January 15, 2008

And you think an actor's life is easy?

Actor Isaac Blake is taking a TV production company to an industrial tribunal.

The Sun reports that he:

...went to hospital twice because the costume he wore as a Tombliboo was faulty. Once he was ordered to jump up and down on a chair after a camera allowing him to see out of the suit failed.

He said: “I didn’t feel safe, but they just told me to get on with it.”

Trained dancer Mr Blake fell off the chair and suffered bruising.

Another time he says he was off for a week with pelvic injuries after leaning over for long periods in the animatronic suit. Mr Blake also claims he was discriminated against and verbally abused for being homosexual.

Apparently a Tombliboo is a character from a kids' TV show called The Night Garden.


A Tombliboo yesterday

January 2, 2008

Chicago police officer beats up female bartender

Working in a bar you would expect a bit of trouble from time to time - but to be assaulted by an off-duty police officer...?

November 26, 2007

Not in a million years would I work on one of these things

Construction blues

Yet another very sad, plaintive note on Disgruntled Workforce:

I’m a go getter and like the day to pass quickly. So I constantly ask for something ANYTHING to do. So you ask me to lamenate things…. pointless and meaningless thing…. now when I said ANYTHING I really meant anything productive! Like, for example running some reports on where the hell aaaaalll the companies money is going, and why none of our projects make any money. Or perhaps looking into finding a solution for all the thousands of pounds worth of equipment that goes “missing”.

But no, your right. The “Please wash your mug. Don’t leave it in the sink” sign does desparately need laminated.

I am 22. That doesn’t mean I’m stupid. It means I’m young, enthusiastic and keen. Or, I was before I came here!

Well, aside from the fact that s/he could fill up some of the time by spell-checking his/her work, we do desperately wonder which construction company this is about.

November 23, 2007

Your brother died and you're depressed? Tough, you texted us. Goodbye.

Legal site Out-Law reports on some rather mean-spirited actions from a tile shop called Tile It All in Scotland:

The firing of an employee who used text messages to call in sick after his brother's death was unfair, an Edinburgh employment tribunal has ruled. An employment law specialist said the case sends a warning to bosses to enforce policies consistently.

The East Lothian Courier reports that Mark Morrison worked as a sales adviser for tile shop Tile It All. When his brother died last December, Morrison sent a text message to his manager, Robert Selley, to inform him. He subsequently sent a text to say he would be off sick until after the funeral.

Morrison claims that Selley phoned and told him to bring a doctor's certificate with him on his return to work. That claim was denied by Selley. Morrison also claims that no comment was made when he returned to work and handed in his sick line, according to the newspaper.

Four days later, Morrison stayed home again. He sent text messages to his employer on five consecutive days to say that he was depressed and not coming to work.

Morrison's employer summoned him to a disciplinary hearing and subsequently dismissed him for failing to follow company procedures for reporting absences. The policy stated that absences should be notified by phone calls or sick lines sent in, according to the report.

Tribunal chair Susan O'Brien said:

"The company's complaint that text messages were not acceptable was petty, and in any event the tribunal did not believe that the claimant had been told he must not notify absence by way of text messages. Throughout these events, the local manager and Mr Selley were perfectly well aware of the reason for the claimant's absence. A modicum of common sense could have straightened all this out."

More details at Out-Law

Your brother died and you're depressed? Tough, you texted us. Goodbye.

Legal site Out-Law reports on some rather mean-spirited actions from a tile shop called Tile It All in Scotland:

The firing of an employee who used text messages to call in sick after his brother's death was unfair, an Edinburgh employment tribunal has ruled. An employment law specialist said the case sends a warning to bosses to enforce policies consistently.

The East Lothian Courier reports that Mark Morrison worked as a sales adviser for tile shop Tile It All. When his brother died last December, Morrison sent a text message to his manager, Robert Selley, to inform him. He subsequently sent a text to say he would be off sick until after the funeral.

Morrison claims that Selley phoned and told him to bring a doctor's certificate with him on his return to work. That claim was denied by Selley. Morrison also claims that no comment was made when he returned to work and handed in his sick line, according to the newspaper.

Four days later, Morrison stayed home again. He sent text messages to his employer on five consecutive days to say that he was depressed and not coming to work.

Morrison's employer summoned him to a disciplinary hearing and subsequently dismissed him for failing to follow company procedures for reporting absences. The policy stated that absences should be notified by phone calls or sick lines sent in, according to the report.

Tribunal chair Susan O'Brien said:

"The company's complaint that text messages were not acceptable was petty, and in any event the tribunal did not believe that the claimant had been told he must not notify absence by way of text messages. Throughout these events, the local manager and Mr Selley were perfectly well aware of the reason for the claimant's absence. A modicum of common sense could have straightened all this out."

More details at Out-Law

November 20, 2007

Asbos for offices

CommunityCare.co.uk is proposing the idea of a workplace Asbo or Wasbo.

They've put together a list of their top 10 anti-social office behaviours:

Continue reading "Asbos for offices" »

Well, don't sit near door then

DisgruntledWorkforce.com is a MadToWorkHere must-read.
It's a place for people to vent steam about their hideous work-lives. It's quite sad really. Sad that some people have such crap jobs, sad that some people have crap bosses and sad that some people clearly have no idea how to go about fixing things that are wrong.

All of which makes it very funny. Anyway, this post sounds particularly sad an example of a lonely, existential hell:


Dear Visitors To The Office,

It’s true that I sit close to the door, but I am NOT your gofer. If you’re here to see someone, you need to call him or her from the phone next to the door and get him or her to buzz you in. NO, the security system is NOT my fault. My desk does NOT have a magic button to let you in, nor can I just let anyone who just shows up into the office.

If the person you’re visiting can’t come to the door fast enough for your impatient ass, do not wave at me. Do not knock 200 times or pound on the door. First, I can see you, and second, I don’t care that you’re locked out. Third, when you roll your eyes because I am not jumping up to do your bidding, I CAN SEE YOU because you are BEHIND A GLASS WALL, DUMBASS.

If I take pity on you and let you in, you should say “Thank you,” not huff angrily in my general direction. Maybe if you had been paying attention downstairs when you got your security badge, this wouldn’t happen.

Sincerely,
Nelle (NOT THE DOORWOMAN, New York)

Somerfield video

Just found this on a solicitors' website:

A former supermarket worker who was sacked after posting a video of his workmates on YouTube has been awarded over £2,000 in compensation.

Craig Taylor, 24, was working at Somerfield in Aberdeen when his bosses discovered he had posted the video which showed one of this colleagues being hit on the head with a plastic bag stuffed with other plastic bags.

He was sacked following a disciplinary hearing, after Somerfield claimed that the video had brought the grocery giant into disrepute.

However, the employment tribunal rejected the claim and awarded compensation of £2,283 on the grounds that Mr Taylor had been unfairly dismissed.

Mr Taylor had told the court that he had not been present at the time when the video was filmed and that the clip had been uploaded on a colleague's mobile phone.

He also claimed that he had been drunk when he uploaded the clip to the website.

I love this decision. Can't find the video, though. But here's another (one of many) Somerfield antics video:

More Somerfield videos here.

November 19, 2007

Fruit cake

On one of our favourite blogs - Passive Aggressive Notes - there's a gem of an email about fruitcake from the organiser of the "fun fund" in a Toronto Office.

Visit Passive Aggressive Notes to see the email in all its P/A glory.

Office fight on CCTV

Who knows whether this is real or not, but it looks convincing judging by the damage.

No more sex for Chinese firemen

China has banned fire department officials from receiving sexual favours as bribes from companies seeking their business, local media reported on Friday, according to Reuters.

Continue reading "No more sex for Chinese firemen" »

November 7, 2007

German bank cashier steals from children's piggy banks

Well done to Office Humour Blog for spotting this outrageous story from Spiegel Online

A female German bank cashier has been convicted of stealing money from children's piggy banks and ordered to pay €1,800 to a charity.

The 45-year-old woman, who has since lost her job at a savings bank in the southern city of Augsburg, received a suspended six-month sentence. The public prosecutor's office had sought a tougher penalty for a crime it called "deeply immoral."

The cashier was found guilty of stealing a total of €60 from children aged one to nine who had handed over their piggy banks to pay their pocket money into a savings account. But the prosecutor suspected that was just the "tip of the iceberg." He said the children's confidence in the bank had been massively damaged.

Am I wrong to be laughing as I read it?

November 2, 2007

Bunking off foiled by the Internet

Fascinating post here about a rather inept attempt to go on holiday while pretending to be sick:

One of our employee's was caught lying about his absence quite spectacularly today.

The employee in question had been calling in sick all week, claiming he was at home in bed with a chest infection.

In reality he has been several hundred miles away in Eastern Europe.

When we heard the rumours, which were as in depth as having his flight times and departure airport, we had a look on the web to see what we could find.

It's amazing just how much you can find, as with just a surname and flight number we were able to get a copy of the employee's flight confirmation from the airline website.

With this in front of us, it was with great satisfaction that we took his call this morning.

On several occasions we asked him exactly where he was. When we asked if we could visit him at home you could hear the panic in his voice, but even at this stage he wouldn't admit the truth.

It was only when we put him out of his misery by telling him what we knew that he admitted where he was and profusely apologised.

Whether profusely apologising will be enough to save his job is highly questionable...


November 1, 2007

And I've been working like a dog...

The Times reports on a rather unpleasant bit of work bullying:

The top police dog-handling academy in Germany was mired in scandal yesterday after claims that female cadets had been forced to wear electric collars, crawl on all fours and bark on command.

If an insider is to be believed, [...] drunken beatings of cadets and dogs, physical and verbal abuse and a groundswell of neo-Nazi sympathy were part of the daily routine.

Some cadets were forced to drink beer mugs full of steaming urine. “Trainees also had to drink a cocktail made up of rubbish fished out of bins and rotting food,” said the anonymous eight-page letter sent to the Nürnberger Nachrichten newspaper.

Quite bizarre.

October 30, 2007

Groundbreaking workplaces

Just came across this amazing picture on ICIS Chemicals Confidential which has added to my ever-expanding list of places I really do not want to work.

It shows the Berezniki 1 potash mine in Russia's Perm region. Apparently, the sinkhole was caused by flooding, and is now threatening the nearby railway line.


So, for the record, I do not want to work near the potash mines of Russia. Or in Russia, come to that.

October 26, 2007

MadToRobHere ?

There's a fantastic story - complete with CCTV footage of the surprise in store for an armed robbber who tried to rob a a Long Island convenience store tended by "a woman of slight stature but explosive temper".


The woman, Hafize Sahin, 27, stalled the man and, thinking he might come behind the counter, pulled out an ax the employees keep around for trimming tree limbs outside. He pointed the gun across the counter, and Ms. Sahin, who was wearing a long dress and a headscarf, began swinging at him. The man fled the store empty-handed, and Ms. Sahin can be seen in pursuit to the parking lot in the store’s surveillance video, which was released by the Suffolk police.

See the video on the New York Times website.

October 23, 2007

Surveillance cameras foil toilet paper heist

Spare a thought for 58 year old German bus driver Jochen Lorenz who has been sacked after being spotted taking a roll of toilet paper from the bus depot lavatory.

Continue reading "Surveillance cameras foil toilet paper heist" »

October 18, 2007

Noose flash

What do your colleagues have adorning their desks? Some fluffy toys, a picture of their partner, a stress ball, a "motivational" poster?

All of them objectionable, but nothing compared to a hangman's noose.

There's a bit of a brouhaha going on over in the US at the moment regarding a CPS Energy supervisor whose cubicle was adorned with a noose. A co-worker took a photo of it and all hell has broken loose.

According to WOAI.COM:

Investigators at CPS Energy told me the manager believed the noose was a necktie.

During a protest Monday morning, activists chanted "CPS! Down with the noose!"

Dr. Howard Anderson of the NAACP said, "One would have to have been born early this morning to not recognize that a hangman's noose is racially offensive in America."

To many, a noose is a haunting historic symbol.

"The hangman's noose has got 12 knots on it," said union representative Ralph Merriweather. "12 knots by the Ku Klux Klan indicated it took 12 knots to hang a black man, to break his neck to kill him."

That's why these protesters say the noose had no business on the desk of CPS Energy Manager of Application and Maintenance.

Indeed. But wouldn't you be uncomfortable sitting in the next cubicle to this guy?

No sighs of relief for baggage handlers?

Apparently there was a "dry run" of the new Heathrow Terminal 5 recently and it appears that it didn't all go according to plan. Indeed, some people didn't get to go at all.

The baggage handlers (the people who make sure your luggage gets to Dubai while you're on a plane to Dubrovnik) apparently don't have any loos.

According to The Foreman they:

had to travel up two levels to relieve themselves. There were murmurs that it might be a permanent situation when the all-singing all-dancing terminal opens for real next year.

BAA were quick to stamp on those suggestions, assuring me there would be no need for baggage handlers to go in 'thunder boxes'. "There will be toilets for everyone throughout the building," a spokeswoman told me. Welcome relief for the baggage handlers no doubt.