The 8 weirdest work stories of 2012

Plus 3 stories to make you smile.


The working world is always full of odd folks doing strange things while on the job. Spend a week in any office where you're surrounded by cubicles, and you'll quickly realize how strange people can be. While your co-worker clipping his toenails at his desk might not be newsworthy, sometimes weird workplace incidents do make the news. Although nothing was quite as scandalous as former Rep. Anthony Weiner's Twitter debacle in 2011, this year's stories were no less strange or noteworthy.

Here are the weirdest work stories of 2012:

GSA chief resigns amid reports of excessive spending

Why it's weird: General Services Administration chief Martha Johnson resigned after an investigation into excessive spending by her agency, including a conference on the Las Vegas strip that featured a clown and a mind reader -- all paid for by taxpayers. That's not including a reception that cost nearly $32,000.

Source: The Washington Post
Lynnae Williams: The CIA trainee who Tweets

Why it's weird: Gone are the days when a disgruntled worker would vent about her old boss over a few drinks at the corner bar. In today's digital world, a former CIA trainee can decide to air her grievances with the notably secretive agency by posting sensitive information on Twitter. Williams also decided the 140 characters of Twitter weren't enough space to blow off steam, so she started a blog devoted to her CIA gripes.

Source: The Daily Beast
At State Department, kids get sex-scandal primer

Why it's weird: Like many proud parents around the country, federal employees and Capitol Hill reporters took their children to work for Bring Your Child to Work Day in April. Although the State Department's spokeswoman, Victoria Nuland, began her daily briefing with a warm welcome to all the children in attendance, she still had a job to do, and so did the reporters. Eventually the conversation turned to the ongoing controversy about whether Secret Service officers hired prostitutes while working in El Salvador.

Source: Reuters
This week in Internet outrage: 22-year-old ripped apart for having a job, I guess

Why it's weird: A 22-year-old recent college graduate, Taylor Cotter, lamented the fact that she had a steady, well-paying job shortly after entering the proverbial Real World. She had romanticized dreams of living in New York City as a struggling writer barely scraping by. Instead, she was offered a lucrative job that many graduates would dream of and was bummed that she didn't get to worry about living paycheck to paycheck. So she wrote about it on The Huffington Post. As you can imagine given today's economy, readers were not amused, and they let her know.

Source: Thought Catalog
Cleansing from cubicle to cubicle

Why it's weird: Water-cooler talk and happy hours have been replaced in some workplaces with group cleanses. Co-workers are bonding by going on liquid diets together. Apparently team building now involves discussing your digestive system at the office.

Source: The New York Times
Unemployed professors write essays for cash

Why it's weird: In most schools, academic dishonesty is grounds for discipline and possibly even expulsion. Yet, some unemployed professors in Canada are making ends meet by writing academic papers for students. What's even stranger is that the professors are the ones bidding on the writing assignments and hoping students pick them.

Source: United Press International
NASCAR driver fined $25,000 for Tweeting from car during race

Why it's weird: By now everyone should know not to get on their smartphones while behind the wheel of a car. That's especially true if you're a famous driver with thousands of followers. It's not a debatable topic when you're in a race car on a track filled with other motorists. And even if you're sitting in a stopped car on the track while the crew handles an accident, you shouldn't tweet a photo of the burning car with the caption, "Fire!" as Brad Keselowski did.

Source: Mashable
Anderson Cooper goes blind for 36 hours, keeps being charming

Why it's weird: Apparently we should all be scared of sunlight. When "60 Minutes" reporter Anderson Cooper was on assignment in Portugal, he made the seemingly innocent mistake of not wearing sunglasses. After hours of sunlight reflecting off of nearby water, Cooper went temporarily blind. Luckily he regained his vision and was able to keep tweeting.

Source: PopWatch
Don't think the working world is only full of strange people and happenings. For a bonus, here are three stories that prove genuinely good people still exist in this world:
N.J. woman swam from home to get to ER job after Sandy

Why it's noteworthy: Marsha Hedgepeth, an emergency-room technician in New Jersey, didn't let flooding from superstorm Sandy stop her from going to work. She swam for a half-hour to get from her home to the hospital where she works to help her co-workers and patients in need. As USA Today reporter Dustin Racioppi notes, her aquatic journey was approximately the length of two football fields.

Source: USA Today
A thankful grocer shares his success with his employees

Why it's noteworthy: In a rough economy where workers are worried about losing their jobs, one Minnesota business owner decided to put his employees before his wallet. Rather than sell his grocery business to the highest bidder or close up shop, Joe Lueken is letting his employees take charge. As Larry Oakes writers, "On Jan. 1, Lueken's Village Foods, with two supermarkets in Bemidji and another in Wahpeton, N.D., will begin transferring ownership to its approximately 400 employees through an employee stock ownership program."  Not only are his employees now co-owners, but they don't have to pay for their stakes in the company. Not to mention they're still employed.

Source: Star Tribune
Family fulfills deceased man's dying wish: Purchase a pizza and give the server a $500 tip

Why it's noteworthy: When Aaron Collins died, he left behind one special request: Order a pizza and then tip the server $500. So his family did just that and caught it all on film. Most waiters and waitresses worry that patrons won't leave them tips. One lucky waitress was fortune enough to benefit from Collins' wish for a random act of kindness. Plus, the Collins family continued to accept donations and surprise workers with generous tips.

Source: Gawker



Source: careerbuilder

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