Turk makes fist of good intentions

Yes, it’s the New Year, and I imagine your workforce is complaining that they hate the office and everything associated with it. According to reports, about 40 per cent of UK workers want to change jobs this year. But don’t worry, they never do.

As happens at the start of every year, they are full of vigour and zest to get on and do something new and exciting. However, they’ll soon be directing their energy where it belongs – doing exactly what they’re told by people like you.

For the few mavericks that stand in the way of your totalitarian intentions, tell them the following story, which will make them thank their lucky stars they work where they do.

A German acquaintance of Guru’s, who we shall call Herr K, fired one of his staff after the fellow punched him in the face. This seems fair to Guru, who has used this technique to get fired on several occasions.

Now you might be surprised to hear that our staff have some of the least proscriptive employment legislation in the developed world. Not so in Germany, where Herr K not only found himself on the end of a knuckle sandwich, but also on the end of a summons to an employment tribunal.

Despite following the law to a T, the poor chap was forced to reinstate this violent offender. The reason? He was Turkish. The tribunal ruled that, as an employer, Herr K should take into account the ‘fiery temperament’ that the Turks can exhibit.

Why not try this approach yourself? If you get fired, Yours Truly would be more than happy to represent you in the European Court of Justice.

Game clown sets peach of a poser

Guru has been asked a lot of things in the past, but this query from a certain disciple stretched him more than usual:

Dear Guru,

A friend of mine who jobs as a circus clown and goes by the name of ‘Peach the Clown’ has hit a snag in his employment. He has fallen head over giant boot heels in love with a fellow circus performer.

His dilemma is that his potential mate is also a clown, and like all clowns, the image must be maintained with individual and heavy face paint baggy clothes, a wig and, in this case, a character of silent mime.

The real difficulty is to stay within the law when making the mating approach and having regard for gender and other related orientations, if you know what I mean!

So, the question is, how does Peach the Clown establish his friend’s preferences without committing an offence or getting more than the proverbial pie in the vizzog! He may get just one chance – just one question or line to draw out the beast.

Best wishes (yes it’s me),

Peach the Clown

In his secondary role, Peach masquerades as an HR professional.

Right then, let’s share some of the love in 2005. What question or line would you offer Peach? Bare in mind this isn’t Cosmo, so less of your smut, if you please.

The best piece of advice will win a prize worthy of such an obscure cry for help. Guru has obtained two copies of Get On: the Board Game – an HR board game.

The game, created by the Wilding, McArdle and Wilson advertising agency, will pit you in fierce ‘winner takes all’ combat against your colleagues in a battle for the ‘ultimate professional prize': a seat on the board.

It is as absurd as it sounds – I mean, whoever heard of HR on the board?

Joking aside, you will solve dilemmas, such as what to do when you accidentally e-mail a union leader, calling your staff ‘lazy, good for nothing communists’. Or perhaps you’d feel more challenged dealing with a refer-a-friend scheme that goes badly wrong after a typo inflates the reward money from 250 to 25,000.

You’ve got until Tuesday 18 January to send your Agony Aunt/Jerry Springer-esque words of wisdom to guru@personneltoday. com and help Peach have a happy New Year.

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