Canadian ruling could drive a firm to drink

Just when employers thought there
was an end in sight to their ever-increasing legal responsibilities, those
clever lawyers have found a new one.

A judge in Canada recently awarded
$200,000 (£90,852) in damages to a woman who crashed her car while driving home
drunk from an office party. He found the woman’s employer partly responsible
for allowing her to drive in an unfit state because the party she attended had
taken place during company time.

Law firm Eversheds is now warning
that UK employers could be held liable for staff drink-driving. Lawyer Damian
Kelly said, "This case may have happened in Canada, but much of the
judgement was based on English case law. It is not impossible that we may see
similar cases in the UK."

A totem gesture from
training co

How busy is your head of totem pole
design? If they have a bit of spare capacity they might want to enter Totem
Training Events’ competition to design a pole.

The native peoples of Canada and
the US originally carved totem poles to represent a clan, its kinship system,
accomplishments, rights and values.

The totem shown is has four
sections of cedar carved with symbols representing the values and aspirations
of one of Totem Training Events’ clients.

The winner’s totem pole will be
similarly carved with the company’s logo, images symbolising its products and
services or whatever captures the spirit of business. The totem will be created
at Totem Training Events’ stand at Enterprise South in Bournemouth on 9 May.

Sorry the boss is on gardening

Guru wants to be managing director
of the universe. No, he isn’t plotting some dastardly international espionage,
but wants to reply to a job advert to run the Catholic newspaper called the

This is just one of the unusual
management titles that readers have sent to Personnel Today since it launched
its competition last month.

The most curious we’ve received is
from a Swedish company called Wideyes – it has a senior manager called
"company gardener", but apparently it has more to do with corporate
growth than green fingers.   

Guru has decided to put off the
judging until next week, so if you’ve heard of any other ridiculous titles,
send an e-mail to the usual address and you could win a bottle of bubbly.

HR staff find it hard
to mask true feelings

Sometimes it can be hard for HR
professionals to come up with anything original to write down for an employee
performance evaluation. Guru was once accused of having "a zest for
life" in an early job review, which he later realised was boss-speak for
having an attention deficit disorder.

Here are a few more blunt efforts
from one large US corporation that will remain nameless: "Since my last
report, this employee has reached rock bottom and has started to dig", or
"works well under constant supervision and when cornered like a rat in a
trap" or even the priceless "when his IQ reaches 50, he should
sell". But Guru’s personal favourites are, "I would not allow this
employee to breed", and "this employee is depriving a village somewhere
of an idiot". Guru would like to hear from his disciples on the best
examples they’ve come across.

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