Guru

This
week’s guru column.

No
thanks, I couldn’t manage another word

After
a long day at the office there is nothing Guru likes better than to leaf
through his favourite books on management theory. But, apparently, Guru is in
the minority. Only 13 per cent of professionals read in the evening to relax,
according to research.

One-fifth
switches on the TV and watches shows such as Inspector Morse, Match of the Day,
Frasier and Ally McBeal to unwind. Eight per cent listen to music and 6 per
cent drink.

It
appears that well-off women over the age of 40 have got the best techniques for
relaxation – they indulge in baths, facials and chocolate. 

Vicky
serves up some team spirit

While
we’re on the subject of names (see cartoon), a woman named after the entire
1974 Liverpool football team has landed a job at Anfield.

She
was christened Victoria Shankly Clemence Smith Lyndsay Thompson Cormack Hughes
Keegan Hall Heighway Toshack Callaghan Lawler Edwards after Liverpool won the
1974 FA Cup Final. She will work in catering at the club, and the 26-year-old
explains that it is a dream come true for her father.

As
a “Shrimpers” fan, Guru considered calling his first born after the most
successful Southend Utd team in living memory, then realised that there hasn’t
been one.

Jim
membership (or Jane) is lure

Guru
accepts that in a competitive job market it is vital to offer potential staff
excellent employee benefits, but surely the city of San Francisco has gone too
far.

The
public authority is now offering health insurance plans worth $33,000 (£22,407)
to cover sex-change operations for its employees. Funnily enough, it’s a first.

Apparently
organising an affinity deal for employees with a couple of local gyms just
wasn’t enough.

He’s
the Welsh soloist bar nun

The
hills were alive with the sound of HR directors singing their favourite tunes
from The Sound of Music at a conference late last month. Well, there was an
excuse for it – the conference, or more grandly-named HR Summit, was taking
place in the beautiful Swiss town of Montreux.

The
names of the very senior HR professionals had probably better remain under
closely guarded wraps (you know who you are) but Guru was very impressed with a
certain singer who happened to be Welsh and the personnel director of a leading
media company.

Tom
Jones had better watch out – there is clearly a new kid on the block. 

Imagineer!
Obscure titles that win the day

There
were many great titles to choose from in Personnel Today’s bizarre job name
competition. Guru almost changed his title to creative director of the world,
as one executive in a cosmetics firm is called, or imagineer, which pretentious
performance consultants call themselves.

But
the second prize of a bottle of bubbly had to go to Ian Townsend, currently
development manager at Disability Matters (nothing funny there), but who once
held the title of teacher in charge of wet playtime.

There
can only be one winner. Two bottles of bubbly go to Alan James. As the
personnel director, he is currently looking for someone to fill the position of
director of the centre for pentecostal and charismatic studies [part-time] at
the University of Wales, Bangor.

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