Granny’s miffed in courtroom drama

The following story comes out of Guru’s favourite place in the world to go for enlightenment and cosmopolitan opinions – the good ol’ southern states of the US of A. It is a lesson for everyone about how to conduct an interview: make sure you’ve done your research. At the end of the day, it’s a bit spurious on a strictly HR-front, but Guru hopes all will be forgiven once you’ve read this…

In a trial, a small-town prosecuting attorney called his first witness – an elderly woman – to the stand. He approached her and asked: “Mrs Jones, do you know me?”

She responded: “Why, yes, I do know you, Mr Williams. I’ve known you since you were a young boy; and, frankly, you’ve been a big disappointment to me. You lie, you cheat on your wife, you manipulate people and talk about them behind their backs. You think you’re a big-shot when you haven’t the brains to realise you will never amount to anything more than a two-bit paper pusher.”

The lawyer was stunned. Not knowing what else to do, he pointed across the room and asked: “Mrs Jones, do you know the defence attorney?”

She replied: “Why, yes, I do. I’ve known Mr Bradley since he was a youngster, too. He’s lazy, bigoted, and he has a drinking problem. He can’t build a normal relationship with anyone and his law practice is one of the worst in the entire state. Not to mention he cheated on his wife with three different women – one of them was your wife.”

The judge asked both counsellors to approach the bench, and in a very quiet voice said: “If either of you b******s asks her if she knows me, I’ll throw your sorry asses in jail for contempt.”

Honesty should be the best HR policy

In this day and age it’s all about corporate social responsibility, don’t you know. Gone are the days when folk like Guru could spend leisurely hours shredding incriminating evidence and instructing company contractors to clear out whole villages so he could begin dumping barrels of glowing goo into fragile ecosystems.

A by-product of this is the growth in whistleblowing on malfeasants. But well-meaning executives who tell their staff to report any mischief should beware as it could come back to bite them.

Take the well-meaning couple in Vreden, Germany, who told their three-year-old daughter never to tell lies, for example. Police turned up on their doorstep to enquire as to the whereabouts of the father after he had fled from police trying to pull him over for speeding.

Having noted his number plate, the polizei arrived to be told by the mother that he wasn’t home. The kleines kind interrupted to tell them that this wasn’t true and led the puzzled officers by the hand to the cellar, where her father was cowering, saying: “Vater ist hier.”

Her father, Dieter Brauer, now faces charges for speeding and driving with an expired licence, but he remains philosophical.

“I can’t be angry with her, she was just doing what we’ve always told her and that’s not to tell lies,” he said.

Wrong place, right time for ageing stud

Last week, Guru’s loyal band of followers kindly sent in their tales of interview hell to amuse the general populace.

One of the favourites was from disciple Neil, who commented on the “candidate who, 20 minutes into an interview, realised that he was in the wrong building, the wrong interview and was not the person whom the interviewer had named at the beginning”.

Fabulous stuff. And Guru is happy to report more interview confusion, this time from Russia. A quick delve into the archives of news agency Tass reveals that a 75-year-old walked into a production company’s studios after mistaking posters recruiting new ‘erotic actors’ as an advert for a bodybuilding contest.

Director Alexander Plahov said he was auditioning for a new film and had a number of couples on stage simulating sex when he spotted septu-agenarian David Bozdoganov standing at the back.

“I wandered over to ask him to leave when I saw this massive package straining against his trousers,” he said. “I thought, now this could be an original idea.”

And unlike disciple Neil’s story where the interviewee doubtlessly found the recruiter’s probing a bit too hard, Bozdoganov’s career has gone from strength to strength. His box office smashes have included The Old Neighbour and The Handyman at Work. Guru would like to congratulate him and tell him to keep it up.

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