January: what a miserable start to the new year

Experts, scientists and boffins – whoever they may be – have combined their formidable brain power and discovered the earth-shattering fact that January is a little bit miserable.


The Edinburgh Sleep Centre found that the first month of the year is the most sleepless. Each night this month, up to 8.5 million adults are awoken at 3am by work, family and money worries and a vague feeling that, since it’s been dark for 11 hours already, it should really be time for breakfast.


This sleeplessness impacts on employers as their staff come to work knackered and grumpy and either take time off sick, or surf the internet researching Australia’s immigration requirements.


Guru is no stranger to waking up with a start at 3am, wondering whether he remembered to remove the swear words from that e-mail to the editor. And he finds it ironic to worry so much about work at 3am, when it is at 3pm every day that his mind starts drifting and he feels it must be time for a snooze.


One afternoon, tucked up in his pyjamas and sleeping cap, Guru wondered whether it was time for innovative HR staff to call employees in to work in the early hours, when their minds are clearly on the job, and let them get home early for their post-lunch snooze.


Guru’s greatest hits aid next generation


Rejoice, disciples, for Guru’s influence is spreading. This truly must be his calling as he has been asked to take the word of HR professionals to those who really need it. That’s right, Guru is helping the desperate – sixth formers in the city of Norwich.


Dave Poulter, information services co-ordinator for Connexions Norfolk, was so impressed with your stories of appalling interviewees that he stuck a load of them on the back page of a booklet about applying for jobs.


“Every pupil in year 12 in Norfolk gets a set,” he proudly announces.


Fantastic work, Dave. And because no-one ever gets bored of appalling interviewee stories – and because Guru is busy preparing for a radio interview with Alan Partridge – here’s a few of the best entrants.




  • Hobbies: ‘Trees and playing with my hamster.’


  • Describe yourself in one word: ‘Volatile.’


  • Any questions?: ‘Do you test your employees for drugs and, if so, on what days?’


  • Reference: ‘Everyone has their cross to bear. This man was mine.’

Who wants to be at PM’s beck and call?


Downing Street is having a nightmare trying to find Tony Blair a butler.


It emerged last week that the president – sorry, prime minister – had decreed it necessary to hire a “house manager” to run Number 10 and look after visitors.


This was the latest in a series of lavish appointments that has seen a doubling of the number of staff working for Blair since he came to power.


The problem is that no-one appears to want to do it: the job was first advertised in September, but the position has yet to be filled.


To be fair, HR has its work cut out persuading any butler worth his salt that he wants to work for possibly the country’s most power-crazed man.


A little harsh? He delights in bringing home loud Americans and lairy, in-vogue pop stars, has a testing relationship with next door, and refuses to say how long he will be around. At least he concedes he will leave this year.


Having said that, the dearth of applicants might leave the door open for an application from Guru. Then, were there to be an unfortunate ‘accident’, you would all know the butler did it.


Mercury not rising


Guru is both angry and upset. The mercury in his thermometer hasn’t risen this week (and that is not a euphemism for his love life).


No new sponsors signed up this week to support the Personnel Today teams’ entry into the Osborne Clarke Challenge, part of the Asics Reading Half Marathon, which takes place on 25 March.


So far, language recruitment specialist Nordic Staff and staff communications agency TCS are the only corporate sponsors. So, in the words of Sir Bob Geldof, “give us your fecking money”.


All corporate sponsors that pledge £25 or more to either or both teams (the boys’ This time it’s Personnel and the girls’ HR Cheetahs) will get a mention in this column, and will feature on our athletic attire and in promotional photos.The higher the pledge, the bigger and more prominent the logo.Personal sponsorships are also welcome.


Click here for more information and to sponsor the teams. All proceeds go to The Children’s Trust.

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