May 12, 2010

Pt 1: Hockey & Productivity - As the Montreal Canadiens continue their seemingly improbable run through the NHL playoffs, we look at how the city's newfound obsession with the team is affecting productivity. Some say a good, galvanizing play-off run can boost morale and productivity. But others say it just distracts people from the tasks at hand. (Read More)

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Pt 2: Being Stalked - Myriam deBlois spent a-year-and-a-half looking over her shoulder, wondering if the man who was stalking her was following her at that moment. Now, she has decided to speak out about what she endured and why it was so hard to make it stop. (Read More)

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Pt 3: Genocide - Francis Deng is the United Nations' point person for the prevention of genocide around the world. And despite all the promises of "never again," he says that too often, we still get stuck at square one. (Read More)

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Whole Show Blow-by-Blow

It's Wednesday, May 12th.

A workplace survey suggests playoff hockey is good for productivity.

Currently, Greece hopes to buy the Phoenix Coyotes.

This is The Current.

Hockey & Productivity - Dianne Hunnam-Jones

One of two things will happen after the Montreal Canadiens play the Pittsburgh Penguins tonight. Montreal will either win the game and the series and the entire city will lose its composure. Or Montreal will lose the game, get eliminated from the playoffs and the entire city will lose its composure.

Either way, it's hard to imagine anyone in Montreal is going to get much work done today. Just ask David Kellerman, a lawyer who also blogs on Four Habs Fans.

Now given the state of the City of Montreal right now, David Kellerman can't be the only person who's having trouble focusing on his work. So you'd think it would be a pretty simple equation ... more hockey equals less work.

But according to Dianne Hunnam-Jones, that's just not the case. She's the President of OfficeTeam's Toronto Region. Office Team is an administrative staffing agency. And last month, it released a survey that suggests that embracing playoff hockey in the workplace can actually improve productivity. Dianne Hunnam-Jones was in Toronto where the issue of playoff induced productivity is but a dream.

Article of interest: Religion that is HABS

Hockey & Productivity - Lisa Stam

Now that Vancouver is out of the running, Montreal is the only city left to test out the theory that obsessing over hockey can make you more productive at work. So the CBC's Jesse Connell paid a visit to a few offices in Montreal to find out what was happening there.

Whatever you think about the relationship between obsessive fandom and productivity, it can be hard for employers to know how to respond to a sports obsessed workplace. For example, the biggest event for office pools in North America is March Madness, the American college basketball tournament.

According to one estimate, workers are getting paid close to two-Billion-dollars to pore over their bracket predictions when they should be working. And according to Lisa Stam, the difference between productive morale-boosting and just plain slacking off is tougher to spot than you might think.

Lisa Stam is a lawyer who blogs about employment and human rights law. And she was in Toronto ... again as mentioned earlier, a place where discussions around productivity and playoffs are strictly theoretical.

We gave the last word this morning on hockey and productivity to a group of disappointed Vancouver Canucks fans ... who have also been trying to manage work and what turned out to be a short-lived playoff run. We sent freelancer Haiko Dekosus onto the streets of Vancouver after the Canucks 5-1 loss last night.


Being Stalked - Myriam deBlois

For a while, Myriam deBlois thought it was just a coincidence. Every morning, she'd stop in at her local café in downtown Montreal and she'd see the same man. That was odd because she didn't always show up at the same time. And yet, whenever she went in, he'd be there too.

Then she started seeing him in other places ... outside her office, near her home, at lunch and at night. She saw him everywhere. And it didn't take long for her to realize that he was stalking her. Even then Myriam deBlois thought she could handle the situation. But as it turned out she was wrong. She is a youth court lawyer. So she knew where to go and what to do. But even so, it took months before the man -- a City of Montreal worker named André Martel -- was stopped. And those months were pretty harrowing. André Martel has since pleaded guilty to two counts of criminal harassment.

Myriam deBlois has decided to speak out about what happened to her in the hopes that it might serve as a warning to anyone caught in a similar situation. Myriam deBlois was in Montreal.

Jean Yves Hinse is the Director of Professional Relations for the City of Montreal. He sent us the following statement by email. It reads:

We believe that the conduct and the behaviour of the blue-collar worker involved in the case of Ms Myriam deBlois is totally unacceptable and inappropriate. We are currently investigating this serious matter to find out how this situation could have happened during work hours and outside of his sector. We will meet with the worker as soon as possible and ask him for full explanations.

At this moment, the worker has been suspended without pay and he is currently following a treatment in a specialized center.

Following our investigation in this matter, the City will then make a decision regarding the worker's future. The worker could be fired from his job.


Genocide - Francis Deng

Francis Deng has seen more than his share of human atrocity. He grew up in Sudan during one of the world's longest-running civil wars. And for 12 years, he traveled to some of the most desperate places on earth as the United Nations Secretary General's Representative on Internally Displaced Persons.

Now, as the U.N. Secretary General's Special Advisor for the Prevention of Genocide, he has the unenviable task of trying to prevent the worst human atrocities from happening. And unfortunately, he has his work cut out for him. In the Darfur region of Sudan, a peacekeeping mission is struggling to stabilize an area torn apart by ethnic fighting. And in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the home of the deadliest conflict since World War Two, the combatants are divided sharply along ethnic lines.

Francis Deng has been traveling around the world trying to drum up support for some new ideas about how to prevent genocide. We spoke to him when he was in Ottawa.

Last Word - Habs Sausage

We wanted to give the last word this morning to Maxim Dufour-Villemur. He works at William Walter Sausages in the Jean Talon market in Montreal ... a place that is enjoying a substantial boost in employee morale during the Canadiens playoff run.

They have re-named the sausages they sell in order to honour the traits of their favourite players. And today, he's suggesting fans try the Inferno Halak Gourmet. The CBC's Ange-Aimée Woods went to check it out.


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