Five Lessons Learnt This Week

Five Lessons Learnt is our weekly round-up of all the crazy, funny and strange news of the week. Perfect for a bit of Friday afternoon entertainment and a light-hearted look at what’s been going on away from the charts!

This week in Five Lessons Learnt: a great example of poor customer service from KFC, why you should never write off the underdog, why the European Central bank paid a concept artist 1 million Euros for a rock and what drove one landlord to smash up his own pub with a JCB…

1. How not to treat your customers

KFCThis week’s example of customer service at its worst came from fast food giant KFC, who was forced to apologise after a customer was handed a pot of gravy with a label that read “F*** off”.

Presumably the work of bored KFC employees in need of an outlet for their creative genius, the offending label read “Gravy Prep 3/10/15 f*** off 3.31pm MUST USE BY 3/10/15 9.31pm”. A picture of the label was posted on Facebook by the disgruntled recipient of the insulting gravy, and naturally went viral.

The chicken restaurant have since issued an apology to the unnamed customer and offered a “gesture of good will as an apology” (free chicken, we presume). They are currently investigating the incident and have reminded staff that adding profanities to food labels is unacceptable.

Unacceptable it may be, but it is a bit funny, right? Or do we just need to grow up? Actually, don’t answer that.

2. Don’t underestimate the underdogs

As the Brave Blossoms proved with their unlikely victory over two-time world champions South Africa in the Rugby World Cup, nothing is ever a sure thing. A sentiment that was demonstrated beautifully this week when a group of New York prison inmates took on the Harvard Debate Team – and won.

You’d be forgiving for assuming that inmates from a maximum security prison taking on undergraduates from the Ivy League school is not exactly what you’d call a fair match. But the inmates smashed (not literally, relax) the current national debate champions in a showdown at the Eastern New York Correctional Facility.

And there are no sore losers in the Ivy League, with the Harvard team posting a Facebook message to congratulate their opponents, which read: “There are few teams we are prouder of having lost a debate to than the phenomenally intelligent and articulate team we faced this weekend”. All’s fair in love and war (and prison).

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3. The world did not end

DoomsdayDespite predictions that Doomsday would bring the world to an end at 9pm on Wednesday the 7th October, we all still seem to be alive and well. Or the world actually did end and we’re all living in some sort of limbo right now. You can ponder that one amongst yourselves.

The eBible Fellowship, a Christian organization based near Philadelphia, predicted that the world would be annihilated forever on the 7th October. Given that the imminent apocalypse has been delayed once or twice before, we weren’t particularly worried. But that’s mainly because if we died at 9pm on Wednesday, we would at least have found out who won the Great British Bake Off before we were cast into oblivion.

Naturally, the Twittersphere jumped on the Doomsday bandwagon with a stream of indignant tweets when it became apparent that we were all going to have to go to work on Thursday after all. Oh well, there’s always next time…

4. How not to do your job

Concept artist Nedko Solako came up with an ingenious way of getting paid for doing precisely nothing this week, when the European Central Bank in Frankfurt paid 1.25 million euros for three art installations. The catch? The “art” Solako “created” is essentially a large rock.

How did he get away with it? The piece, named ‘Standby’ has a small plaque explaining that it is essentially an IOU for a piece of artwork which will be installed “at a specific moment in the future when we – all the employees of the ECB – have definitely achieved all of our goals, when all the tasks on our agenda are entirely fulfilled, when we are all completely satisfied with what we have done, are doing and will do for the common benefit of The European Union”. I.e. never.

Solako admitted that his artwork will never materialise, because “a serious institution is never satisfied”. Instead, he’ll just allow people to imagine what the fantasy artwork might have looked like if the unattainable goal was ever reached. While he sits at home with his feet up, safe in the knowledge that he won’t be called upon to produce his work. Genius.

Think the ECB have wasted their money? Check out how these famous billionaires spend their cash… 

5. It’s my pub and I’ll smash it up if I want to…

demolitionLandlord Mark Swistun demolished his own pub this week in what we’d probably describe as a slight overreaction when staff refused to serve him a drink because it was after 11pm. The furious businessman used a 28-ton JCB digger to wreck his boozer in the middle of the night.

He was arrested on suspicion of criminal damage, but later released as police were unable to charge him since he owns the pub. A police source said: “At the end of the day, the building belongs to him, so he can do what he likes with it”.

Be that as it may, we believe this is the sort of thing our mums used to describe as “cutting off your nose to spite your own face”. At least before he could get a pint during serving hours. Where will he go now?

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