The weird workplace

Pensions take the rap; No laughing matter; Sooner might have been better; Beer pong misfire; 'You're under… appeal'

'You're under... appeal'
WATERLOO, ONT. — A former police officer caused a stir recently when he shared details of his three-year suspension, for which he was paid almost $350,000, according to the Hamilton Spectator. Sent to a police services solicitor — and subsequently made public — Craig Markham’s email thanked the force for his continued salary while he played golf, travelled and trained to become a firefighter. “I am very thankful and fortunate to have received such a nice gift… You have opened up other doors for me and have paid me to sit back and watch. What a dream come true.” Markham said he sent the message to try and make the best of a bad situation: “My intention was never to mock the system.” The officer was originally criminally charged with breach of trust and given a conditional discharge in October 2012 after pleading guilty. He was also fired but appealed the decision and received a salary during the appeal process. When the appeal was dismissed, Markham was ordered to resign and he quit in February.

Pensions take the rap
LONDON, U.K. — There are some people who probably shouldn’t try  to  rap. That was evident recently when the British government re-released a video about workplace pensions featuring a group of about 20 employees from a London DIY store. “Can I have your attention, about the workplace pension? Did I forget to mention? Millions of people are already benefitin’ from being enrolled in the workplace pension,” raps one worker, as others chill to another employee’s beatbox backing. The musical clip was first released in October 2013, according to the Mirror, but the Department for Work and Pensions re-released the video, adding the lyrics, as part of a wider ad campaign. “This government rap video about workplace pensions is making me cringe,” tweeted GeorgeMcF.  

No laughing matter
BIRMINGHAM, U.K. — Employees at HSBC in England went a little too dark with their humour recently when they posted a video of themselves staging a mock Islamic State-style beheading of a colleague. The six workers were on a team-building exercise in Birmingham when they made the film and put it up on Instagram, according to Reuters. The video showed five people in black jumpsuits and balaclavas pretending to behead a kneeling man in an orange jumpsuit with a clothes hanger. “This is an abhorrent video and HSBC would like to apologize for any offence caused,” said a spokesperson for the financial firm, which did not say how many employees had been dismissed.

Sooner might have been better
BOISE, IDAHO — Under United States federal law, an airline pilot is allowed to carry weapons onboard the plane, but only in the U.S. That could explain why a United Airlines pilot was being investigated for flushing live ammunition down a toilet during an international flight from Houston to Munich, according to the Associated Press. The captain apparently first threw the bullets in a trash bin and later flushed the evidence. “We are 
reviewing the incident and the pilot remains an employee,” the airline said in a statement. Under a post-9-11 federal program, pilots are allowed to carry guns on domestic flights, according to United Airlines spokesperson Karen May. This individual was not carrying a gun but realized he had left ammunition in his bag. “He did incorrectly dispose of the ammunition,” May said, “but it is likely that the pilot is not going to face any criminal charges.”  

Beer pong misfire
SAN FRANCISCO — The diversity memo must have gotten lost. Employees at Twitter — a company criticized for its low female population — recently decided to throw a fraternity house-themed party. A purported photo of the event showed red plastic cups, a keg and a beer pong table, according to Reuters. The party was “in poor taste,” said the tech giant, which is facing a proposed class-action lawsuit from a former female software engineer claiming Twitter’s promotion process unlawfully favours men. This social event was “not reflective of the culture we are building here at Twitter,” said the spokesperson. “We’ve had discussions internally with the organizing team and they recognize that this theme was ill-chosen.” A photo of the event was deleted but the group Global Tech Women put it up on its Twitter feed with the hashtags #lovewhereyouwork, #diversitymatters and #brogrammers.

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