This week’s guru

Seed of an idea came to nothing

As global economic uncertainty continues to increase, companies are being
forced to come up with increasingly innovative ways of remaining in business.

Guru was particularly intrigued by staff at a Romanian car factory who
devised a cunning plan to donate their sperm, then pay the money to meet their
employer ARO Campulung’s mounting debts.

Each of the workers would have needed to donate sperm 400 times to raise the
money needed. Sadly, their attempt failed, and the factory still has to pay
almost £13m in debts and sack 1,000 workers.

Guru believes it is probably for the best that these employees’ attempt to
save their jobs by adding to the gene pool was not successful.

Why, oh Y, has it proved so hard to adapt to work?

Guru wants companies to give youth a chance. According to new research,
Generation Y graduates (those born after 1978) want everything now and have
little concept of loyalty.

The study, by headhunters Kendall Tarrant Worldwide, advises employers to
spell out the realities when selling the job to new recruits to avoid
disappointments on both sides.

This view is shared by Margaret Mitchell, chairman of the British Chambers
of Commerce’s skills taskforce.

She believes young people lack professionalism, resent discipline, don’t
respect authority and have no work ethic.

Guru suspects that her bile has been created by pure jealousy. She was
clearly born in 1878 and represents Generation A.

PA’s working hell beyond call of duty

What kind of job would have you writing your own appraisal, disposing of
fingernail clippings and looking after stick insects?

According to a poll of admin staff, this is all in a day’s work for a
secretary or PA. It reveals senior managers are not shy in issuing confusing,
difficult and downright strange orders.

The most common request is to buy wedding anniversary or Valentine gifts for
wives or girlfriends, but the study reveals some PAs have to cope with some
surreal tasks. These include picking up a Viagra prescription, phoning the
boss’s wife and telling her he loves her, and organising a mortgage for a
director’s daughter.

Guru’s favourite requests include taking care of a pet sheep and booking an
appointment for a director to have his sperm frozen. Guru hopes these last two
tasks were not linked.

Oops! There goes another one

Guru has recently been on a health and safety course and was reminded that
an employer’s responsibilities towards its employees’ wellbeing is extremely

However, he was concerned by a recent magistrates court case where Macy
Panel Products of Newcastle-Upon-Tyne admitted a breach of H&S regulations.
Apparently, a member of staff chopped off his finger in a machine while showing
his supervisor how he had lost the tip of his thumb moments earlier.

The company was fined £1,500 with £970 costs for failing to take effective
measures to prevent access to dangerous equipment.

Guru, while not defending the employer, questions the common sense of the
man involved. If employers all had staff with this sort of mental capacity,
they would have to put up signs next to windows saying ‘Danger, gravity – don’t


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