No matter how much you love your job, there are days when your team’s behaviour simply drives you crazy. If you feel like you can’t cope anymore – and you don’t have one of these handy one-person-sized smoking rooms to hide away in – just remember it could always be worse and be grateful that none of your employees have ever done this:
1. Made racist comments about the First Lady
The US presidential elections may be behind us, but that hasn’t put an end to politics-related incidents. Two West Virginia county workers have lost their jobs over racist comments about first lady Michelle Obama.
Last week, the then-director of Clay County Development Corporation posted a comment on Facebook in which she referred to Michelle Obama as an “ape in heels”, the Guardian reports.
“It will be so refreshing to have a classy, beautiful, dignified First Lady back in the White House. I’m tired of seeing an ape in heels”, the former employee posted after Donald Trump’s presidential win.
The mayor of Clay, who probably should have reprimanded the county employee for making racist comments, instead voiced her approval by responding to the post saying: “Just made my day Pam”.
The comments sparked outrage once they came to light, and an online campaign calling for the two employees to resign quickly collected over 120,000 signatures.
Reportedly, the former director has been put on leave, while the mayor resigned from her post on Tuesday in response to the petition.
2. Made death threats against the president-elect
In another lesson on how Facebook posts can get you fired, former CEO and president of US cybersecurity firm PacketSled was let go after he posted death threats against president-elect Donald Trump on his Facebook account.
Reportedly, the ex-employee posted comments including “I’m going to kill the president elect”, “Bring it secret service”, and “Getting a sniper rifle and perching myself where it counts”.
While the former CEO claims the comments were intended to be a joke, some Trump supporters who spotted the posts interpreted them as genuine threats and took to Reddit to expose him.
On Tuesday, a post appeared on the company’s website stating “the PacketSled Board of Directors accepted the resignation of President and CEO Matthew Harrigan, effective immediately.”
3. Leaked a confidential terror-check report
A HSBC insider is suspected of being responsible for leaking a draft report that said the bank has 13 customers linked to Islamic terrorist groups in Syria, the Financial Times reports.
The draft report was drawn up by a lawyer appointed to monitor HSBC’s controls after the bank was fined by US authorities for breaching sanctions and anti-money laundering rules in 2012. The leak puts the bank in an uncomfortable position, as it raises questions about the quality of HSBC’s controls and anti-terrorist checks.
Although it is possible that intelligence agencies in fact asked HSBC to keep the accounts of the suspected terrorists open to allow them to monitor their activities, current speculation on the matter isn’t doing the bank’s image any good.
4. Blinded a colleague in an office prank
An employee at LEO Engineering has been given a 12-month prison sentence suspended for 18 months after an office prank went wrong, Express reports.
As the 24-year-old employee and his 40-year-old colleague were working together on fitting out mini buses, they were exchanging some friendly office banter. After some jokes back and forth, the 24-year-old decided to pick up a metal bolt and throw it toward his colleague’s back.
Unfortunately, his colleague turned around and was hit in face by the bolt, leading him to lose his vision in one eye. He is no longer able to work in engineering.
5. Spent 37 years embezzling US$2.5 million
A 67-year-old employee with nerves of steel has been sentenced to six and a half years in prison for embezzling nearly US$2.5 million (HK$19.4 million) from an Iowa credit union where she worked as a bookkeeper.
The employee started stealing from the cooperative as soon as she was hired in 1978 and continued her practices for 37 years until she was finally caught in 2015, the CreditUnionTimes reports.
She managed to keep her fraudulent activities hidden by maintaining two sets of accounting records on the company’s data processing system. She used one of the sets to generate false statements for members, while the other set reflected their real, dwindling balances.
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