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Xmas Parties....


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well, the only place to start is the well know software firm Adobe whose name was dragged through the tabloids this week with revelations about a night out for their UK sales team, which has seen one female employee winning a £50,000 payout from an industrial tribunal after she was forced to 'get 'em out for the lads'.

According to newspaper reports, Alexandra Teller, 36, was pressured into lifting her top and revealing her bra-clad !Removed! as part of a competition, suggested by one executive, to ascertain who had "the best pair of !Removed!".

Enlightened stuff.

Teller later claimed heckling from the group left her with no choice other than to fall in with the suggestion. (Well they did use the impossible-to-repel weapon of "heckling" after all... refined on playgrounds the world over. What's a girl to do?)

As the only woman on the sales team, and therefore the favourite in a field of one to win the competition, Teller possibly didn't see this as the shallow ploy that it was. However, she later said the experience left her feeling "humiliated and degraded".

As a first course of action Teller decided to try to discuss the matter with Adobe's managing director, Gary Fry, while still on the night out at the Tiger Tiger bar in London's West End.

According to The Sun - and, frankly, anyone else who couldn't resist this tale - Teller approached Fry with her concerns, only to be told: "F**k off. I'm trying to pull the girl at the bar."


You can almost imagine the pride throughout the organisation when that comment came to light.

Teller claimed such comments were symptomatic of a "sexist, male-dominated culture" at Adobe.

(Adobe can probably now expect an influx of CVs from the vast majority of software salesmen on the back of that testimony.)

The crux of Teller's dispute with Adobe rested on the fact she eventually left the company after seeing her salary halved while off work with depression.

The tribunal found that Teller was unfairly dismissed... but not before the above details all came out, making her win something of a double whammy over her former paymasters.

And from such saucy office party shenanigans to, well, more saucy office party shenanigans... and it's not even December.

silicon.com this week exposed the weird and wonderful service calls received by photocopier giant Canon, which apparently go through the roof during the festive season.

Now Canon is urging companies to take better care of their office equipment during the party month of December and especially to tell their staff to fight the temptation to make copies of their backsides.

A shocking 32 per cent of Canon's 600 technicians have been called out to fix a photocopier after such an incident.

Tim Andrews, a Canon employee from London, said: "We always fit lots of new glass to copiers after New Year due to 'rear-end copying'."

Worse still, Geoff Bush from the north of England reported a case where one young lady broke the glass and jammed the scanner while making a copy of her buttocks.

Because of the jam it wasn't until the machine was fixed, the office party long over and largely forgotten, and her colleagues all (probably) sober, that the copies of her backside started pouring from the machine.

You'll find that one filed under 'seemed like a good idea at the time'.

In part due to this trend but also, we suspect, due to the enlargement of the average western physique, Canon is now making its glass an extra millimetre thicker.

However, potentially the most alarming tale by far comes from service engineer Steven Mannion, also from the north of England (does nobody in the north know what to do with a photocopier other than defile it?).

"I had to repair a machine with a photocopy of a man's groin jammed in it," said Steven.

Say what?

Mannion added: "The manager suggested an office identity parade to see who Canon could charge for the call out charge."

A sort of 'privates on parade', if you will. But maybe that's not such a good idea. Just ask Adobe, because it transpires that asking staff to expose themselves isn't very wise.

Other strange breakages included a copier which had been damaged by one employee pressing their pet cat against the copy bed and running off copies of the doubtless very confused and slightly perturbed moggy.

And still on the animal theme, another Canon technician claimed to have found a snake inside one reported-broken photocopier. How it got there, the mind boggles but we're pretty sure it wasn't a case of the repairman uttering "Yeah, we see this all the time... there's probably a snake in there... "

*I would like to point out, this is not my work, but lifted and editied from a silicon.com email.

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