Weird (and Wonderful) Work Stories of 2018

As the year draws to a close, let’s take a look at some of the weird and wonderful work-related stories that made headlines in 2018.
If you’re the type who gets nervous about asking your boss for a raise, just imagine having to present your case to all of your co-workers instead. That’s exactly what employees at travel comparison website Squaremouth have to do if they want a higher take-home. The company says this practice encourages transparency and has been using peer-reviews to determine raises since 2003.
Source: CNBC
Unless you work for a company that openly offers nap rooms or nap pods as an employee perk, it’s never a good idea to fall asleep on the job. This is doubly true if you work in a potentially dangerous environment, or if there’s a risk of waking up in an entirely different part of the country.
Source: Huffington Post
Usually the way it works is that companies offer employee perks to attract talent and keep their workers happy. But when you’re one of the largest companies on the planet and you’re looking for a location for a new global headquarters, it’s the company that starts getting offered special perks. So, when Amazon made it known they were looking for a new home this year, some local governments made some rather unique offers.
Source: Huffington Post
The type of at-work alcohol indulgence and multi-martini lunches seen on “Mad Men” may not be commonplace in many of today’s offices – and shared workspace giant WeWork is hoping to keep it that way. Earlier this year, the company, which previously offered free unlimited beer as a perk of membership, instituted a limit of 4 drinks per day, and limited members’ access to taps to the hours between noon and 8 p.m. Talk about a buzzkill.
Source: Vox
As we look back on the work stories of 2018, we also noticed the emergence of a few trends:
The year in dream jobs
If you got a new job this year, accepting that job offer is probably something you’ll look back on fondly come New Year’s Eve. While you may have been excited for find out you got the job this year, there were a few job postings that we were all excited to learn existed at all.
For starters, this year we learned that “chicken nugget taste-tester”is a real job that people get paid to do (though not quite a living wage, no matter how much you’re saving on chicken nuggets). And if you’re worried you might not have enough experience to land that gig, you could consider getting your start in the industry with a Candy Connoisseur internshipat Mars Wrigley.
In March, FastCompany ran a storyabout one person’s experience as a “Netflix tagger,” alerting us all to the fact that people literally get paid to binge-watch movies and TV shows. Sound like too much work? Then maybe you’d be more interested in becoming a “Snoozetern”for MattressFirm, a position that literally pays you to sleep.
What could possibly be better than getting paid to indulge in candy or binge-worthy TV or sleeping or chicken nuggets?
Maybe puppies?
The year in automation
Advanced technologies like artificial intelligence make daily tasks much easier, saving us all countless hours of mundane busywork and frustration. And despite the advantages automation provides, many of us start to object when machines threaten to replace human workers.
Still, there’s no halting progress, and the robo-workforce made some headway in 2018. In March, Flippy the hamburger-flipping robotmade his debut at Caliburger in Pasadena, Calif. But not to worry. Flippy’s not about to put thousands of teenagers out of a summer job – the robot had to be taken offline after its first day on the job, and even now only works about three hours a day.
You may not be surprised to hear about a burger-flipping robot. After all, flipping a burger isn’t all that different than assembling car parts. But journalism is nothing like assembling a car, and that didn’t stop China’s Xinhua News Agency from debuting the “world’s first artificial intelligence (AI) news anchor”this year.
And just in case you still think there’s a single job on Earth that can’t be done by machines, earlier this year, there was a fashion show in Saudi Arabia where the dresses – ostensibly designed to be bought and worn by human women – were shown off on the catwalk by flying drones instead of human models.
The year in dogs
If dogs are man’s best friends, it only makes sense that some of them join us in our daily grind. Dog-friendly workplaces seem more popular than ever, with some employers taking it even further by offering pet owners a week of “fur-ternity leave,”during which the employee may work from home while welcoming their new pet dog or cat.
Still, the most dog-friendly office in the country was probably the Mayor’s office in Cormorant, Minn., where a 13-year-old Great Pyrenees named Duke has served three consecutive terms as mayor. This year, however, Duke is stepping down and not seeking re-election.