Did You See This? 2023 News That Caught Our Eye

An intern hopping a plane weekly for her commute. An airport worker on a mission to unearth a passenger’s diamond ring. Police conducting a DNA analysis for evidence of the existence of Santa.

These are among the heart-warming and offbeat workplace stories published in 2023 that exemplified the ingenuity, compassion and creativity of people—and sometimes the quirkiness of the workplace. Read on for some of those stories. 

Is Santa Real? DNA Results Revealed After Rhode Island Girl Sends Cookie, Carrots to Police

The Rhode Island Department of Health says it was not able “to definitively confirm or refute the presence of Santa” in a 10-year-old girl’s home after she requested to have a partially eaten cookie and a couple of gnawed carrot sticks tested for DNA to see if Santa Claus is real.

The department said it found no complete matches to anyone in the Combined DNA Index System but said there was a partial match “to a 1947 case centered around 34th Street in New York City,” referring to the movie “Miracle on 34th Street.” It said it would need more DNA samples “from other known Santa encounters to make a definitive match.”
(Associated Press

Intern Flies from South Carolina to NYC Once a Week—Saving Her Thousands

There were nuggets of news this year that underscored the ingenuity of employees and employers—and sometimes the lucky breaks that befell them.

Intern Sophia Celentano, for example, found a clever work-around to get to her employer’s New York City office while avoiding the hefty price tag that comes with urban living.

The corporate marketing intern only needed to be in the office one day a week, so she hopped on a plane from her home in Charleston, S.C. Weekly trips were far cheaper than renting an apartment in the Big Apple—a city recently ranked as the world’s most expensive for expats.

The average rent in New York City ranges from $3,485 for a studio apartment to $7,800 for a four-bedroom unit, according to Renthop. Meanwhile, Fortune found numerous round-trip flights from Charleston to Newark for around the $200 mark.

Celentano talked about her experience in a TikTok video.
(Yahoo Finance)  

Taylor Swift Gives Bonuses to Every Person Working on Eras Tour

Superstar Taylor Swift gave bonuses totaling more than $55 million to everyone working on her Eras Tour this summer—from her dancers to riggers, sound technicians and catering workers. Earlier in the tour, she gave $100,000 each to truckers who hauled equipment around the country.

CEO Surprises Staff with Beyonce Tickets

Generosity to employees is not limited to superstars. In September, Krystal H. Allen, CEO of K. Allen Consulting, a New Orleans-based education and management firm, gave her staff tickets to Beyonce’s Renaissance tour concert in their city. She shared a video on Instagram of the moment when she told her staff they were all going to the concert. 

According to a statement shared with Essence, Allen had already purchased tickets for herself, but quickly decided to share the once-in-a-lifetime concert with her team of five as well. Allen also offered to cover the cost of drinks, food and parking for the concert.

Hiker Who Fell off Cliff Saved by Call from Boss Wondering Why He Was Late 

A 22-year-old hiker knocked unconscious in a climbing accident in the French Pyrenees was reportedly saved thanks to a call from his irate boss after the hiker failed to turn up to work.

The Belgian man, who had not been named at the time of this news report, fell approximately 131 feet down a mountainside in southwestern France on Oct. 3. He lay overnight, unconscious, at the bottom of the cliff where he had fallen. At about 8 a.m. the following day, he received a phone call from his boss who wanted to know why he was not in the office.

The sound of the phone caused the hiker to gain consciousness, he told his boss what happened, and a rescue ensued.
(The Telegraph)  

Airport Worker Helps Woman Find Diamond from Grandmother’s Ring

Turns out a tenacious airport worker—not diamonds—are a girl’s best friend.

An employee at Pittsburgh International Airport is receiving praise for helping a customer find a missing diamond with sentimental value.

April Laukaitis is a customer care agent at the airport, and she saw the message Kristen Tunno
emailed the airport after losing the diamond, according to the airport’s Blue Sky News. Tunno made it her mission to find the gem. She “dropped everything,” she said, and ran to the airport bathroom where the passenger thought she lost the diamond. Tunno discovered it in the cracks of the floor tiles, and the passenger had the diamond back the next day.

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