BBC cost-cutting may really take the biscuit

This week’s Guru

BBC cost-cutting may really take the biscuit

As the recession starts to spread beyond manufacturing, newspapers are
starting to fill up with stories of cost-cutting at Marconi, BA and so on.

But the pick of the bunch is the BBC’s efforts to save £1.5m. It could
result in BBC biscuit barrels being emptied. Free croissants and taxis are also
on the hit list.

A report by the revenue department shows that the BBC spends £350,000 on tea
and coffee and more than £200,000 on biscuits. But it’s unlikely that staff
will benefit from biscuits at the licence fee-payers’ expense for much longer.

Elsewhere, the CBI has reportedly found £30,000 to have its logo redesigned.
Apparently director general Digby Jones is fed up with it protruding from
behind his head at photocalls so it is being shrunk to a more manageable size.

Shamen drive off wardens’ woes

If you headed up HR for traffic wardens, how would you help them deal with
psychotic drivers? Maybe an anger management course, kickboxing lessons or even
sprint training.

Airport Corporation of America (APCOA), which operates Edinburgh’s traffic
warden service, has opted for tribal shamen. The shamen will help wardens cope
with angry drivers by helping them get in touch with the spirit world.

It’s an attempt to stem the flow of staff leaving, as over the past two
years, 30 wardens have left and several more have complained of stress from
irate drivers unhappy with their fines.

Guru fancies a bit of shamanic training – which puts people in touch with a
spiritual "power animal" that provides protection – but faced with an
irate white van man, would prefer a voodoo doll and a collection of large pins.

Your dream job may be out there

An increasingly eccentric bunch of job-seekers are scouring the Net for
gainful employment.

Of the 6 million job searches made in the past month at
there were searches for positions of porn star, professional skateboarder,
layabout and cake taster.

Guru sympathises with the latter, but has no time for the 1,000 people who
spelt the job they want wrongly. "Secretary" was a tough one with 110
people making a mistake.

But apparently people after unusual roles should not give up – positions of
tarot card reader and lap dancer, for example, have been advertised.

Facial hair maketh men of police

Moustaches are being viewed as the answer to law and order in India. Police
chiefs in the Indian region of Assam are paying their men to grow huge
moustaches in the fight against crime and terrorism.

Officers get 15 rupees (21p) extra pay a month and are considered for
promotion more readily because senior police believe it makes male officers
look more manly and authoritative.

The "cash for a tache" scheme could be introduced for traffic
wardens in Scotland to strike fear into rampaging drivers, but Guru feels that
female wardens might have a thing or two to say about it.

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