Settle disputes the old-fashioned way

The number of tribunals in 2004 has rocketed compared to last year. While Guru wouldn’t like to suggest that the present system isn’t working, he was over the moon to see some Euro-peans finding a more sensible way to solve their differences.

After Heinz-Christian Strache – a member of the far-right Austrian Freedom Party – likened party leader, Joerg Haider, to a ‘crazy dog barking at the moon’, one of the party faithful leapt to Haider’s aid.

Roman Strassl said Strache had offended the honour of the leader, and after rowing until 2am, challenged him to a duel.

The two – both members of ancient fraternities that think nothing of a bit of steel on steel – then talked to the party’s HR department and sorted out a mutually acceptable time for the fight (well, that’s how Guru imagined it happened anyway).

After blades had clashed at dawn, the party refused to say who had won. A spokesman merely said: ‘There weren’t any losers, just two winners whose honours were upheld.’

Insiders claimed that both were injured, but it was Strassl who didn’t arrive for work the next day. Strache turned up with cuts and bruises.

These fun-loving fascists might have inadvertently stumbled on something here. If you have two candidates for a job and can’t work out which one to pick, give them a sword each and let the games begin. The one who makes it in the next day clearly has greater longevity.

Work hard, play hard, drink hard

Sometimes Guru feels his advice is falling on deaf ears. A recent study by online retailer found that 42 per cent of employees and 55 per cent of customers said that last year they received an alcohol-related gift at Christmas. Good start.

However, 54 per cent of those employees and 74 per cent of customers said they were unimpressed with their gift. Most groups cited the lack of imagination as the reason. What?! The only reason these people were given booze was probably to give them the imagination that they themselves are most likely lacking.

The Government is with Yours Truly on this one. In July, advertising standards were readdressed and it was deemed acceptable to show images of alcohol in the office.

That’s practically telling people to drink more booze in the workplace.

If you’re not convinced, let science explain. Alcohol kills the weakest brain cells. Therefore, if you drink in the office, all the half-hearted cells that are holding you back from fulfilling your potential will die a well-deserved death. Productivity would rocket. So all those nay-sayers who eschew your kind gifts are basically telling you they don’t want to be high performers. I think you know what to do with them.

As a great philosopher once said: “A day wasted is never a wasted day.” Amen to that.

What’s a phobia between friends?

Last week, Guru launched a competition asking disciples to tell him what the first and last phobias are alphabetically. Ten correct entrants are to receive a copy of Can I Sack The B*****d? – A Practical Guide To Discipline And Dismissal, by lawyer and consultant, Kate Russell.

The first five winners are:

– Janice Kempshall, HR administrator, B&W Loudspeakers Ltd

– Paul Twynam, training manager, HFT

– Alastair King, personnel manager, CPAS

– Mike Race, assistant director of HR, Gloucestershire Partnership NHS

–  Wam Thuo, assistant HR adviser, Vinci plc

Many thought acrophobia – the fear of heights – was the first, but it seems they still have a mountain to climb. One disciple decided aardvarkphobia would be a better answer because it linked up with zoophobia. The other winners will be unveiled next week so you’ve still got time to enter.

Here’s a weird thought: how do you know you have a phobia? Surely you can’t know you are scared of something until you actually bump into it.

Perhaps you’re scared of ballet-dancing frogs, but you won’t know until they sneak up on you. (Canti-cumranaphobia – the fear of dancing frogs! Create your own phobias at www.archives.

Comments are closed.