Funny Business

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People do the craziest things on the job. Sometimes they get fired, sometimes they get arrested... usually it's pretty funny stuff. We scour the headlines and bring you the weirdest, wildest and most wonderful business news from across the globe. Read on...


"Twitter Genius," Best Job Application Out There

Possibly the most efficient job application in the world exists here on Craigslist. Calling for an expert social media marketer, this humble Greenwich Village-based company only identifies itself as a "killer, well-funded start-up e-commerce company, filled w/ a lot of young people and seasoned pros." Applicants must tweet in their qualifications. If you dare exceed Twitter's character count limit, "you're done." Time costs money, you know.

Here are the rules, tough guy:

(i) Email me two tweets. The first should be about your experience. The second should by why you're perfect for this job. If you exceed twitter's allotted character count, you're done. (ii) Email me your Twitter name in link form (e.g. http://www.twitter.com/YOURNAME) (iii) Tell me how many followers you have and how many people you follow. (iv) Tell me who's the best person you follow and why (in tweet form). (v) Tell me what's the best way to get more followers (in tweet form). (vi) Specific salary requirement.

No, this guy doesn't care if you're "just out of college" or if you have "10 years expereince." He doesn't even care about your mother: "I need someone who tweets in their sleep and updates their fb status before calling their mom on Mother's Day." Business is business, Mom.




'How Your Spouse Can Hurt Your Job Hunt'

It was the final round of the interview and Jeanne Achille, CEO of The Devon Group (a communications firm in Middletown, N.J.) was going to make an offer. But the alarm bells sounded when "the candidate arrived with his wife in tow." Seriously. Who's being interviewed here? "She was his mouthpiece," Achille explained. "I politely thanked her for joining the meeting but said that I would need to interact with her husband since he would be the person joining the organization."

According to ABC News, the interview went on and the husband started to return to life, but from there it only got worse. "She sat back but prompted him with questions: 'Ask about the dental insurance. What about the paid time off policy?'" the CEO said. Lesson learned: don't bring a backseat driver to an interview.




'University of Florida Readies for Zombie Attack'

University of Florida is ready for anything that comes their way -- be it hurricanes, criminals, pandemics or even an onslought of zombies. Emergency response plans for a so called zombie attack were originally posted on the university website as a joke by a student, but have since been removed.

The survival guide included details on barricading doors, arming staff with guns, chain saws and baseball bats and working from home in cases where employees' cars may be incapable of running over zombies. Read more info in the school newspaper, the Independent Florida Aligator.




Mexico City Puts 1,300 Overweight Police On a Diet

Some Mexico City cops are taking a bite out of more than crime. The Mexican capital is putting its 1,300 of its heaviest police officers on a diet, concerned about rapidly expanding waistlines in the force.

At least 70 percent of the 70,000-member force is overweight, said Nora Frias, the city's Public Safety deputy secretary for citizen participation. The diet program will start with the officers with the most serious weight-related health problems.

"We can't tell them, 'Don't eat sandwiches and tacos,'" Frias said. "What we can tell them is if you eat one sandwich today, if you eat three tacos today, then balance it with some vegetables."

She said officers will be given blood and cholesterol tests to determine a personalized diet plan for each.

Mexico is quickly catching up with the United States as one of the world's fattest countries, according to the Mexican government. Nearly half of Mexico's 110 million people are overweight, and the number of fat children has climbed 8 percent a year over the last decade.




Teacher Resigns After Classless Dancing in Class

A Morgantown High School teacher has resigned after a MySpace video showed her dancing and behaving strangely in a classroom. Monongalia (mon uhn GALE yuh) County Schools Superintendent Frank Devono said Monday that Lynn Ann Clawges was no longer employed by the school system.

Clawges told The Dominion Post on Monday that she resigned Friday. She declined further comment. A MySpace video, filmed Oct. 5, shows Clawges dancing with students during instructional time. A Morgantown Police Department report said school officials called police because a teacher at the school was intoxicated.The county school board must still approve Clawges' resignation.




Security Officer Fired After His "Mall Cop" Moment

According to Ocala.com, Wal-Mart asset protection officer Josh Rutner said he was just doing his job when he chased down and tackled a knife-welding shoplifter in the parking lot. "I couldn't let him get away," Rutner said. "That's wrong."

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. thought differently, stating that the store's no-chase policy is clear. Rutner was fired the next day. "They said this is a non-rehirable offense," he said. "At the age of 65, I can't even come back and become a greeter."

The shoplifter, who took a pack of golf balls, was charged with robbery with a deadly weapon and aggravated assault.




Man Arrested for Kidnapping His Coworker

According to the Salt Lake Tribune, a 41-year-old Ogden man was arrested for allegedly kidnapping his temp. Two hours into training, the man asked the 21-year-old new hire if he wanted to take a break. They drove to a nearby gas station to grab sodas, but instead of heading back to the office, the older man took off down the interstate.

After an hour of driving around telling the young man crazy stories about his life, the older coworker finally stopped at a restaurant and allowed the temp to get out for a pit stop. The poor passenger ran inside and frantically told the staff he'd been kidnapped.

Although the driver sped away, he was caught later that evening and arrested for suspicion of kidnapping. Police still don't know why he did it, but were told by the family that he has had "similar mental health issues."




Stinky Salad Sparks Spraying

It was lunchtime at the AT&T customer service center, so a hungry office worker began to eat his salad at his desk. His coworker, however, was not too happy with the smell of the garlic wafting into his nearby cubicle. After his complaints went unheeded, the man decided to take action.

The smelly salad guy was taken by surprise when a spray of disinfectant burst over his cubicle wall and landed in his eyes -- along with the threat 'If you bring that smelly food in here again, I'll spray you again.'" After a third coworker jumped into the food fight, management had to get involved.

According to freep.com, the salad eater called poison control when he got home but didn't seek any additional medical attention. If the coworker is convicted of simple assault, he could face up to 93 days in jail and $500 in fines.




Busy Secretary Cost PepsiCo Over $1B

According to The National Law Journal, Kathy Henry, a secretary for PepsiCo, received a document related to a lawsuit on September 15, 2009. She put the letter aside because she was "so busy preparing for a board meeting" and didn't tell anyone about it for several weeks.

Unfortunately, for PepsiCo, the lawsuit was against them and those several weeks that the document sat on Ms. Henry's desk may cost them a whopping $1.26 billion. All because they failed to show up to court on time.

Charles Joyce and James Voigt sued the soft drink maker this September, alleging that PepsiCo used their idea to bottle and sell purified water to market Aquafina. PepsiCo argues that there should be a statute of limitations since they pitched this idea to them in 1981 -- that's over 2 decades ago! Ah, the irony.




Playboy Mansion Party Scam

KTLA reports that 30 people were recruited to be security guards for the Playboy Mansion Halloween party. A dream job was well worth the $225 they were asked to pay up front for uniforms and security passes.

The excited hopefuls were told to meet the organizers at a Denny's restaurant to get their uniforms and be shuttled to Hefner's estate to work the security detail for the night. It wasn't until they had been waiting at Denny's until 1:00am Friday morning that they realized the gig was too good to be true and they'd been scammed.




Employee Stabs Himself to Get Out of Work

How far would you go to get out of work? The Denver Post reports that one man was actually willing to harm himself physically. 29-year-old Aaron Siebers walked into work at Blockbuster Video Monday night with a deep stab wound in his leg along with several other superficial knife wounds. He told his boss that he had been stabbed by three men dressed in black then reported it to the police.

Five police agencies and a K-9 unit formed a manhunt to search for the suspects. Detectives also interviewed Siebers and reviewed videos from a nearby Target's surveillance cameras. Unfortunately for Siebers, the footage showed him walking from his bus stop to the store with no indication of an injury.

After further questioning, Siebers finally confessed that he actually had stabbed himself because he didn't want to go to work. He was arrested and charged with two misdemeanors -- false reporting and obstructing a police officer. The moral of the story according to the Police Department's spokesperson "If you are going to concoct a story about being stabbed, don't do it near a Target store."




UPS worker says he was fired for not delivering pot

Sometimes a boss' orders can be a little too by-the-book, as a UPS driver who was fired for not delivering a package of marijuana found out this summer. Former United Parcel Service driver Steven Mojica is suing the delivery company after he claims he was fired for not delivering a suspicious package that turned out to be marijuana, according to a Detroit News story.

Mojica claims that a supervisor told him "he should have delivered the package, even if it contained illicit drugs." Mojica, 41, had a next-day package from Arizona on July 29 to deliver in Pontiac, Mich. He held on to the four-pound package, which his supervisors considered theft and reported it to the DEA for suspected drug dealing, and fired him, according to his attorney, Mark Porter.

"It's nice to know UPS can guarantee delivery to drug dealers and fire employees that refuse to deliver their drugs," Porter told the Detroit News.

A UPS driver for 17 years, Mojica was worried he was in harm's way so he returned the package to his truck, according to the suit. After being told by a supervisor to deliver it, even if it was illegal drugs, Mojica opened it and found what he thought was marijuana. UPS had no comment to the Detroit News on the firing or lawsuit, but said that drivers can contact their local operations office if they are suspicious of the contents of packages they're delivering.




Bus Driver Forces Passengers to Pray

WSBTV in Atlanta reported that MARTA bus driver, Leroy Matthews, was suspended for five days after forcing passengers to pray with him.

Passenger Christopher James was trying to exit the bus, but Matthews wouldn't let him. Instead the driver asked him to join hands with him and three other passengers to pray. James was so taken aback by the request that he agreed to the four minute prayer session. A MARTA spokesman told reporters that it was unclear what they prayed about, but that it was clear that his behavior violated MARTA policy.

Mathews, a six-year MARTA veteran, returned to work as usual. Passenger James, however, remains skeptical, "I don't want to pray to get off MARTA, you know."




'Workers Forced to Clock In and Out to Use Restroom'

According to British newspaper The Telegraph, workers at a meat factory claim they are being forced to clock in and out every time they use the restroom and that their pay is being docked for that time.

Talk about pissing your money away, more than 100 workers complained to their union that they've been penalized by up to £30 (about $50) a week. "It's outrageous that in 2009 workers have to endure the indignity of clocking out for lavatory breaks," said Cathy Ruddenforth, a union representative. The company statement: "Employees are required to clock in and out when accessing/leaving major food processing production floor areas, including visiting the lavatory, to ensure their safety and wellbeing on site.

"To ensure that employees do not suffer financial disadvantage, Dunbia increases employees' weekly wage to compensate for lavatory breaks. Employees are paid this additional allowance, even where they do not use the time allocated for lavatory breaks."




'Unemployed Grandmother Tries Unconventional Approach to Get a Job'

An unemployed grandmother who says she just "wants a paying job" has taken to standing on a downtown Memphis street corner with a sign and copies of her resume.

Denise Caccamisi, 58, has applied for more than 200 jobs since she lost her part-time position at a dentist's office earlier this year, a story by the Commercial Appeal said. Each time, she says she's been passed over for younger, more educated applicants, so she decided to try getting the attention of prospective employers with her sign: Job wanted! Ready to work hard for you! Resumes here!

"You have to be creative," she told the Appeal. "It's so tough out there, especially for people my age."




Now Hiring: Government Dog Musher to Work in Alaska'

Now hiring: one dog-musher to work for the federal government in Denali National Park, Alaska. The National Park Service is looking for a new kennels manager, a job that includes overseeing a 31-animal dog kennel and mushing through the Alaskan wilderness on a dog sled.

So what kind of dough does a dog-sledder bring in? Between $33,477 and $66,542 a year, according to the LA Times. Karen Fortier, a Connecticut native who held the post for nearly 10 years, calls it "a great job." "There's really nothing that quite compares to being out on the trail in the middle of winter," Fortier said. And summer is tourist season, which means three daily hourlong interpretive programs for hundreds of visitors a day. This summer, more than 50,000 tourists stopped by.

"It's a lot more than a mushing job, for sure," Fortier said. "A real mixed bag."




'In New York, Job Winners Will Tweet From Toilets'

At the Times Square Charmin restrooms, five new bathroom greeters will be using Twitter and Facebook to share your most private moments with the world. Flushing away hundreds of hopefuls, the restroom "ambassadors" won a contest to land the gig, which will earn them each $10,000 for six weeks of work over the crowded holiday shopping season. Of the winners announced at the opening ceremony there's a 32-year old children's theater teacher, a 32-year old former office administrator, an unemployed 68-year old woman, a cellist and a comedian.

According to Reuters, this is the fourth year Charmin has set up the approximately 20 restrooms, which will also have iPods and televisions within reach of their porcelain seats. The ambassadors will banter with guests headed in and out of the toilets on the second floor of a Broadway building and write about the experience. Any video footage uploaded to the Internet from the site will be family friendly, Charmin added.




Lunch Breaks Bring Italy to a Standstill

Italian minister, Gianfranco Rotondi, wants to put an end to daily lunch breaks because they are bad for the countries productivity. How? Well, he points out, while Italians take an hour or two out of every work day to eat a three to four course meal, drink a glass or two of wine and sip an expresso, all the shops and offices across the country are literally closed down.

How are the Italians handling this threat to their hallowed tradition? Not well. Nutritionists are concerned that Italians would faint for lack of sustenance without their daily midday meal. Employees see this proposal as "an attack on workers' rights".

Carlo Podda, of the Italian General Confederation of Labour, said: "What next? Should we abolish the boring ritual of sleep?"



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