Bolshoi ballerina too big for her tutu


It is very difficult to know when you are discriminating against a colleague these days. Be it sexual, ethnic, religious, age, direct, indirect or whatever; rest assured, you are abusing someone, somewhere, somehow at sometime.

While Guru didn’t think it possible, he has found an area of discrimination that has maybe escaped the righteous zeal of the British Government, and other interested parties, in the story of a Russian ballerina who got sacked for being too fat.

The Bolshoi Theatre was ruled to have broken the law when it dismissed Anastasiya Volochkova, who had become ‘too heavy to lift’.

The Russian labour ministry said she should be reinstated, despite representatives of the ballet company saying, ‘her physical form is definitely a serious problem’. Russki press is suggesting that it is the size of her ego rather than her waist that led to her dismissal.

Guru thinks we should spare a thought for the (literal) work-life balance implications for her male partner. The last thing a professional dancer needs is to be faced with a mammoth partner, whose bulk could easily turn the most beautiful Swan Lake into a Nutcracker Suite.

Crunch time for greedy managers

Biscuits are back on Guru’s agenda after hospital managers were ordered to forego snacks during meetings after spending more than £50,000 on refreshments last year.

In a memo to staff, Geraint Martin, the chief executive of Kettering General Hospital NHS Trust, said: ‘The practice of managers being able to order sandwiches, biscuits etc for meetings from their departmental budgets is now suspended until further notice”.

Martin is clearly not a Guru disciple – otherwise he would realise the importance of biscuits to the working population.

Biscuits made the front page of Personnel Today after Guru was swamped after asking which snack was the favourite of management guru Meredith Belbin.

Guru simply can’t resist coming to the conclusion that Martin’s decision takes the biscuit and he would be crackers to withdraw such a powerful people motivator.

Keep an open mind when office planning

Open-plan offices are all the rage, but be careful that your attempts at feng shui don’t leave you with bad karma.

According to workplace specialists Morgan Lovell, a badly designed open-plan office can lead to under-performing staff. The benefits of an open-plan space are undisputed – efficiency, improved communication and a better team culture. But beware of poor design, which can lead to resentment from staff due to lack of privacy and constant interruptions.

Guru agrees. There’s nothing more annoying than colleagues interrupting Guru in the middle of a fine cigar.

A badge too far…

A lollipop lady has been found guilty of ‘unprofessional’ behaviour after pinning 30 colourful badges to her hat.

Children in her charge gave Audrey Elliot the badges to liven up her crossing in Borrowash, Derby. However, Derbyshire County Council has invoked a little used bylaw, restricting her to only two decorations.

With the Government quite keen on military matters these days, Guru recommends Elliot designates each badge a ‘campaign’, thus earning her the right to wear her ‘medals’ like any proud serviceperson. Who can forget the Great Borrowash Traffic Jam of ’96, or the School Child Crossing of 2001? Com-parisons to Moses crossing the Red Sea would be well observed.

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