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Wild workplaces making headlines

Let’s be honest. As HR professionals, we’ve all probably seen our fair share of oddities in the workplace. From unusual employee excuses for missing work to other hilarious mishaps, some workplaces are anything but boring. Over the past couple of months, the news has been flooded with stories of ridiculous happenings within the workplace. Check out some of the craziest ones of the bunch:

Resignations – They’re a piece of cake!


For most of us, resignations are far from being all fun and games. British man Chris Holmes appears to believe otherwise. He informed his bosses of his leaving by baking a large white cake with his resignation letter scrolled across the top in black icing.

The cake read:

Today is my 31st birthday and, having recently become a father, I now realize how precious life is and how important it is to spend my time doing something that makes me, and other people, happy. For that reason I hereby give notice of my resignation, in order that I may devote my time and energy to my family, and to my cake business.”

Holmes, also known as “Mr. Cake“, left the company on good terms (cake tends to have that effect on many people). He even managed to squeeze in a plug for his up and coming business!

New Jersey teacher fired for urinating in class

PictureYes, you read that title right.

Last month, elementary school teacher Ron Tuitt, who had been teaching at the same school for more than 15 years, was fired for “inappropriate behaviour. The student filed a lawsuit.

He was accused of two things: urinating in the classroom garbage can while his students waited outside and multiple occasions of urinating in a plastic bottle and having his students flush the contents in the bathroom.

Tuitt, who is in a wheelchair, denied the second accusation but did admit to urinating in the classroom garbage can. He said that a lack of accommodation when he had a urinary tract infection made his actions necessary. In response to this, he’s filing an appeal of his termination and a discrimination lawsuit against the Paterson school district. Read more about the case here.

His first day on the job couldn’t have gone any worse…

PictureIt’s safe to say most people get the first-day jitters when starting a new job. Unfortunately for A.J. Clemente, his first day turned out worse than most.

Clemente was starting as a news anchor for KFYR-TV in North Dakota and, as his colleague was introducing him, he didn’t realize the camera was rolling and his microphone was on. Completely oblivious to being on the air live, he is seen sorting through notes on the table and swearing. You can watch the awkward video here: here.

“That couldn’t have gone any worse,” Clemente tweeted after the Sunday evening broadcast. He was immediately suspended, and was later fired. Talk about a rough first day.

Boss assigns his child’s homework to employees


I bet you’ve never seen “complete my child’s school work” in a job description before. A boss in China made headlines last month after assigning the homework of his 12-year-old daughter to his employees.

The initial news report on the story stated that NINE workers were tasked with completing the school project. Students were asked to study the hometown of their parents and make note of the changes that had happened over the past decades through pictures, videos, or an essay.

One of the workers on the project said this wasn’t the first time they had been asked to help with school homework. “We stayed up late for two nights,” he said. “The girl was quite demanding. She only needed to do one of the four options, but she insisted on doing them all, without actually getting involved herself in any way.” Wow.

Man wrestles a shark and is fired From his job


Paul Marshallsea, a 62-year-old man from Great Britain, was named a hero after wrestling a shark away from children on an Australian beach (Source). The courageous act was caught on tape and quickly became a viral sensation (You can watch the video here). However, shortly after this happened, the man was fired from his job.

Turns out him and his wife took a two-month sick leave from their jobs due to work-related stress. When his employers saw the video of him wrestling the shark, they felt that the couple had been dishonest and fired them.

Part of the letter to the couple read:

Whilst unfit to work you were well enough to travel to Australia and, according to recent news footage of yourself in Queensland, you allegedly grabbed a shark by the tail and narrowly missed being bitten by quickly jumping out of the way”.

Marshallsea argued that him and his wife had gone on holiday at the advice of a doctor, who said that a vacation might help relieve stress. I can’t imagine shark wrestling helped with that…

There’s no denying that the workplace can be home to some interesting situations. If you have any unusual workplace stories of your own, please share it with us in the comments!

Anna Aceto-Guerin, CHRP
Clear Path Employer Services

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Clear Path Employer Services

Certified HR consultants and medical professionals at Clear Path Employer Services
Clear Path Employer Services is a team of certified HR consultants and medical professionals dedicated to resolving the human resources and claims management challenges facing businesses across Ontario. The company was founded in 2003 by Anna Aceto-Guerin, a Certified Human Resources Professional (CHRP) specializing in WSIB claims management and NEER cost containment, with a focus on return-to-work programs and acquiring SIEF cost relief for employers. Read more
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