Guru

This
week’s guru

Good
eggs in hot water over abusive language

Do
you remember the saga of ‘nitty gritty’?

HR
professionals were being warned last year not to use the phrase because it
referred to the abuse suffered by Africans on slave ships.

It’s
now the turn of police officers and ministers. Home Office minister John Denham
was heckled from the floor at a recent Police Federation conference after using
the saying. Many police forces have banned the use of the word.  

Clearly
none of them read Guru. If they did, they would know that the phrase originated
in the black civil rights movement of the 1960s and was used to describe hard
bargaining.

Good
egg is also banned. Apparently, it is derived from egg and spoon, which is
rhyming slang for ‘coon’. Do we believe this, or do we think it is ‘political
correctness gone mad’? Has anyone been called a good egg since the heyday of
gap-toothed comedy actor Terry Thomas? Insightful information can be sent to
Guru on the e-mail address below.

Job
centre bans friendly faces

Talking
of sensitive words, a Jobcentre has come under fire after it refused to accept
an advert asking for ‘friendly’ staff.

The
Bolton Jobcentre informed Travel Counsellors that the wording for an advertisement
for a catering manager at the staff cafe was discriminatory because "some
people may perceive they are friendly even if you don’t".

Bemused
travel agency owner Dominic Speakman said: "It’s just ridiculous that you
can’t use ‘friendly’ in an advert these days."  

Can
you imagine the stir in the jobcentre if the advertised vacancy had read: ‘The
nitty gritty of this new role is that the job candidate has to be very friendly
and an all round good egg.’

Archive
reaches real dead end…

A
Norwegian museum received a tragic lesson in the importance of effective
knowledge management after a member of staff, somewhat inconveniently, took the
password to its electronic library to his grave.

The
employee, who was instrumental in setting up the museum’s archive of 1,600
books and documents, died without revealing the vital password information to
any of his colleagues at work.

As
a result, museum director Ottar Grepstad has had to make an appeal on national
radio calling on the world’s hackers to break into the archive.

Body
of evidence wins tribunal

A
funeral director who lifted the lid of a coffin in front of relatives to check
if he had the right body has won his unfair dismissal case and £4,715 in
compensation.

Steven
Sim told a Glasgow employment tribunal that he had delivered a body to a church
for the next day’s service when the priest noticed that the nameplate was
wrong.

He
opened up the casket in front of relatives and found it contained the wrong
body.

Sim
– who was subsequently dismissed – won his tribunal because he was given
unclear instructions and a ‘heavy workload’. Guru would have thought this was
inevitable for pall bearers.

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