The weird workplace

Low blow for women; Karma bites back; Where's the beef?; Not quite Romeo & Juliet; Pizza delivers

Low blow for women
LONDON — A woman unhappy with a rather stringent dress code has started a petition in the United Kingdom. Nicola Thorp showed up to work as a temp at PriceWaterhouseCooopers in London but was surprised to find out she was required to wear two- to four-inch heels, according to the Telegraph. Her agency said it was “female grooming policy” for women and Thorp would be sent home without pay unless she complied. “When I pointed out that my male colleague was allowed to work in flat shoes, and that I felt that I was being discriminated against, I was laughed at. She said, ‘Men aren’t used to wearing heels’ — well I’m afraid I’m not, either,” said Thorp. The employment rights hotline told Thorp that as long as employers enforce a formal dress code for both male and female workers, they’re not being discriminatory. “I was told that because men don’t usually wear high heels in non-work life, yet women do, it is not sex discrimination to expect women to wear high heels,” she said. PwC said the dress code is not a company policy and it is in discussion with suppliers.

Karma bites back
TABER, ALTA. — Social media took its revenge once again after an employee was suspended for his comment on the Fort McMurray fire. “Karmic #climatechange fire burns Canadian oilsands city,” wrote Tom Moffatt of the Town of Taber on his Twitter feed on May 3. Town council voted in favour of suspending Moffatt until it could conduct an investigation, according to the National Post. “A recent post made by a town employee on a personal account in no way reflects the town’s views on this terrible tragedy,” said the council’s post. “The Town of Taber apologizes unreservedly. We are discussing this matter with the employee.” In retrospect, “karmic” was not a good word to use, said Moffatt, “because it implies people there deserve what they are getting and that’s not what I meant at all… When I wrote ‘karmic,’ I was thinking of my own failure because I see this as a climate disaster and I have not done enough to inform people of the perils of climate change.” 

Where's the beef?
VACAVILLE, CALIF. — The owners of a California restaurant chain serving only vegan dishes came under fire recently after customers discovered Matthew and Terces Engelhart were now meat-eaters. Angry patrons and animal rights activities called on vegans to boycott the Café Gratitude chain, according to the Associated Press. “The brand has betrayed my trust by turning around and killing the animals that trust them on their property,” said Anita Carswell, communications manager for In Defence of Animals. The couple faced death threats and protests but were unfairly cast as deceptive animal killers, said son and COO Cary Mosier. “I personally feel it’s a little illogical to require my parents to remain vegan for the rest of their lives just because they created a vegan restaurant at a point in time that they were vegan… And if you’re a vegan, why would you want to close and boycott, frankly, the largest vegan restaurant group in California?”

Not quite Romeo & Juliet
TENNESSEE — A teacher in Tennessee was suspended recently after showing a movie considered inappropriate for students, according to the Sun newspaper in the United Kingdom. Human Centipede 2 features graphic scenes of people being cut up and stitched back together. It tells the story of a man who watched the first Human Centipede film and decides to create his own 12-person “centipede.” The movie was temporarily banned in the U.K. and has been labelled “the sickest film ever.” Apparently, students were shown the film to understand “what to do if you’re bullied.” But the Jackson-Madison School County System announced it was launching an internal investigation and the teacher had been suspended pending the outcome. The film’s Dutch director, Tom Six, however, said he would send the teacher a signed copy of the film.

Pizza delivers
SALEM — He was a regular customer so when employees at a pizza joint noticed Kirk Alexander’s calls weren’t coming in, they got concerned. And they may just have saved the man’s life, according to OregonLive. Alexander had ordered from Domino’s pizza for more than a decade, but when he hadn’t placed an order in 11 days, delivery driver Tracey Hamblen went to his home to investigate. While lights and a TV were on, nobody answered the door and Alexander did not answer his phone. So Hamblen dialed 911 and deputies dispatched to the home heard a man calling for help. They found Alexander inside, suffering from medical problems that could have ended his life. Now in hospital, he’s in stable condition — and likely craving pizza.

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