This week’s guru

Guru cowed by irate Dons outside FA

In an outbreak of World Cup fever last week, Guru dropped in on the Football
Association to see if they could provide further insight into England’s

While he received little steer as to whether England deserve their 10-1
odds, he did learn about an impressive HR-driven culture-change programme that
has helped double the FA’s profitability in two years.

As Guru left the Soho Square offices, a large football fan bellowed
"scab!" in his ear. A ‘picket line’ of Wimbledon fans were protesting
at the FA’s decision to allow the club to move to Milton Keynes.

When he tried to explain that he was a journalist and not a member of staff,
the Dons fan screamed: "So, you’re a liar and a scab."

"Tell that to the concrete cows," said Guru – when he was well out
of earshot.

Gene genie put back in bottle

Recruitment is becoming an increasingly sophisticated area as employers try
to gain an advantage in the battle for talent.

However, Guru is concerned that the latest development which has raised its
head in the US (where else?) could be slightly sinister – genetic testing.

Last week, government advisory body the Human Genetics Commission called for
UK legislation banning employers from asking individuals to take a genetic test
as a condition of employment.

Guru is relieved – growing up in a small village in Dorset meant that his
genetic pool was decidedly small and rather murky. Any prospective employer
with access to his DNA could be in for a shock.

Commuting’s for the birds

Confused commuters using Newcastle’s underground Metro trains will soon be
listening to the calls of blackbirds, curlews and kittiwakes as they wait to go
to work in the mornings.

The bird calls will be played over platform speakers in an attempt to
brighten up workers’ journeys and to mark the Royal Society for the Protection
of Birds’ Wake Up to Birds Week.

Guru was all for the idea, until he heard that the broadcasts will also
feature periodic messages from conservationist andformer Goodie Bill Odie – it
could be the last straw for some poor depressed soul on the way to work.

Guru can picture the scene; first the eerie sound of disembodied birdsong,
followed by surreal messages from a 1970s comedian – the voices, the voices,
the roar of the train, end it all, end it all, blessed darkness…

Would-be spies are in for a nasty surprise

Applications to join MI5 have soared from 70 applications a day to 130 since
BBC spy drama Spooks began broadcasting.

MI5, which is aiming to recruit 60 new graduates and 120 school-leavers this
year to help in the war against terrorism, is delighted with the surge in

Hits on the MI5 website have also jumped from 6,000 to 10,000 a week thanks
to a link on the BBC’s website for the hit show.

However, secret service whistleblower David Shayler who left MI5 in 1997 to
go public about alleged abuses, was not impressed. "This is only likely to
attract the sort of people who like exploding pens and Aston Martins. They will
get a rude awakening when they join."

Guru (who has always enjoyed a rude awakening) is sending off his
application this week.

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