The Weird Workplace

A collection of unusual and quirky stories from across Canada and the world
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 07/30/2018
Tomato
A Canada Post mail carrier got into trouble recently after he was caught eating a resident’s tomatoes. Credit: Tim UR (Shutterstock)

TOO TEMPTING TO RESIST

MONTREAL — A Canada Post mail carrier got into trouble recently after he was caught eating a resident’s tomatoes. A security camera captured the mailman munching away on the fruit growing outside a home on four separate occasions in June and July, according to CTV News. Homeowner Paula Habib said she first thought the culprit was a squirrel. “He never came to the door and said, ‘Look, I took one of your tomatoes and it was really good’ or made a joke about it,’’ she said. “He was just doing it and couldn’t care less… At the end of the day, (it’s) somebody stealing from your personal property and it’s not right.” In the end, a Canada Post employee presented the woman with a note of apology, along with a container of tomatoes. “I’m not here to have him lose his job. I know everybody is hard-working and I just feel that it wasn’t right,” said Habib.

POLICE BEHAVING BADLY

LORAIN, OHIO — A police officer got into trouble recently when he had his daughter’s boyfriend “arrested” — and it was all caught on his dashcam, according to the Toronto Sun. John Kovach pulled over a car driven by Makai Coleman and asked him to get out of his car, saying, “You’re going to jail, have a seat in my car.” When asked why, he responded, “We’ll make shit up as we go.” A resident whose children were in the car with Coleman came out to ask what was going on, and Kovach said he was looking for his daughter, Katlyn, who was suicidal. When the police officer asked the children to get out of the car, he noticed his daughter was in the backseat, so he asked Coleman to get out of the police cruiser, and had his daughter sit there instead — ignoring a dispatched call about a road rage incident nearby. Kovach then drove off — and was later fired for the incident.

MORE POLICE BEHAVING BADLY

ATLANTA — Two police officers in Georgia were suspended recently after they used a coin toss to decide whether to arrest a motorist they had stopped for speeding, according to Reuters. Sarah Webb was pulled over after driving 130 km/h. The two officers then discussed whether to give the woman a speeding ticket or arrest her for reckless driving. Officer Courtney Brown used a coin-flip app on her phone to decide: heads, arrest; tails, release. The toss went against Webb, so Brown and the other officer, Kristee Wilson, wrote up the charges. “I am appalled that any law enforcement officer would trivialize the decision-making process of something as important as the arrest of a person,” said Roswell Police Department Chief Rusty Grant, adding that an investigation had been launched and the officers were on administrative leave.

CHEERLEADING CO-WORKERS

CHINA — Looking to attract and retain much-needed tech workers, some companies in China are hiring “pretty, talented girls that help create a fun work environment,” according to the CBC, citing the country’s government-run news service. Dubbed “programming cheerleaders,” the women chat, play ping-pong with employees or buy them breakfast as part of their role. “Programmers are mostly male and terrible at socializing,” said China.org.cn’s Facebook post. “The presence of these girls has greatly improved their job efficiency and motivation.” But many on social media expressed their disapproval with the retention strategy. One called the job sexist and ridiculous: “It’s like bringing Hooters to (the) workplace.” Another said China has 20 per cent more men than women because of its gendercide practices.

PRANK PROVES DEADLY

JAPAN — A workplace prank turned deadly recently in Japan. Yoshiyuki Yoshida was arrested after shooting compressed air into a workmate’s rear-end, according to the Asia Times. The two men worked at an industrial equipment manufacturing plant and were joking around when Yoshida sent the blast into Akio Ishimaru. A few minutes later, Ishimaru complained of feeling unwell and collapsed. An ambulance was dispatched but he did not survive. “I just did it as a prank,” Yoshida told police. “I didn’t think he could possibly die from that.” Police said the release of air into the body likely damaged Ishimaru’s lungs. Japan has seen several deaths related to air compressors being used inappropriately.

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