There were lots of dos and don’ts at a seminar last week on how to behave at employment tribunals.
For those accorded the dubious honour of representing their organisation against aggrieved ex-employees, part-time panel chairman Professor Alan Neal related a favourite anecdote.
Neal recalled how he and his two panel colleagues had to suppress their mirth after a group of Chinese government officials descended on them for a visit.
After attentively listening to the start of proceedings our men from the ministry got up to depart.
“As they left the room they each bowed deeply in the direction of the panel, with comical results. It gave everyone else in the room the impression this was standard behaviour in tribunals.
“From then on every time someone got up to go leave they would turn to us and bow.
“We felt we’d finally got the respect we deserved.”
Ken too busy to spell out plans
• It was to have been the first time Ken had spelled out his plans for employment in London since taking office as London Mayor. Everyone was waiting with baited breath at the Recruitment and Employment Confederation conference at the London Hilton recently.
But, as so often happens with senior politicians now, it was a no show. With minutes to go before he was scheduled to speak, Ken’s minions sent a message saying a transport crisis necessitated him backing out. The organisers did, in vain, offer to come to his office with camera and ISDN link so the audience could hear his message but he didn’t have a minute to spare, the minions said. So the recruiters and employers are none the wiser as to what his great plan is.
If Ken was just any old boss we could criticise him for poor prioritisation, bad time management or plain old lack of manners. But, after all, it is Ken and he did manage to secure one of New York’s finest as the new transport supremo. So that’s all right then?
Columns have extra protection
• At last. Guru can sleep easily in his bed knowing that concrete columns now have extra protection.
Yes, a press release has been faxed through to Guru announcing that supporting columns across the UK are now immune to blows from errant forklift trucks thanks to this medium density poly-ethylene Column Guard. The guard, from an environmental products company, comes in sizes to fit most universal beams to fend off even the most sadistic truck drivers.
Millions of jobs on one web site
• The Internet is never short of superlatives and extraordinary claims. One recruitment web site, AlljobsUK.com, is a new site which doesn’t post its own jobs or CVs but claims to connect you to every single job on the Internet through links with 250 recruitment web sites and around 20,000 agencies and consultancies. The result is a site with more than two million job vacancies out of a total working population of 30 million: that means that around 7 per cent of all jobs are being advertised at any one time.
You have to wonder how long it would take to scroll through two million jobs and also whether an IT specialist would want to look at a couple of thousand pages of jobs for shop assistants.