By Brian Tracey Associate editor
msnbc.com
updated 5/15/2008 7:17:01 PM ET 2008-05-15T23:17:01
COMMENTARY

We know companies are trying cut costs in this economy, but this is ridiculous: A worker at a Canadian restaurant chain was fired for giving a free bite-sized doughnut, worth 16 cents, to a small child.

Nicole Lilliman, a single mother, said she was dismissed from a London, Ontario, outlet of the Tim Hortons coffee and doughnut chain after video cameras captured the 27-year-old giving the morsel, called a Timbit, to a toddler.

"It was just out of my heart, she [the toddler] was pointing and going 'ah, ah...' I should have gone to my purse and got the change, but it was busy," Lilliman told the Toronto Star newspaper.

After the media widely reported the silly sacking, Tim Hortons said that the firing was a mistake.

"It was the unfortunate action of one manager who unfortunately made an overzealous decision, and thankfully we were able to rectify the situation," said company spokeswoman Rachel Douglas.

Douglas said the company, a Canadian icon with stores on virtually every main street across the country, told Lilliman that she could have her job back, and Lilliman had accepted.

A single Timbit sells for 16 cents each, but most shoppers buy boxes of 10, 20 or 40 of the deep-fried goodies, which come in a variety of flavors.

Maybe the manager thought giving out free Timbits would eventually eat into profits.

Tinkle, tinkle, little fish
This has to be world's most atrocious aquarium — a Chinese restaurant has been criticized for keeping ornamental fish in a urinal.

The restaurant in Changchun city has around 20 fancy carp in the 13-foot long trough in the men' bathroom.

The Eastern Asian Economic and Trade Daily says experts have condemned the move as harmful to the fish and "disrespectful to China's fish culture".

A spokesman for the restaurant insisted the urinal contained a mixture of urine and water which was not harmful to the fish.

"The water is running, and each day we change the water at least twice and add oxygen into the water. It's not much different to a fish tank," he said.

Guests seemed surprised to find fish swimming in the trough which has sign saying "Please urinate here" above it.

"If they didn't have the sign here I would have thought it was a new fish tank," said one diner.

The owner added that the fish were intended as an attraction for diners and were not used in dishes.

That's good, we don't have to use that yellowtail joke now.

Exposed employees
This is taking dress-down Friday to a new level: A new BBC reality-TV show will ask people to go to work naked.

The plan is first for cameras to follow fully-clothed employees at work and get views their views on nudity, reports The Sun newspaper.

Some will be asked to pose for a drawing class to see how comfortable they feel about public nudity.

After several weeks, the firm's staff will all be asked to come to work completely naked for something called "Naked Friday."

The idea is to look at people's attitudes to nudity, body image and the role clothes play in office hierarchy.

In a letter inviting companies to take part in BBC3's Naked Office, producers assure potential participants the project would be a "very productive day as well as a day to remember."

Productive? We think the only people really working that day will be human resources logging sexual-harassment complaints.

The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.

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