101 Dumbest Moments in Business
2005's shenanigans, skulduggery and just plain stupidity.
51. How much extra does it cost to have the telemarketers join our loved ones in the great beyond?The Direct Marketing Association rolls out a Deceased Do-Not-Contact list to stop calls to dead relatives. The fee for preventing telemarketers from reaching to the grave: $1 per person.
52. And how much to have the record labels not sue them?In January, members of the Recording Industry Association of America sue Gertrude Walton, a Mount Hope, W.V., resident who had died nearly two months earlier. The lawsuit, Walton's daughter says, comes despite her having sent copies of the death certificate to the label's lawyers.
54. Our new orange-glazed chicken is absolutely heavenly."It is difficult to conceive what consulting services a deceased individual might provide to Tyson." -- From a lawsuit by Amalgamated Bank against Tyson Foods board members for breach of fiduciary duties. Among other complaints, the suit alleges the company has promised to pay consulting fees of $800,000 a year to retired CEO Don Tyson -- and to keep paying the money to his survivors after he dies.
55. Thanks. Oh, wait, one last thing. Would you mind wearing these Mickey Mouse ears?During its first week of operation in September, Hong Kong Disneyland finds itself coping not only with food-poisoning accusations but also with indignant city hygiene officers, who were ordered by park employees to remove their caps and epaulets before entering the park to investigate.
56. If all else fails, he can always find work as an inspector of Disneylands.A Qantas Airways baggage handler is suspended after he's caught opening a passenger's luggage, discovering a camel costume, donning the head, and driving around the tarmac on a baggage cart at Sydney Airport. The incident is reported by the costume's owner, who spies the culprit through the window of the terminal.
57. Grand theft Nano.In April the NYPD reports that, after a decade of steady declines, subway crime jumped 18 percent in the first quarter of 2005. The culprit? None other than Steve Jobs. According to the department's statistics, more than a third of the rise in felonies came as the result of iPods being swiped or stolen with the threat of violence.
58. Book burning? Next time try a memory-card burning instead.In March a Minneapolis-area Wal-Mart sells customer Tina Ellison a digital camera. After she takes it home, her children begin playing with it and discover that the camera comes with free content -- a video of a man violating himself, recorded on the supposedly new camera's memory card. The store replaces her camera and offers to provide her children with counseling.
59. He tried the want ads first, of course, but the job market for fashion gods just ain't what it used to be."If I can help people focus on preparedness ... then I hope I can help the country in some way." -- Former FEMA director Michael Brown, just two months after he resigned in the wake of his agency's failed response to Hurricane Katrina, announcing plans to start his own disaster-preparedness consulting firm.
60. The Gambinos then suspend operations in the state, citing the rising cost of workers' comp.In November a Virginia state appeals court rules that minor-league hockey player Ty A. Jones, who injured his shoulder in an on-ice fight, is entitled to workers' compensation. The court upholds an earlier ruling that Jones's injury arose as part of his employment as an "enforcer" for the Norfolk Admirals.
From the February 1, 2006 issue