news. The individual was a regular at the restaurant and will be missed,’’ said a statement from the chain. Ted was a retired low-wage worker who struggled to make ends meet, said Judy Graves, an advocate for the homeless. “He decided to maintain his dignity by living as much as he possibly could at Tim Hortons… I’m nothing but grateful to that Tim Hortons.”


DANCING FOOL

DENVER – Showing off his moves, an off-duty FBI agent dancing at a Denver bar accidentally shot a man recently — and initially didn’t notice. The agent was filmed by a patron doing a handstand when his gun fell from its holster, according to Reuters. When the agent bent down to pick up his handgun, an “unintended discharge” occurred, said the Denver Police Department, and another customer in the crowd at the Mile High Spirits and Distillery was hit by the stray bullet in the leg, sustaining a non-life-threatening injury. The agent, 29-year-old Chase Bishop, was later charged with second-degree assault, according to Global News. 


NOT CLEARED FOR TAKEOFF

REDDING, CALIF. – Two employees at a flight school in Redding, Calif., took matters into their own hands recently — and faced the consequences. Jonathan McConkey, general manager at IASCO Flight Training, and his assistant Kelsi Hoser were arrested on suspicion of kidnapping a student pilot and trying to send him back to his native China, according to the Associated Press. They showed up at Tianshu Shi’s apartment one evening and told him he would be “shipped back,” said Redding police corporal Rob Peterson. The next day, they returned to tell Shi to pack his bags, but the student recorded the confrontation. “I’ve got your (expletive) passport. You’re leaving now,’’ said a male voice in the recording. “The United States government needs you out of this country right now, you understand?’’ Eventually Shi entered the car — but he also managed to contact his brother in Shanghai who called police. Hoser told police they were sending Shi back to China because his English wasn’t strong enough to safely communicate with the air traffic control tower. McConkey and Hoser could face charges including conspiracy and kidnapping, said police. 


KILLER EXCUSE

HAYDOCK, U.K. – Managers worldwide have heard all kinds of excuses when employees don’t show up for work, but one employer received a most upsetting message when checking up on his colleague, Ian Robertson. “Is everything OK mate? Alex said that you wasn’t in work today because of a family emergency?” messaged employer Anthony Millard on WhatsApp. Robertson’s response? “If you want the truth mate, I murdered someone in my house last night so now need to fix it.” He then sent his employer a photo of his victim, Robert Sempey. Robertson was later sentenced to 21 years in jail, while his girlfriend was jailed for more than two years for helping to move the corpse.

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