Stupid Employee Trick of the Day: Workers Trash $50K Artwork

Workers Trash Artwork We're not sure who made the bigger mistake: the Parks and Recreation employees who thought the $50,000 piece of art was trash and took it to the city landfill, or the city officials who paid $50,000 for a piece of art that could be mistaken for trash.

Either way, no one is being prosecuted or disciplined, as the action is being called an "honest mistake."

What happened: Albuquerque city workers were asked to clean up and dispose of a cactus that had been knocked over. When they arrived on the scene to take care of the cleanup, they found a statue of a cactus that had been vandalized and was laying on its side. Thinking it was the succulent they'd been instructed to dispose of, they took it to the landfill where it was promptly compacted and buried.

It wasn't until later that the "garbage" they'd disposed of was identified as a fiberglass cactus that had been created by an artist and students participating in a Working Classroom Inc. program funded by the city -- to the tune of $50,000. When the workers saw a television report that said the artwork had been stolen, they went to city authorities and fessed up.

Although the Parks and Recreation employees have been declared innocent of any wrongdoing, they and their co-workers will be asked to read and become familiar with a memo that describes the 650 public art projects installed around the city.




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Lisa Johnson Mandell

Lisa Johnson Mandell

Editor

Lisa Johnson Mandell is an award-winning multi-media journalist and author of Career Comeback--Repackage Yourself to Get the Job You Want.  Her work has been translated into 20 different languages, and she is a frequent expert guest and commentator on news and talk shows. She has been featured in The Wall St. Journal, on the CBS Early Show, NBC Today, CNBC, Fox Business News, Dr. Phil, Oprah.com and many other media outlets.  Lisa discusses her AOL pieces each week and interviews vital guests on the web TV show, This Week in Careers. Learn more on LisaJohnsonMandell.com.

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MMD

Stop it, Stop it! Eeryone of you, art is a particularity distinguishable from its own differentiation as an expression of the human spirit and therefore is priceless. Until you can discern the spirit shut up

February 23 2011 at 3:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Sultry

Student project or not that project was flat out theft. Do you see 50 grand worth of paint and fiber glass? Holy smokes, They could have made that mess out of gemstone native to the area and not hit 50 grand. Home heating oil is over $3.20 a gallon. Then you see money being wasted like this when people are having it hard trying to keep heat in their home. Whoever approved that nonsense should have to repay the city from their personal money. That would stop a lot of BS in all cities. Frankly, all I can see is a green Mickey Mouse with the growth of an evil twin coming out his head. 50 grand my ... .

February 23 2011 at 2:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Sultry

Student project or not that project was flat out theft. Do you see 50 grand worth of paint and fiber glass? Holy smokes, They could have made that mess out of gemstone native to the area and not hit 50 grand. Home heating oil is over $3.20 a gallon. Then you see money being wasted like this when people are having it hard trying to keep heat in their home. Whoever approved that nonsense should have to repay the city from their personal money. That would stop a lot of BS in all cities.

February 22 2011 at 5:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Marcus

Washington state has crap like this all over the place. The stupid state law says that 1% of all new construction has to go to "art" (while the sate is going bankrupt). The new $2 billion Brightwater Waste Treatment plant is required to have $20 million dollars of taxpayer funded "art". There is a dump there that has a $300K piece of "art" at the entrance. It looks like two old used huge landmover tires with a sprinkler that sqirts water as you drive by. Total waste of taxpayer money. These so called "artists" rely upon the governments to buy their crap, because they couldn't sell it at a swap meet for $10 if their lives depened upon it.

February 22 2011 at 10:53 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Marcus

The good thing is that it was crushed and buried. If this is the "fruit" of an art program that cost the city $50,000, the artist leading the program needs to be jailed for theft of the taxpayers money. That thing belongs in the dump.

February 22 2011 at 10:35 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jack

$50,000 to teach students how to make a fiberglass catctus??!! The teacher should be prosecuted for a scam job. And the goverment officials should be fired for being stupid, and wasteful.

February 22 2011 at 9:31 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
JJ

The city officials were at fault for spending 50 thousand dollars of the tax payers money for this junk..no wonder it was mistaken for trash..and people should now know why states are going broke...

February 21 2011 at 6:56 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
capwhan

Art= One mans treasure is another mans trash.

February 21 2011 at 4:21 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
whackajig

To me, the statue looks like Mickey Mouse bending over and squeezing out a giant fart.

February 21 2011 at 2:48 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Boopy

Any American can see that it was a piece of artwork. We are brought up in this country with artwork like this everywhere. These "workers" in Albuquerque must not have been Americans. They must have been from some third world country. Just hire Americans from now on and we won't have to "retrain" anybody for simple things. Find out who the third world vandals were who destroyed it in the first place and charge them the 50 grand. Go ahead, tell me that they were all Americans (the vandals AND the 'workers')... You can't, because they weren't. None of them. Ha.

February 21 2011 at 1:39 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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