This week’s guru

City workers get out the plastic to spare blushes

City workers are going under the knife at a London clinic in an effort to
stop them blushing while taking part in stressful business meetings or

Highgate Private Hospital’s surgical director Anthony Mitra said his doctors
are carrying out four or five of the £4,000 operations a day, mainly on young
men in high-powered jobs.

"Any suggestion of weakness or anxiety makes them feel at a
disadvantage, so this surgery enables them to go into a meeting knowing they
will look cool, calm and in control," he said.

Guru is relieved he is a confident public speaker because the operation
sounds painful – surgeons snip the sympathetic ganglions at the base of the
neck that trigger the blushing response after feeding tiny forceps up through
an incision in the armpit.

Finnish life in the fast lane

The Finns have an interesting way of knowing how healthy their economy is –
the size of their speeding fines.

Motorists in Finland caught breaking speed limits are awarded fines based on
their income.

When Nokia executive Anssi Anoka was caught speeding on his Harley Davidson
in October last year he was given a fine of £71,500 – equivalent to 14 days of
his 1999 salary.

The 44-year-old appealed, on the grounds that his company’s share price has
plummeted, taking his income with it.

The court was sympathetic and last week reduced the fine to £3,522 based on
his average income for 1999 to 2002.

Absence makes hearth grow cold

Business travel may be good for your career but it can make your partner
ill, according to research.

The partners of frequent business travellers are three times more likely to
suffer from mental health problems and they also suffer from significantly
worse health overall, including higher rates of eczema, gastritis and irritable
bowel syndrome.

Doctors believe that the stress of ‘intermittent husband syndrome’, when a
partner is abandoned to cope with the household alone, is to blame.

The study was made by medical officers at the World Bank, who examined the
insurance claims of 4,600 spouses over one year.

Guru was surprised by the findings, as whenever he returns home after one of
his lecture tours Mrs Guru always seems a picture of health and contentment.

Aussie KFC staff are finger lickin bad

Why did the Kentucky Fried Chicken
managers run across the coals? To boost confidence and motivation, of course.

Except it backfired somewhat when the 30 managers had to be
treated by ambulance staff after burning their feet during a three-day
conference in Australia.

These KFC managers obviously work too hard – many of their
contemporaries develop cast iron feet from walking between the sea and their
‘combis’ across burning hot sand.

Roger Easton, KFC managing director in Australia, who burned
his left foot while taking part in the fire walk, said the activity would be
removed in future. At least they now know how the chickens feel, thought Guru.

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