Allergies stripping employees of work

Latex hit the headlines recently after a groundbreaking legal decision by a court to award a former nurse £350,000 after she developed a life-threatening allergy while working at two hospitals in Swansea.

The court awarded in Alison Dugmore’s favour after hearing that she suffered a series of anaphylactic attacks as a result of using latex gloves coated with corn powder.

If you think that’s bad, spare a thought for Donna Cleeve, who also had a job making sure people are feeling nice and healthy.

She has been forced to quit her £1,000-a-week job as a pole dancer because she’s allergic to the metal pole.

The 20-year-old from Ports-mouth, who used the stage name Honey, developed a red rash after each performance.

It’s the nickel used in the poles that’s to blame, apparent-ly. She knew she had an allergy to the element, but didn’t know it was used in the poles.

She said: “It’s hard to look sexy when your legs and body are inflamed. I tried to ignore it, but in the end it wasn’t worth the pain.”

She’s now given up her dancing and taken an £18,000-a-year job in sales. Despite Ms Dugmore’s negative experience, Guru feels latex could have only have enhanced Ms Cleeve’s success in her role.

Saucy Sue enjoys acting up for bosses

Following Personnel Today’s incisive investigation into the issues that are most important to HR (in this case, savoury snacks), disciple Sue wants to come out of the closet with her psychological study of what her favourite crisps say about her:

‘Has to be Tomato Ketchup. What does it say about me within the workplace? The actress. Everything carried out with a certain amount of ‘sauce’. Whether it be motivating staff, running a promotional roadshow or selling an idea to senior management.’

One can but hope there is not too much sauce involved, otherwise Sue might be better suited for the role left vacant by Donna ‘Honey’ Cleeve.

Stay sharp with a big latté and morning TV

Cynic Paul, from a certain pharmacy chain, wrote:

‘Having literally just opened my copy of Personnel Today, I note a different snack has now come under the scrutiny of the ‘we have nothing better to do with our research funds’ brigade – the humble crisp.’

Point taken. As we’re on the subject of dubious research, Guru would like to nominate Kevin Warwick, Professor of Cybernetics at Reading University, who has discovered that watching chat shows and drinking coffee boost mental performance.

According to his research, “what seems clear is that many of the so-called ‘bads’, such as coffee and alcohol, have a positive effect on short-term performance, whereas many of the ‘goods’ such as listening to classical music and drinking orange juice do not come out of the study so well”.

Warwick stresses that the effects on long-term performance are reversed – with a good diet being essential to high performance.

Is this why Kilroy has suddenly been catapulted into our consciousness? His life up until now was so centred on coffee and morning TV, he must be some kind of genius.

The mute commute
Staggering feat as Blair holds on

We’re giving away coveted Guru mousemats to anyone who can suggest a well-known HR person travelling to work in an odd manner. In light of the news that the retirement age may rise to 70, Helen from Huddersfield suggested Tony Blair on his way to Parliament in the way we’ll all probably be travelling by the time retirement eventually comes around. Send your ideas to

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