This week’s guru

All downhill from now on

The rumour on the street is that our leaders at the CIPD are going downhill.

Not in their vitally important work – you understand – but in their head
office location. The institute is moving from its lofty Wimbledon village
offices, to another building in the town.

The main street could become something of a battleground with just a few
yards of tarmac separating the chartered institute from the Communications
Workers Union.

The unique new location could inspire some drama during meetings, and
tele-conferencing will never be the same again – the new HQ is in the old Odeon
cinema. Guru will hand out prizes for the best suggestions of film titles that
best sum up the CIPD’s role with the profession.

Gurus actions speak louder than words

Guru has never been shy about using expressive gestures to embellish a point
being made by his darting intellect. However, he is now seriously considering
toning down some of his mannerisms after a seeing a study which reveals that
his unconventional body language could harm his career.

Research by Goldsmiths College at the University of London has discovered
that body language ‘appropriate to your gender’ is an important factor in the
way potential employees are received.

Women who adopt more ‘feminine’ behaviour, such as looking away and nodding
at an interviewer, tend to be rated more highly than those females who have
masculine traits.

However, men who make direct eye contact with the interviewer and fiddle
less are rated better than other male candidates.

Guru finds it difficult to rein in his natural expressiveness – he blames it
on his great great grandmother’s affair with an Italian fruit seller.

Tea bags reputation for inspiring violence

The good old English cuppa is the source of a surprising amount of bad
feeling in the workplace. Research reveals that one-in-four employees are riled
by colleagues who shirk their tea-making duties.

More than half of the 500 people interviewed by Pertemps regard those who
fail to pull their weight in the office kitchen as rude and anti-social –
especially if they happily accept hot beverages provided by other workers.

Other common causes of office tension include noisy individuals, people who
fail to return borrowed scissors or staples, and untidiness.

Pertemps’ chairman Tim Watts said: "Tempers are running high in the
workplace and even seemingly trivial incidents can trigger conflict among

Guru is only too aware of how touchy people can be at work after his request
to have his Earl Grey tea bag squeezed slightly and left to brew for longer in
the cup seemed to provoke the kind man who does the office tea run to shout
"Aarghh" and repeatedly bang his head against the wall.

‘Sick’ women faking it to get the sympathy vote

Men claim they are far more likely than women to carry on as normal if they
catch colds or flu, according to an investigation by nasal remedy specialist
Vicks Sinex.

A survey of 1,200 people reveals that 81 per cent of women pretend to feel
worse than they actually are to get sympathy from their partners.

Men, on the other hand, tough it out, with 57 per cent of men claiming that
they ignore their symptoms, real or imagined, and battle on like the brave
soldiers we all know they really are.

A spokesman for Vicks Sinex said: "On average the results show that
women are taking far more time off work than their male counterparts – whether
they are true or ‘pretend’ illnesses."

However, when Guru informed Mrs Guru that the research findings meant that
her recent complaints about a sore throat and blocked nose were probably
exaggerated he received a slap and was told to sleep in the spare room for a

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