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Weirdest work stories of the year

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  • Cola wars get physical as Pepsi worker attacks Coke employee
  • Southwest Airlines employee tells passenger her outfit won't fly
  • Drive-through dispute gets suspect jail food
  • Alleged robber asks victim out for date
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By Rachel Zupek
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CareerBuilder

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Natural disasters, revolutionary technology, pro-athlete scandals and national calamities marked 2007 as an unforgettable year.

Yet, amid these major happenings arose stories that were overlooked, unseen or ignored altogether: tales of our nation's work force. Understandably, these pieces weren't as newsworthy as Michael Vick's dog fighting charges or Paris Hilton going to jail. But these stories held an angle unlike any other: They were just plain weird.

Here are 15 headlines that exemplify the strange happenings that took place in the workplace in 2007.

1. "Employee eats 32 vending machine items for charity"

A juvenile probation officer ate one of every item in a county courthouse vending machine in one day. She consumed more than 7,000 calories and more than 300 grams of fat, eating such items as beef sticks, candy bars, Pop Tarts and potato chips -- all to win a bet with co-workers and raise $300 for charity.

2. "Cola wars get physical as Pepsi worker attacks Coke employee"

Two employees from the rival companies got into a tiff over shelf space in the aisle of a Wal-Mart in Indiana. The Pepsi worker allegedly assaulted the Coca-Cola employee, hitting him in the face, giving him a black eye and breaking his nose. Police say the two were also accused of trying to run each other over with pallets full of soda bottles.

3. "Alleged robber asks victim out for date"

After two men robbed a Domino's Pizza delivery woman, one of them called the victim from his cell phone to apologize -- and to ask her out.

4. "Four women fired for gossiping"

Four women employed in a small New Hampshire town were fired for gossiping about a relationship between the town administrator and a fellow co-worker. They were fired on the basis that "gossip, whispering and an unfriendly environment are causing poor morale and interfering with the efficient performance of town business."

5. "Eau de Lawsuit: Woman sues over scent"

An employee in the Detroit planning department sued the city, saying a female co-worker's strong fragrance prohibited her from working. The woman claimed she is severely sensitive to perfumes and her co-worker not only wore a strong scent, but also plugged in a scented room deodorizer.

6. "Salt lands McDonald's employee in jail"

A McDonald's employee was arrested, jailed and is facing criminal charges because a police officer got sick after a hamburger he ate was too salty. The employee accidentally spilled salt on some hamburger meat and told her supervisor and co-worker, who "tried to thump the salt off." The employee was charged because she served the burger "without regards to the well-being of anyone who might consume it."

7. "Carpenter free to ply trade in the nude"

A carpenter caught hammering nails and sawing wood in the nude says he prefers working in the buff because it's more comfortable and helps keep his clothes clean. The carpenter was found not guilty of indecent exposure.

8. "Southwest Airlines employee tells passenger her outfit won't fly"

A Southwest employee asked a young woman in a short skirt to leave the airplane, saying she was dressed too provocatively for the family airline. The young woman was eventually allowed to complete her trip after covering up. On her return flight, she came home with no problem -- in the same outfit.

9. "Employee accused of faking being cop"

A Taco Bell employee was arrested for impersonating a law enforcement officer and attempting to arrest his managers and co-worker. He passed himself off as an undercover narcotics investigator, going as far as typing fake criminal histories on the general manager, two shift managers and an employee and telling them they were going to be arrested.

10. "Employee took 1 million screws home from factory"

An assembly worker hid screws in a specially designed hiding place and took up to 7,000 home with him every day. Over a two-year period, he stole more than 1.1 million screws with an estimated value of $155,000. He allegedly sold the screws over the Internet at discount prices.

11. "Deputy nabbed twice for DUI -- by husband"

An off-duty jail deputy was pulled over and charged with driving under the influence -- by her husband, a fellow deputy. She supposedly left before he could give her a Breathalyzer test, so he pulled her over again and called for backup. She was placed on administrative leave.

12. "Workers killed after seeking raises"

A car dealership owner killed two employees because they kept asking for more pay. The employer told police he was having financial problems and was under a lot of stress.

13. "Man demands coupons from radio station employee"

A radio station employee was threatened at gunpoint when an angry patron was unhappy with the promotional bumper stickers he received. The patron demanded McDonald's coupons instead; when the employee didn't have any, the man flashed what looked like a handgun. She searched her car and found a coupon for a free cheeseburger. The man took it, made a derogatory comment about the radio station and rode away on his bike.

14. "Wienermobile gets cop roasted"

When a 27-foot-long, 11-foot-tall vehicle -- known to most as the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile -- was slowing traffic in a construction zone in Arizona, an officer ran its "YUMMY" license plate to make sure it was street legal. A bad computer entry erroneously showed the Wienermobile as having stolen plates, forcing the officer to pull it over. After further investigation, the officer learned that the entry should have read that license plate had been stolen -- but only if found on any vehicle that isn't a giant hot dog.

15. "Drive-through dispute gets suspect jail food"

Workers at a Burger King in New York got into a dispute with a customer after he refused to turn his music down while ordering at the drive-through. The customer grabbed the restaurant's manager, tried to pull her through a window and then attempted to run over a worker who came to help the manager. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

Copyright CareerBuilder.com 2009. All rights reserved. The information contained in this article may not be published, broadcast or otherwise distributed without the prior written authority

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