Guru

This week’s guru

A fighting chance at work-life balance

Executive headhunter Lucy Sellings has thanked her employer Huntswood Search
& Selection for providing her with the work-life balance to enable her to
compete in her category at the World Kick Boxing Championships this month.

Sellings, who is already the reigning European Kick Boxing champion in the
under-10 stone division, believes it would be impossible for her to fight at
the top level if she was not allowed flexible working hours.

Guru is sure that Sellings’s boss is an enlightened people manager who
recognises the value of work-life balance, but the kick-boxing champion also
sounds like someone you might think twice about saying ‘no’ to.

Hash cake no laughing matter

People have different ways of getting through the working day. Guru uses
regular cups of high-octane coffee to help get ideas bouncing off the inside of
his skull – like fireworks inside a small telephone kiosk.

Guru has been told the regular overdose of caffeine tends to make him grumpy
and a trifle eccentric, but at least its not illegal.

Last week a Peugeot production worker was charged with causing involuntary
injury to colleagues after he brought a cake laced with cannabis to work in
Vesoul in France. The man, named in court only as Bruno, explained that he
baked the space cake because it enabled him "to escape, to think of other
things" at work. Unfortunately, a number of his colleagues ate the drugged
cake, including three of his supervisors. It left them with an irrational
desire to laugh followed by feelings of extreme anguish. One said that after
eating the cake: "I felt like I was levitating."

Guru learned not to dabble with drugs after visiting a patisserie in Amsterdam
as a student. He was arrested after running through the Van Gogh museum naked,
apart from a daffodil clenched between his buttocks.

Find a new job…down the boozer

JobCentre Plus has come up with a novel way of connecting with the long-term
unemployed after setting up a Jobpoint computer in a pub. The computer has been
installed at the George at Wedmore in Somerset, allowing locals to enjoy a pint
of their favourite ale while browsing the job market.

Charles Fox, director of EDS, the technology partners of JobCentre Plus, said:
"This machine is in a place where the local community spend time. We are
making it immediately accessible in locations where people will come and use
it."

Guru applauds the initiative and he is sure that the unemployed in Wedmore
are delighted – what an excellent excuse for spending more time at their local.

Brentisms are a step too far

Ricky Gervais has created a monster in The Office’s David Brent. Everyone
seems to know one, and Guru’s virtual mail bag is bursting at the seams.

Guru does not know whether to laugh or cry over Ruth’s submission. She heard
a senior HR manager say: "The problem with equal opportunities is that by
the time you have appointed an ethnic person and a disabled person, you have no
jobs left."

Sharon is still recovering from when she had to carry out disciplinary
action on a branch manager who tried to strangle one of his team. His
explanation: "I was not trying to strangle them. I was merely pushing them
across the room by their throat – it was the only way I could get him to
listen."

Guru is worried that this has gone beyond a competition to find the funniest
Brentism, and might actually hold the key to our productivity gap – all line
managers are scary. We’ll announce a winner next week.

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