The Weird Workplace

A collection of unusual and quirky stories from across Canada and the world
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 08/30/2018
Breakfast Sandwich
An A&W customer in Alberta claimed he was told he couldn’t purchase food for a senior Indigenous woman standing nearby. Credit: P Maxwell Photography (Shutterstock)

Egged on at A&W

CARDSON, ALTA. — Accusations of racism were recently levelled at an A&W in Cardson, Alta., after a customer claimed he was told he couldn’t purchase food for a senior Indigenous woman standing nearby.

The cashier refused Nick Driedger, citing a store policy about loitering and saying it was the store manager’s orders, according to the CBC.

Driedger bought the food anyway, and later complained about the incident on social media.

A&W responded on Twitter: “We’re reaching out to the woman who’s experiencing hardships to see how we can provide assistance, and we are sorry the kind offer by guests to buy her breakfast was not honoured… We are taking this incident very seriously and the franchisee is working with his staff to ensure they receive the training and support they need to do the right thing.”


Track and field ‘event’

KENILWORTH, N.J. — A school superintendent in New Jersey is set to receive US$100,000 from his school district — despite being accused of defecating on his school’s track more than once.

Thomas Tramaglini was charged with public defecation, lewdness and littering, according to the Associated Press.

Surveillance video is said to have captured the man in the act, though Tramaglini’s attorney said his client plans to fight the allegations.

The superintendent has since resigned from his post, and Kenilworth Public Schools was set to pay the former employee’s full salary until the end of September, according to a separation agreement signed in July.

Tramaglini would also receive two months’ severance and more than US$20,000 in unused vacation days.


Serving up scandal

NEW CANAAN, CONN. — Also said to be behaving badly were two sisters who worked at a school cafeteria in Connecticut.

The women were recently charged with stealing US$478,588 over five years from their employer.

Joanne Pascarelli and Marie Wilson were charged with larceny and defrauding a public community, according to the New Canaan News.

The two were placed on administrative leave and have since resigned.

For several years, the average daily deposit from one school where the women worked ranged from US$18 to US$33 a day, but after a new software installation in 2016 began documenting cash intake, daily deposits went up to an average of US$93 per day, and later US$183 per day.

The sisters are denying the allegations, and Wilson’s attorney said the accusations were false and misleading: “There is much more to this story.”


Turning the tables

SAVANNAGH, GA. — A rude customer who thought he could get away with bad behaviour found the tables turned recently at a restaurant in Savannagh, Ga.

Ryan Cherwinski — captured on surveillance video — walked by a waitress and groped her buttocks.

But Emilia Holden reacted quickly, grabbing the collar of his shirt and putting him into a chokehold before throwing him to the ground, according to the Independent.

“I looked at him and I said, ‘You don’t touch me, motherfucker.’ I didn’t even think, I just reacted. I don’t know how I reacted the way I did. I’ve never done that before,” said Holden.

After reviewing the video footage, the father of two was arrested and charged with sexual battery, spending two nights in jail.

And when the video went viral, Holden set up a GoFundMe page to raise money for a cause dear to her heart, looking to raise US$20,000 for cat shelters.


No free drinks allowed

LAS VEGAS — Over in Las Vegas, another restaurant employee also took it upon herself to teach a misbehaving customer a lesson, according to the Mirror.

Erika Chavolla was working at a McDonald’s when she allegedly saw a customer fill her free water cup up with soda.

When Sabrina Fontelar was confronted, she threw a milkshake at Chavolla, then hit her with a metal tray and apparently insulted her mother.

Video of the fight then shows Chavolla grabbing Fontelar by the hair and repeatedly punching her in the head, and then throwing her onto a table twice to throw more punches.

Another employee tried to intervene but the two continued grappling with each other before finally simmering down and walking away.

Chavolla later boasted about the incident online and claimed she had kept her job at McDonald’s.

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