Blame office indiscretions on your age


New research claims that there is a work mid-life crisis to rival the personal one that many people face.

When this strikes, you find yourself unhappy in a job that you used to love, or you suddenly take enormous and uncharacteristic risks in the office, according to research from the Land of the Responsibility Free (or the US if you’d prefer).

Psychologists at the University of Akron – which is real and not just a Star Trek locale – blame these crises for instances of financial fraud and sexual affairs at the office.

Guru has heard of esteemed HR professionals queuing up at the Ferrari dealership, and taking a little more interest in hiring a new PA than is tasteful.

Guru knew there was a reason why he’d been in so much trouble, and not just with Mrs Guru. However, it might be difficult to convince the judge that it’s possible to have in excess of 20 ‘mid-life work crises’.

Flexible worker needs reality check

A question that disciple Steve Hulse had to deal with recently: ‘Hi. I’m working part-time, Mon-day to Wednesday. As I don’t work Fridays, I won’t get Good Friday as a bank holiday, so am I entitled to a day off in lieu?’

Guru is not sure what Steve’s response was, but he can only hope the answer was a resound-ing ‘yes’. Better still, in these days of flexible working, why not give him further holiday? A compulsory and indefinite number of days of non-paid holiday with the option of seeking further employment should do it.

At the other end of the scale, too much intelligence in your workforce can also be a bad thing. How would you train one of your people to deal with a customer who was unsatisfied with his purchase because: ‘Your product only works in three dimensions and I think in five’?

Nell sniffs out new path to job success

What could be more glamorous than the world of international modelling? The world of sewage, of course.

Model Nell McAndrew has signed up to become the voice of Yorkshire Water’s new website, dedicated to the treatment of effluent.

The lady who body-doubled for computer heroine Lara Croft will help guide you through a full tour of the company’s Esholt sewage treatment works on the outskirts of Bradford.

Her dedication to the job is not in question – she will be taking part in an actual tour when the service opens.

However, you can’t help but feel Nell has got the whole thing the wrong way round – people normally change jobs because the previous one stinks, not the new one.

Guru wonders whether this change of career is only temporary, or has Miss McAndrew poo-pooed the fashion business for good?

Either way, check Nell out online from 20 May at www.wastewatertour.com

Church streaker leaves minister with nowhere to turn
Which church minister had issues with his flock?

The church hit the news recently over a debate as to whether priests and ministers could claim employment rights. Traditionally, the clergy has been exempt from employment rights because they are deemed office holders not employees, and as such are working for God rather than an earthly organisation.

If they can’t turn to the religious version of HR, where are they to go? This story is a case in point.

The minister in question received a call to get down to his church asap as there were events afoot. Upon his arrival, he noted the church was surrounded by police.

An officer explained the story. A man had broken into the church and got himself locked in. He did the obvious thing and decided he should escape – but not before he shed his clothes. The police were called when a neighbour saw a naked man climbing out of a skylight.

At time of going to press, the man’s motive remains a mystery.

Do you have any true stories about your (or anyone’s) workplace that you’d like to see in ‘Ear to the Ground’? They will be kept strictly anonymous and you will be able to bathe in a sense of righteous satisfaction. Please send them to guru@personneltoday.com

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