Oh, workers, you never cease to impress us. Day after day you walk, ride or drive to your job and work hard. Then you come home and repeat it all over again. That alone is exhausting. But each year a few workers rise above the rest when they go above and beyond. They do something noteworthy.
Now, we’re not saying these workers always do something that benefits humanity. Last year, one worker wrecked a borrowed Ferrari and another sent her co-workers to the hospital due to her pungent perfume. But sometimes a hero emerges, as we saw with the Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger in last year’s plane crash in the Hudson.
And this year was no exception. We saw some weird work stories that had some heroism, some face-to-the-palm ridiculousness, and some cleverness.
Here’s our round-up of 2010’s weird and notable work stories:
15 cents, some imagination, and a job offer
Copywriter Alec Brownstein had two important realizations: (1) He wanted to find a new job for an exciting creative director and (2) his favorite creative directors didn’t have any sponsored links come up when he searched their names on Google. So he decided to purchase a Google AdWord (or sponsored link) for the names of each creative director—and it cost him only 15 cents per name. When the directors searched their names, an activity Brownstein knew most people did, they saw sponsored links addressed personally to them that said, “Hire me!” with a link to Brownstein’s personal website. He received calls from all but one of the directors and landed a job with one of them. Well done, Brownstein. [Source: Mashable.]
Will you be checking a bag?
When a Southwestern Airlines employee in Little Rock, Ark., was tending to some cargo en route to Forth Worth, Texas, a peculiar discovery was made. The bag was filled with human remains—approximately 40 human heads, actually. Apparently a medical research company was awaiting the shipment, but the proper paperwork got mixed up at some point. The employee contacted police, who then investigated whether the delivery was part of an underground market. Eventually they discovered that the cargo was intended for medical purposes. [Source: NBCDFW.com]
What’s worse than an audit? A heart attack.
Many, if not most, people complain about filing taxes and the paperwork involved. Perhaps these people would change their minds if they heard the story of Earl Phillips, a resident of Adair County, Ky. When he was talking to Natalie Brown, an employee of the Kentucky Department of Revenue, Phillips began to sound labored. Brown noticed that something was wrong and asked him if he needed some medical assistance. Although she was in a completely different part of the state, Brown used his tax forms to find his address and notified his local 911 department. They went to Phillips’ home to find that he’d had a heart attack. Luckily, with treatment, he recovered. [Source: Tonic]
Every year, technology leader Apple unveils a new line of gadgets: iPods, iPhones, iPads, iTunes, and so on. The company loves to make a dramatic entrance, so the news that does trickle out in advance is usually benign. However, things got a bit messy with the latest iteration of the iPhone—the iPhone 4. The saga is long and is worth a read, but here’s the gist: An Apple engineer had an iPhone 4 prototype (disguised as an older version of the iPhone) with him at a bar. He had one beer too many and left the phone behind. Someone else found it, technology blog Gizmodo purchased it from him, and then the media had a field day and Apple wasn’t particularly happy. The engineer obviously didn’t mean to cause any sort of brouhaha, but his mistake became headline news. [Source: Gizmodo]
Money where you least expect it
You know what? There’s no way to tell the story any better than journalist Joe Peacock did: “[Steve] Wilson, a worker with the St. Louis firm DoodyCalls Pet Waste Removal, was cleaning up after a dog when he spotted what appeared to be a bit of half-digested U.S. currency ‘sticking out.’”
It was $58 in cash, which he returned to the pet’s owner. [Source: AOL News]
Don’t ice me, bro!
Sometimes the workplace is full of people who just want to have fun. And some of these people love a good fad. Think of the people who thought it was funny to answer the phone, “Wassssupp?” back in 1999 when the Budweiser commercials first aired. This year was the year of being “iced.” Icing someone is essentially forcing them to chug a bottle of Smirnoff Ice, a malt beverage. In other words, a pointless college game went mainstream, only this time it went all the way to the office, and you had people posting Facebook pictures and YouTube videos of co-workers getting iced.
Yes, your accountant; your daughter, the first in the family to graduate with honors; your local salon owner–they were all iced while on the clock. Maybe even you were iced, seeing as it was a full-blown phenomenon. [Source: CNN]
And this, my friends, is your 2010 workplace year in review. We laughed, we cried, we iced. Another eclectic year on the clock has passed, but I’m sure 2011 will be just as creative.
Did we miss any noteworthy workplace stories this year? Or did you have an interesting workplace story that didn’t make the news? Let us know.