week’s guru

all down to how you code the e-mails

Barcelona, the sun, the architecture, the tapas – and the eccentric conference

London Business School’s Dr Patrick Dixon taught Guru a thing or two about the pressing
HR issues facing the profession at the 33rd HR Management Conference in Spain.

Guru has been wasting his time pondering solutions to the skills shortage and
knowledge management. The really important issues to drum into managers are the
need to type faster and colour-code your e-mails.

author of How To Get A Life In The Virtual World delivered his talk with such
conviction and Magnus Pike-esque gesticulation that he must be right. Guru made
a mental note to buy a touch-typing book on the way home.

politician calls it as he finds it

Guru sits down to consider Personnel Today’s General Election coverage, it
dawns on him that it’s going to be a real challenge unearthing straight-talking
politicians who are prepared to stand up and be counted on the difficult issues
– increasing red tape, the euro, which colour to use when colour-coding your
e-mails etc.

Malaysia, they don’t have this problem. Its Deputy Prime Minister had a few
choice words to say about the country’s service industry recently. Datuk Seri
Abdullah Ahmad Badawi labelled the work ethic of staff in the service industry
as a disgrace.

said, "We still find ourselves being attended to by unsmiling,
uncooperative and inefficient workers with zero intitiative." No Datuk,
say what you really mean.

approach to dismissal case

much like football referees, rarely change their mind once they’ve made a
decision. If it’s a sacking, you can try begging, bribery or bullying, but they
rarely work.

lorry driver Michael Joyce has taken it one step further. After being sacked
from Clitheroe’s Castle Cement works, for calling in sick once too often, he
went about getting his job back by dressing up as a banana.

stood outside the factory for several days in a banana suit, holding a placard
which claimed, "If this is justice, I’m a banana."

he is "a-peeling" to the company’s sense of justice, but as far as
they’re concerned he’s now forbidden fruit.

are now on the breadline

getting really tough in the City. As Wall Street starts to cough and splutter,
and 20,000 job losses are predicted in London, bankers are having to tighten
the old belt.

banker chums are being asked to cut back on their dinner expenses. Gone are the
four-hour lunches at the Ivy, now it’s a quick trip to Tesco Metro or M&S.
Staff at Credit Suisse First Boston, for example, have been urged to keep their
dinner expenses down to £365 a head and not exceed £7,300 for a monthly
expenses claim.

bless them. They’re just not cut out to survive on M&S prawn sandwiches and
a piece of fruit.

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