Alibi V.27 No.36 • Sept 6-12, 2018 

Odds & Ends

Odds and Ends

Dateline: Japan

Japanese workers who are unable to confront their employers can now pay a company to quit their job for them. NPR reports a company called Exit is referring to itself as a “retirement agency” and allows clients to avoid the awkwardness of quitting. Typically, the company will notify the employer that their client is quitting and will relay simple messages. Exit doesn't reportedly get involved in more complicated matters, like the negotiation of severance packages, but these details can generally be worked out between the client and their employer through mail. The company charges around $450 to quit a full-time job and $360 for part-time. Return customers receive a discount of around $90. Japanese work etiquette can reportedly make quitting a stressful time, as employees are expected to give at least a full month's notice in writing, discuss their plans in person with their employer and even hand out gifts to their coworkers on their last day. Japanese workers were traditionally expected to remain with a company for their entire lives, a practice that seems to be reversing. Exit has already received an investment offer from a venture capital firm. A number of competitors have also sprung up recently, according to The Japan Times.

Dateline: New Jersey

A judge has ordered a couple who raised $400,000 dollars in a homeless man's name to provide a full accounting of where the funds have gone after being accused of fraud. According to The Inquirer, a lawsuit was filed last week alleging that Kate McClure and Mark D'Amico committed fraud when they accepted donations from a GoFundMe account they created to benefit Johnny Bobbitt Jr., a homeless veteran struggling with drug addiction. The fund was made following an incident last year when McClure's car ran out of gas and Bobbitt, who was living on the streets of Philadelphia at the time, reportedly spent the last $20 he'd made panhandling to buy gas and a gas can for her. Initially impressed by the kind act, McClure and boyfriend D'Amico set up the GoFundMe page as thanks for the man. The fundraiser gained media attention and drew over $402,000 in donations. The lawsuit filed last week in the Superior Court of New Jersey in Burlington County alleged that the couple spent over half of the donated funds and only gave Bobbitt some of the money. An update on the GoFundMe account claimed that the money would go toward a home and vehicle for Bobbitt as well as the establishment of two trust funds in his name—one to provide a yearly “salary,” and one to act as a retirement fund. According to the lawsuit, no formal trusts were ever created. After hearing the case, a judge ruled that a full accounting of how the funds have been spent will be submitted to the court by Sept. 10. Any funds currently remaining in the fund are to be turned over to Bobbitt's legal team and kept in a trust.

Dateline: China

A woman is claiming she was tricked into marrying a stranger while participating in what she thought was a simulated wedding. South China Morning Post reports that the Hong Kong Federation of Trade Unions is investigating a marriage scam case unlike any it's seen before. Authorities say an unnamed 21-year-old woman from Hong Kong answered a Facebook listing for a make-up artist apprenticeship. The firm looking to “hire” her reportedly convinced her to apply for a wedding planner position instead. She received a week's worth of “training” in Hong Kong before being sent to the Chinese province of Fujian to perform in a mock wedding as a closing exam. During the the wedding, she was told to sign papers alongside the man acting as her husband. She was told they would be voided. When she returned home, her friends convinced her the entire incident had been part of a scam. She reported it to the police—who reportedly failed to act on the information—and later to the FTU. It is believed that the scam was orchestrated to take advantage of a rule allowing the spouse of a Hong Kong resident to apply for a one-way permit to settle in the city. No money was exchanged.

Dateline: Wisconsin

Two women who believed police were members of the “Illuminati” were arrested after leading police on a double car chase. According to WISN in Milwaukee, a routine traffic stop turned into a car chase earlier this month when a driver asked an officer for his ID. When he failed to produce it, she drove away, leading Ozaukee County deputies on a chase. She was soon joined by a second vehicle. Both drivers were eventually stopped by police. Lapel footage of the arrest reveals that one of the suspects again asked for officers' identification. “Do not shoot me,” she can be heard saying. “In Jesus' name, you have no power of authority over me.” The suspect did not comply with officers on the scene, and deputies were forced to break her car window to take her into custody. “Are you guys Illuminati or Masons?” she asked as she was handcuffed. She accused authorities of being “witches and warlocks” and seemed to believe that they weren't actual police. Both drivers were arrested and charged in connection to the case.

Compiled by Joshua Lee. Email your weird news to josh@alibi.com.