Top 10 weird work stories of 2016
It's hard to argue with the fact that 2016 was no ordinary year. But whether you felt triumphant or defeated by everything that made news this year, you won't want to miss this roundup of the 10 best weird work-related stories that made headlines in 2016.
One's commute can often get so monotonous that even eavesdropping on a fellow rider's gossip-laden phone conversation every once in a while can prove entertaining. Enter a raccoon that decided to save the day by boarding a subway in Toronto during rush hour. No word yet on whether it scored some free coffee or bagels or litter, but it did have time to take selfies for Instagram with terrified delighted subway riders.
Some people die of boredom at their jobs, especially if the fit isn't right and they're under-employed. Not Joe Bartley, however. The 89-year-old widower, who quite literally didn't want to die of boredom, placed an ad in a local U.K. newspaper seeking a job. (Should someone tell him that placing an ad on Craigslist may have been easier?) Fortunately, the owners of a local café saw the ad and offered him a job. Bartley remains employed and an inspiration to everyone everywhere.
Source: The Huffington Post
Thanksgiving should be a time to give thanks, right? Not so for one woman who entered the Lakeview location of the craft store chain and refused to walk out without a fight. The female Caucasian customer went off on a belligerent rant accusing a black Michaels' worker of racism, and throwing around slurs. Luckily, someone captured the raw-footage-turned-viral-video on a camera phone, and started an online crowdfunding campaign for the worker, which wound up raising more than $18,000.
Source: Chicago Tribune
Sure, you've heard of bitter office rivals plotting to sabotage each other — but one sheriff decided to use that psychology to his advantage: by urging local drug dealers to turn in their competition. His message reads: "Is your drug dealing competition costing you money? We offer a free service to help you eliminate your drug competition; report your competition to us!"
In an unfortunate turn of events, a factory worker in the U.K. tossed a metal bolt at a co-worker intending to hit him in the back, but got him in the left eye instead when he unexpectedly turned around. No version of that tragic story would have ended well — regardless of whether he turned around or not — but with one man suffering a debilitating injury and related pay cut while the other faces jail time, there are no winners here.
If you've been in the workforce long enough, you've likely witnessed a few instances of disgruntled employees attempting to quit in a blaze of glory. One fast-food chain worker, however, took that to the next level by stealing all of the store's chicken nuggets before making his grand exit. But it didn't stop there — the culprit went on to boast about his winning gesture online. What a whopper of a disaster.
Not that long ago, I was forced to pay up a bet with a co-worker by eating homemade brownies made with cricket flour. (True story.) Disgusting as it was, it was a voluntary choice of mine to eat it. One company in China, on the other hand, is forcing workers who fail to meet certain objectives to down a glass of alcohol…oh, yes, with live yellow mealworms in it. In a public setting. And they perform this nauseating-but-somehow-not-illegal ritual every day. You know what they say: The defeated bird gets the worm.
Source: People's Daily Online
Few things in life are more exasperating than being forced to leave your desk in the middle of a big assignment to participate in a practice fire drill in the office building. But at least it's intended to save lives. So, apparently, is the escape drill that some zookeepers in Tokyo were forced to practice. That's right — a 27-year-old woman donned a zebra costume in broad daylight as part of the simulation. A fake injury, a simulated tranquilizer gun, a fake earthquake and a simulated heart attack later, everyone is fine — except maybe those who read this story.
When you're running even just 20 minutes late to work because you snoozed your alarm one too many times, you write a frantic apology note to your boss explaining your temporary absence. Two government employees in Spain, however, who hadn't shown up to work in 15 years — yes, YEARS — were somehow still not afraid to boldly cash their pay checks. Once the error had been initially discovered, it didn't take Sherlock to uncover the larger scam. "[HR] initially discovered the duo had not worked a single day from January 2015 to the date of the inquiry in May 2016. Further investigations revealed they'd been skipping work since at least 2001." While both are awaiting their turn to face the music, one of the men is back at work (and can we assume the other is presumably sipping a Mai Tai in the Caribbean?).
Source: The Huffington Post
Some people quit their jobs because they have more promising opportunities lined up; some do so because they are disgruntled and can't take it anymore…and then there's 24-year-old Tom Currie who quit his job to follow his passion: Pokemon Go. The former New Zealand café worker decided to leave his life of responsibilities behind to pursue virtual characters. It remains to be seen if Currie will list his new adventure as a skill on his resume if and when he plans to re-enter the workforce.
Tweet at @CareerBuilder: What's the weirdest work-related story you've heard this year?