This week’s guru

Creative criticism, Swedish-style

Guru was somewhat alarmed to learn of the progressive technique adopted by
high-tech Swedish firm, Intentia.

It positively encourages colleagues to highlight each others’ shortcomings.
A group of managers analyse their peers’ strengths and weaknesses and forward
the list to HR, who works out a ranking of the individual’s best and worst

The humiliation continues as the group meets face-to-face to put each
individual under the spotlight in turn, to pick over those weaknesses and set
new objectives for improvements.

Guru recalls the last occasion colleagues shared their views of the blue
one’s weaknesses in a frank and meaningful way. He seems to remember retreating
to the sanctuary of the cloakroom to suck his thumb and call for his Mummy, as
he struggled to recover from the exchange.

If open season is to be declared on pointing out colleagues’ failings, Guru
has a feeling it would end up creating an atmosphere in the office that could
be cut with a knife.

E-mailing tension has UK workforce in a ‘state of fear’

Next time you feel a bit apprehensive at work, you may be suffering a case
of PPMT – Pre- and Post-Mail Tension.

Researchers have come up with this new acronym to describe the fear many
people feel when sending personal e-mails while at work.

A study of 26,000 computers users by a Yahoo! Mail survey shows that 52 per
cent of people struggle to interpret personal e-mails, 12 per cent admit to
having had an argument with a friend over an e-mail misunderstanding, and 2 per
cent said they had broken up with a partner over e-mail misinterpretation.

Almost 30 per cent live in fear of personal e-mails being sent to their boss
by mistake, and 61 per cent of workers are afraid of a friend forwarding
personal e-mails that would then spread like wildfire online.

Guru seems to suffer permanent PPMT, especially after sending his (ex) boss
the one with the donkey and the Mexican man in the field.

Well, it seemed appropriate at the time.

All at sea after dozy fisherman takes nap

The classic scene in The Simpsons where Homer is ‘replaced’ at work with a
brick tied to a lever rings many bells among British managers when regaling
others with tales of incompetence and laziness.

Even Guru had to crack a smile when he heard the one about the sleepy
fisherman who sparked a major sea rescue last week after deserting his boat.

Dozy Alan Scott sparked the search after leaving his ship in a dinghy to pop
home for 40 winks. When a rescue team boarded the vessel, they found a
half-eaten sandwich and a fishing rod dangling over the side. Fearing the
worst, they launched a full-scale search and rescue effort at a cost of £5,000
to the taxpayer.

John Bridgewood, the officer in charge, said he was furious, and rightly so
– most people sleeping on the job at least have the decency to nod off where
they are supposed to be working.

Ever caught staff napping on the job in hilarious circumstances? Let Guru
know and you could be the recipient of a limited edition mousemat,

Workers give Euro greeting the kiss-off

Guru was glad to hear that more and more colleagues now greet each other
with a kiss.

But, research by the Royal Mail, which questioned 1,000 office workers
across the UK, found that the European-style greetings aren’t popular with
everyone – 86 per cent said kissing was an inappropriate form of business

In fact, the humble hand-shake was favoured by 58 per cent of respondents.

Of those who choose to kiss, most favour a one-cheek smacker over two.

Guru, always an innovator, prefers to vary his greetings – three kisses for
Judy from sales, a firm handshake for Barry from accounts, and a grunt to Mrs

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