Happy retirement is a real lottery
As Guru sits behind his desk, safe above the rabble in his Ivory Tower, there is a battle raging over the state of public sector pensions and when public servants should be able to retire.
In case you’ve been in a coma induced by reading a previous story about pensions, from April, the earliest retirement age under the Local Government Pensions Scheme will increase from 50 to 55, while normal retirement age will be standardised at 65.
This led the trade unions to break out Prudence, the inflatable pink pensions pig, and protest all over England.
While on a stroll through Newcastle, Guru thought he had got drunk by mistake again. However, he soon realised he had stumbled across one of these union rallies. (For the record, Guru subsequently discovered he was indeed drunk, when pink elephants joined the parade).
Now, if those in local government could just follow our European cousins, all this unpleasantness might be avoided. Take Germany, for example, where town councillors in Blumberg say their community of 10,660 residents has one of the largest debts in Germany, at 1,700 per head.
Rather than meddle with pensions ages and any other fiscal tomfoolery, they have done the sensible thing and have started playing the lottery.
These selfless public servants have formed a lottery syndicate and are gambling on a big win to wipe out the town’s debts. Moreover, they are using their own cash.
Thomas Lauble, the local finance officer, said: “The most important figures in my week are now the seven numbers drawn each Wednesday and Saturday in the national lottery.”
Could the UK civil servants be persuaded to adopt this sure-fire solution to deficits? Yeah right – and Prudences might fly.
Working yourself into an early grave
As you read your copy of Personnel Today, you are probably taking a well-earned break from a hard day’s HRing. You’ve been working like a log and now you should be sleeping like a dog, as the Beatles once said.
Whatever your state, pity poor Mr George Turklebaum, 51, who died at his desk and was found five days later after fellow staff failed to notice he wasn’t as sprightly as usual.
According to the New York Times, the cleaners at Mr Turklebaum’s publishing firm only discovered he had passed on when they asked him why he was in the office at the weekend.
His boss said that the hard-working proof-reader was always first in and last out of the office and, as such, nobody had thought to question his dedication by inquiring whether or not he was still breathing.
Ironically, the poor chap had a heart attack while he was proof-reading the content of medical manuals.
There is clearly a moral to this story. First: whatever you do, make a song and dance about it. Second: don’t work long hours – it will make you a ghost of your former self.
Essential parts for making a leader
Leadership week has been and gone, but it got Guru to thinking; who would be the perfect HR director? See what you think of his choices and the reasoning behind them. If you think you can come up with anything better, let us know.
Head: Winston Churchill – Never short of a pithy put down for those who doubt the strategic benefits of good people management. (Example quote: “I can resist anything but temptation – and HCM”).
Body: The Terminator – His unflinching dedication to finding the right people.
Legs: Kylie Minogue – Known for her dedication to HR – for example, Spinning Around; surely an anthem to 360-degree feedback.