Monkey business in minister’s office

They say that if you pay peanuts, you’ll get monkeys, but if you’re a government minister, then maybe that’s just what you’re after.
Indian minister for human resources, M A A Fatmi, has hired a langur monkey to scare off other monkeys after they repeatedly attacked his office and smashed lights and ripped up documents.

“[The monkey and a handler] scare away the monkeys and cage the more naughty ones. So things are better now,” a spokesman told the Hindustan Times.

While this may seem like a fantastic example of diversity in action, it also shows the darker side of the business hierarchy. While in the UK, HR might be forced into hiring ‘monkeys’ due to the national skills crisis, in India, it is due to the snobbery of other business functions.

The Indian petroleum minister refused to use the office, no doubt because he was far too important, and so the poor HR fellow was left to battle the regiments of simian marauders alone. Where’s Charlton Heston when you need him?

And while it may seem like proactive management, it does run the serious risk of making HR a laughing stock. Other functions already think there’s enough monkey business in the profession as it is.

HR phrases for the surgical generation
One in four women in business would consider cosmetic surgery to boost their career, according to research. Now, normally when we talk about getting the chop in HR, it isn’t referring to some masked doctor performing invasive surgery, but there you go.

The survey by the Aziz Corpor-ation claims this illustrates the growing importance of appearance in determining your success in business today. Twenty-six per cent of the ladies would consider a face-lift, 27% plastic surgery, and 28% Botox treatments, if they thought it would boost their career prospects.

The results reveal that male bosses are less vain than their female counterparts. One in five male directors would consider plastic surgery, while 15% of men would contemplate a face-lift, and 11% Botox treatments.

Guru questions whether the male approach really proves that they are less vain, or simply in denial. However, there is no doubt that plastic surgery is becoming more popular, and, since a large number of folk seem to be up for going under the knife, it provides an excellent opportunity for HR to ‘speak the language of business’.

So here it is, HR for the surgically enhanced generation:

  • Boob job: When you are put on to organising payroll
  • Face-lift: Intended consequences of a change management strategy
  • Botox: The frozen face you assume when listening to management outlining its new change management strategy
  • Breast enhancement: Promising diversity policies
  • Penis enlargement: Poor diversity policies
  • Liposuction: Taking the fat out of your organisation (or downsizing, if you will)
  • Body sculpting: Training programme for young high-fliers (or moulding them in your image)
  • Nose job: The uncomfortable task of telling a member of staff their personal sanitation leaves something to be desired
  • Tummy tuck: Strong, strategic HR that refuses to swallow just any old thing.

Short sleeves ease greenhouse effect
You might remember a few years ago when thousands of staff at Jobcentre Plus took their employer to an employment tribunal over whether or not they could be forced to wear ties to work.

Well, now the Japanese are following suit – casually.

In an attempt to cut greenhouse gases, Japanese staff are being asked to dress down. This means adopting the ‘Cool Biz’ outfit, which consists of ditching the jacket and tie in favour of a short-sleeved shirt. It is hoped this will lead to the reduced use of air conditioning, thus helping the environment.

Government is leading the way by enforcing the radical step in their offices, says prime minister Junichiro Koizumi. New government policy dictates that from June to September, government officials must “work with light clothes with moderation that would not deviate from social norm, except for unavoidable situations”.

Guru was going to query whether our politicians would follow this environmentally-friendly approach, but then he remembered – of course they will! They’ve got 80 days off from July to October, and will undoubtedly have their sleeves rolled up while they tend the garden. That’s dedication for you.

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