You were fired for that?

And other strange tales from the workplace

At one German company, whining will cost you your job, while helping small wildlife at a certain American library can get you suspended.

These stories, and seven others, topped United States outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc.'s ranking of the most unbelievable workplace events in 2005.

Other outrageous examples included:

• The U.S. National Labour Relations Board refused to strike down a security company's rule that prohibits employees from getting together away from work. The policy forbids workers from going to lunch together, attending each other's weddings, or doing anything else they might want to do with each other outside of work.

• Two Spanish-speaking hair stylists in Chicago claimed in a federal lawsuit that the company they worked for strictly banned the use of Spanish — even when employees were on their breaks. A sign at the establishment read, “Speaking a language other than English is not only disrespectful, it's also prohibited.”

• A worker with a good record and no problems with his managers was unexpectedly, and without reason, fired from his job with a beer distributor on the same day a picture of the employee drinking a competitor’s beer appeared in a local newspaper.

In other strange but true news, in Saint-Hyacinthe, Que., a single father of three was fired for taking chocolate bars from a garbage bin at a Zellers store.

Guy Massé, 47, had planned to give the discarded chocolate to his children, ages six, nine and 15, for Christmas. Massé, who was on welfare and had been working at the store only for a couple of months, was first suspended and then fired.

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