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Worst employees in the news this week



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No one enjoys firing people. Yet there are days when your employees’ annoying traits tempt you to do just that in order to get some time away from them. Although firing certain types of people can be a good idea, most of the time it’s better to simply focus on all the good things your staff bring to the table.

So the next time you feel like firing the woman who chews gum so loudly you can hear it from your office, take a moment to consider that it could always be worse, and be grateful that none of your employees have ever done this:

1. Chatted up women using the company phone

A former employee at a Dutch company owes his old employer 1,500 (HK$12,728) for time not worked, a court ruled. Between July 2014 and January 2015, the employee sent 1,255 WhatsApp messages during working hours, spending an estimated total of around 58 hours doing so.

To make matters worse, the employee used the mobile phone provided by his employer to send the messages, which were of a romantic nature and sent to multiple women, nu.nl reports.

The court argued that the employer could rightfully deduct the 1,500 (HK$12,728) from the employee’s salary, since the time he spent composing and sending the messages was time spent not working.

2. Defrauded the company of $1.8 million

A New Zealand woman has been sentenced for a fraud she committed against her long-term employer, Auckland International Airport. She pleaded guilty to defrauding the company of NZ$1.8 million (HK$10,059,324) after the case was investigated by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO).

The employee had been working for the Auckland International Airport for 18 years and the judge described the offence as “a serious breach of trust”.

The woman stole the money by changing client bank account numbers to her own within the airport’s accounting system, allowing her to transfer funds from the airport’s account to her own account unnoticed.

Commenting on the crime in a press release, SFO director Julie Read said: “After many years of honest employment, the employee let both herself and her employer down by committing this crime.

In a position to see weaknesses in the system, she chose to take advantage of them rather than to see that they were remedied. There is no excuse for that. All employees have a responsibility to ensure that processes are thorough and adhered to.”

The employee has received a sentence of three years and two months’ imprisonment.

3. Nearly caused a strike by lying about being mugged

An intern at the Port of Spain General Hospital in Trinidad and Tobago has been fired after nearly causing the hospital staff to go on strike. The intern fabricated a story about being held up at gunpoint on the hospital premises, the Jamaica Observer reports.

According to the intern’s story,  the assailant took her past four empty hospital security posts in the process of the robbery, leading the hospital staff to worry about their safety. Doctors were planning to strike and turn away patients if the hospital security was not improved.

After meeting with the intern several times to investigate the incident, a committee came to the conclusion that the allegations were false and decided to fire her.

4. Got a friend to rob the company

A 25-year-old former employee of a casino in the Netherlands is facing charges for staging a robbery at the casino. He is being accused of stealing €16,000 (HK$135,395) together with a friend, de Limburger reports.

Allegedly, the former employee sent his friend a text message toward the end of his shift, letting him know the coast was clear for him to come in and stage a robbery. The friend entered the casino carrying a fake gun and pretended to force the employee to hand over the casino’s cash.

If convicted, he faces 200 hours of community service.

5. Stole a colleague’s ham from the office fridge

While this employee’s crime might not be the gravest of them all, it is perhaps one of the most recognisable ones for employers and colleagues all over the world.

According to a Reddit thread, an unidentified employee stole their colleague’s ham from the office fridge. After the offence, the owner of the ham left the thief a note, asking them to “please leave a note letting me know how it was.” The mystery colleague left  written response, saying it was “a little salty.”

Although not everyone is convinced the note is real, it led to a fairly passionate discussion on the topic of stealing food out of the office fridge, with most people agreeing it’s one of the worst things colleagues can do.

As one Reditter put it: “The work fridge has people’s lunches that they brought that day. It’s exactly the same as if you went over to their wallet and stole $20 out of their wallet to go buy lunch. I honestly don’t get why it doesn’t get people immediately fired.”

ALSO READ: Three reasons your staff are not engaged

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