Canadian HR Reporter

October 6, 2014

Canadian HR Reporter is the national journal of human resource management. It features the latest workplace news, HR best practices, employment law commentary and tools and tips for employers to get the most out of their workforce.

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CanaDian hr reporter october 6, 2014 14 INSIGHT NAKED CUISINE CAUSES A STIR VanCoUVer — Catering com- pany naked Sushi has come under fi re for introducing the Japanese tradition of nyotaimori, which features naked female models displaying raw fi sh. an online pe- tition is urging health authorities in British Columbia to shut down the business, calling the practice sexist and gross, according to the National Post. "a company is liter- ally objectifying women by using their employees' naked bodies as platters for sushi," said the petition. But there is growing interest in the tradition on a counter-cultural level, according to mark Scharaga of new york City's nyotaimori, a body-sushi caterer. "it's an art form – you have to expect that (criticism)." others have criticized those who are turning to body- sushi catering for business meals. "Would we want business meet- ings at strip clubs or hooters? probably not," said Janni aragon, associate professor of women's studies at the University of Vic- toria. "it's especially awkward for (female professionals) because third-degree sexism does exist." OFF IN A PUFF OF SMOKE anChoraGe — ere's noth- ing like the on-air version of an employee quitting, but one alas- kan resident made quite an im- pression with her departure. tV reporter Charlo Greene quit her job on live tV after reporting on the alaska Cannabis Club — and then identifying herself as the owner, according to the associ- ated press. (alaska residents will be voting on decriminalization in november.) Greene said she would be "dedicating all my en- ergy toward fi ghting for freedom and for fairness, which begins with legalizing marijuana here in alas- ka." She then swore and walked off-camera. KtVa news direc- tor Bert rudman apologized for Greene's inappropriate behaviour and the fact she had a personal and business stake in the issue she was reporting. " is betrayed the ba- sic bedrock of responsible journal- ism," he said. HAMMY HAMSTER WOULD BE PLEASED San franCiSCo — We've got standing desks and treadmill desks, so it should come as no surprise that San francisco-based artist robb Godshaw and devel- oper Will Doenlen have created a hamster wheel for humans. eighty inches in diameter with a base 24 inches wide, the wooden wheel is made of plywood, skate wheels and pipes, and employers should be happy — a standing desk can be put inside. " e treadmill desk has become a fi xture in a lot of Bay area offi ce scenes," Godshaw told the Huffi ngton Post. " e issues with treadmills are that you don't set your own pace, and they're not (as) interesting as furniture." But be warned — there are no brakes. FOOT LOOSE AND FANCY FREE LonDon — it helps to know people in high places. Kerrianne Covell, keen to become a tV star, recently took off work to try out for the X Factor talent show in england — even though she had been fi red from two previous jobs for the same reason, and was warned about doing the same by her current boss at foot Locker. Luckily, she impressed the judges enough for music mogul Simon Cowell to call her boss apologiz- ing for her absence, according to the Daily Mail. he left a voice mail message saying: "hello, it's Simon Cowell. i'm phoning to apologize actually for Kerrianne not being at work today. She has got through to the next round but would like her job back in the short term. But if she makes it through, she'll probably never talk to you again. i hope that's oK. Call me, bye." and it worked — Covell was not fi red. "foot Locker fully support Kerri- anne in her X Factor journey," said a spokesperson. Considering the publicity, did they have any choice? W EIRD ORKPLACE THE Vol. 27 No. 17 – October 6, 2014 PUBLIsHed BY Thomson Reuters Canada Ltd. One Corporate Plaza 2075 Kennedy Rd. Toronto, ON M1T 3V4 ©Copyright 2014 by Thomson Reuters Canada Ltd. All rights reserved. CAnAdIAn HR RePoRTeR is published 22 times a year. Publications Mail – Agreement # 40065782 Registration # 9496 – ISSN 0838-228X Director, Carswell Media: Karen Lorimer - (416) 649-9411 Publisher and Editor: John Hobel (on leave) edIToRIAL Managing Editor/Acting Publisher: Todd Humber - (416) 298-5196 Senior Editor: Sarah Dobson - (416) 649-7896 News Editor: Liz Bernier - (416) 649-7837 Employment Law Editor: Jeffrey R. Smith - (416) 649-7881 Labour Relations News Editor: Sabrina Nanji - (416) 649-9348 Labour Relations News Editor: Liz Foster - (416) 298-5129 web/IT Co-ordinator: Mina Patel - (416) 649-7879 AdVeRTIsInG Account Executive: Stephen Hill - (416) 298-5090 Account Executive: Kathy Liotta - (416) 649-9920 Production Co-ordinator: Pamela Menezes - (416) 649-9298 MARKeTInG And CIRCULATIon Marketing Manager: Mohammad Ali - (416) 609-5866 Marketing Co-ordinator: Keith Fulford - (416) 649-9585 PRodUCTIon Manager, Media Production: Lisa Drummond - (416) 649-9415 Art Director: Steve Maver sUBsCRIPTIons Annual subscription: $169 (plus GST) GST#: 897 176 350 RT To subscribe, call one of the customer service numbers listed above or visit Address changes and returns: Send changes and undeliverable Canadian addresses to: sUBsCRIBeR seRVICes Canadian HR Reporter One Corporate Plaza 2075 Kennedy Rd. Toronto, ON M1T 3V4 ❑ From time to time, we make our subscriber list available to companies and organizations whose products and services we believe may be of interest to you. If you do not want your name to be made available, please check here and return with your mailing label. CUsToMeR seRVICe Call: (416) 609-3800 (Toronto) (800) 387-5164 (outside Toronto) Fax: (416) 298-5082 (Toronto) (877) 750-9041 (outside Toronto) Email: carswell.customerrelations@ LeTTeRs To THe edIToR CHRR reserves the right to edit for length and clarity. ALL KIDDING ASIDE BoGota, CoLomBia — Every parent warns their children about the perils of the monkey bars and slip- pery slide at the playground, but you don't often hear "Watch out for the prisoner chained to the seesaw." In Bogota, one playground became a makeshift holding cell due to overcrowding at a nearby jail, according to the Associated Press. e inmates, chained to each other, a fence and a children's slide, were suspected of crimes ranging from robbery to drug traffi cking and were guarded by groups of offi cers on eight-hour shifts. e practice has been going on for more than two months though human rights groups are calling it inhumane and, not surprisingly, parents aren't happy. " e children and my nine-year-old daughter can't come to the park and see this spectacle," said engineer Jaime Rojas, who lives nearby. " ere are criminals who have committed all types of crime here." But one inmate said the biggest problem isn't food or sleeping: " e problem is hygiene — where to do our necessities." Todd Humber eDitoR's notes Every parent warns their pery slide at the playground, but you don't often hear "Watch out for the prisoner chained to the seesaw." In Bogota, one playground became a makeshift holding cell A day I'll not soon forget L ast month, I saw some- thing extraordinary. ere are a handful of moments in your life you will remember forever, and on a crisp Septem- ber morning in waterloo, Ont., an old friend literally walked his way into that special place. His name is Dave Dame. He completed the fi ve-kilometre Ter- ry Fox Run, raising nearly $30,000 for cancer research. He has cere- bral palsy but — to borrow a quote from Dave — "It doesn't have him." I met Dave in high school. He was a sarcastic teenager, perhaps a little funnier than most, and a bit of a punk. He tooled around in a wheelchair but, other than that, was no diff erent than most of my friends. He threw good parties and had a cool trailer by the creek behind his parents' house where we hung out on occasion. One night, he phoned me up and said, "Listen to this." I heard the perfectly played opening of Howard Jones' song "No One is to Blame." (Hey, it was the '80s.) He then proceeded to tell me it was him playing it on his new synthe- sizer. I didn't buy it — it was clearly the instrumental portion on the CD. Like I said, he was a punk — and was trying to punk me. (He was the original Ashton Kutcher.) I didn't believe it was him twin- kling the ivories, not for one sec- ond. Perhaps I should have. Until the Terry Fox Run, I'd barely seen Dave walk more than five feet. Five kilometres? You might as well ask me to fl ap my wings and fl y. It's not that I didn't think he could do it, but part of me thought it literally wasn't possible. After all, this is a guy who, when he stayed over at my house, couldn't even get into bed prop- erly. That was really more my fault than his because I was help- ing him and Dave — because he's Dave — was being a character and cracking me up. It's hard to lift somebody when you're laughing. I left him teetering on the edge of that pull-out couch. I guess I shouldn't be surprised he never came over again. But leave it to Dave to break the laws of physics. I didn't see him on the walk un- til the fi nal turn towards the fi nish line. (Long story, but my friends and I ended up at the wrong race — in Kitchener instead of the neighbouring community of Waterloo. You have to love that contrast: Dave walks fi ve kilome- tres and raises tens of thousands of dollars, we can't even fi nd the proper race location.) Wearing a black T-shirt with the image of his hero Terry Fox on it, and sporting a yellow cap, he made the last steps of his journey with a determination rarely seen. It was a breathtaking moment, and it's a rare type of persever- ance. If you want a sample of that spirit, just watch a video of Terry Fox on his journey — those two are cut from the same cloth. When the race was over, I asked him how he was doing. "I'm tired," he said, in one of the great understatements. And yet he still had plenty of time for the people who walked with him, who helped him along the way, and the well-wishers who lined up to praise him for his ac- complishment. He thanked every single one of them, and was genu- inely humbled by the displays of admiration. Like he says — he has cerebral palsy but it doesn't have him. Dave could have chosen to put all this time and eff ort and fundraising toward CP. But, instead, he set his sights on cancer — a disease that has aff ected people in his life. He's selfl ess like that. After the walk, Dave posted a video to his website — www. "People always ask me or tell me maybe I set unrealistic goals for myself," he said. "But you know what? It's an unrealistic world. So if I don't set unrealistic goals, I won't make it in this world. I like to push things in all aspects of my life… it feels awesome, I'm ex- hausted and I'm just touched. Let's keep pushing ourselves. What I did was nothing special, every- body's got it in themselves. Now, I gotta think about the new goal." ere is an HR lesson in this re- markable journey, and it's one that has been preached many times in the pages of Canadian HR Report- er. A few years ago, we conducted an exclusive interview with Jack Welch, the legendary former CEO of General Electric, where we asked him about the importance of senior leaders talking to the HR department. His response: "If you were running a sports team, who would you want to be talking to every day — the team accountant or the head of player personnel? The head of player personnel because you want to win. What's diff erent about that in business? Money is a product of a team's success. If you have great success with your people, you make a lot of money." at philosophy can be boiled down to the HR cliché: "Your most valuable assets walk out the door at the end of every day." But it's a true cliché. People are what drive business and people have the capability to be remark- able. Dave is an extraordinary ex- ample of that possibility. I will never forget his fi nal steps on Sunday as he crossed that line. e next time I'm faced with what seems like an insurmountable obstacle, I'll ask myself: "What would that once punky teenager with the black T-shirt and yellow hat do in this situation?" I know I'll find the perfect answer. Credit: 3Dalia/Shutterstock

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