Conference call no bar to boozing

So it’s time for the Horrorgate – oops sorry, Harrogate – conference. Once again, Guru finds himself busy writing speeches for so-called ‘experts’ and preparing his constitution for the conference/extended drinking session.

Operating in a semi-covert fashion, as Guru does (a skill learned in the Special Farces), he can ask the following question with impunity: have you actually learned anything new at an HR conference? Speakers who get paid year in and year out to say the same thing need not write in.

Guru has travelled far and wide and feels it’s all rather patronising. Do you really need to be told that motivating your workforce is the key to productivity? Do you really need to be told that good employee benefits are a vital recruitment tool? If there was a kindergarten for HR tots, you’d hope they’d have already covered this for you.

So admit it – if you’re at the CIPD conference, you’re there to get drunk, do a bit of ‘networking’ with fellow delegates and, more likely than not, go to the legendary Harrogate zoo that houses the rare (but hardly endangered) Spearmint Rhino.

The only thing one can see on the agenda that is of interest is Gary Hamel’s ‘Quest for Resili-ence’ address. Guru has long wondered how to get through those hours at conferences between the clubs shutting and the bars opening again.

Save a few quid by taking kids to work

Finally, Personnel Today has gone completely overboard about age discrimination in the workforce this week, in case you hadn’t noticed. Guru simply couldn’t be left out of this debate as the scope for causing offence is just too great to pass up.

However, as always, there’s a twist. The employment of older workers is academic, really – it’s got to happen, and that’s that. The whole thing happens to be irrelevant to Guru, who considers himself timeless, or even an institution.

However, not a lot has been written about the other end of the scale. Let’s move on from ‘bring your kids to work’ day to ‘bring your kids to work five days a week’. First, you’ll save on education and all its associated costs. Moreover, the ‘school run’ would be a thing of the past, allowing fluffy animals and hedgehogs to frolic in our green and pleasant land without fear of being squashed by women in Volvos, hurtling around, talking on their mobiles.

As you can see from the photo at the bottom of the page, Guru has tested this theory and found his own son got real value out of watching daddy in his secondary role… as an airline pilot.

Finding top staff is all about chemistry

It’s hard getting the right people to work for you – there’s hardly an office in the UK where the plaintive call goes up that ‘you just can’t get good help these days’. Well, you’ll be glad to hear that you are not alone.

Take the story of the German chemistry student who turned up for an interview with a doctor of chemistry in Aachen. The doc thought something was awry and asked to see a notarised copy of the young man’s certificate of studies. The interviewee then did the first thing that came to mind: he ate his CV and fled from the office, thus revealing that he just might have forged the details.

However, the scammer was made to eat his own words in more ways than one since he didn’t scoff it all and left his address intact. The police have charged him with forgery.

Instead of being a scientist, maybe he is more suited to clinical trials, with him swallowing the pills, rather than administering them.
Have you been party to any particularly disastrous interviews? If so, let Guru know so we can all have a good laugh at your expense.


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