This week’s guru

And the prize goes to the lady with no teeth

With compensation culture damaging many employers in the UK, Guru feels it
is time he launched his own version of the Stella Awards. These would
acknowledge the most frivolous and unjust lawsuits in the US.

Recent nominees include a Philadelphia restaurant being forced to pay a
customer $113,500 after she slipped on a soft drink and broke her coccyx.
Nothing funny there, except that the beverage was on the floor because she had
just thrown it at her boyfriend during an argument.

A lady also successfully sued a nightclub after she fell from the bathroom
window and knocked out her two front teeth. This occurred while she was trying
to sneak through the window in the toilet to avoid paying an entrance fee. She
was awarded $12,000 and dental expenses.

Maybe we should have an award for the most outrageous tribunal application –
any nominees?

Cross-dressing gig at 35,000ft

Laughs are understandably hard to come by in the airline industry at the
moment. With swingeing job cuts and plummeting passenger numbers, airlines are
having to come up with new ways of guaranteeing customer safety.

US carriers are adopting the hard line approach. Many are pushing for armed
guards to patrol passenger planes during the flight.

EasyJet has come up with a more innovative approach. It has recruited
cross-dressing comedian John Linehan on Glasgow to Belfast flights, whose job
it is put people at ease at 35,000 feet.

Guru (a nervous flyer at the best of times) thinks that this a much better
idea, but hopes that the cabaret qualities that lie within every steward and
stewardess are not inflicted on the travelling public.

How not to get ahead in HR

Guru was impressed with the display of "HR with attitude" at the
Boardroom HR conference earlier this month.

Rather than the usual dull advice on how to impress the board, the delegates
at the joint Personnel Today and TMP Worldwide event put together a list of the
most impressive ways to fail in HR.

Guru’s top five were: 1. Be really nice to everyone all of the time, 2. Appear
really bored when business performance is discussed, 3. Create another piece of
paperwork, 4. Spend ages arguing whether HR is the best job title, 5. Invent
another competency-based model.

Far from sucking up to the chief executive, HR has got to be tough and
challenge him, delegates were told by Tesco’s head of HR Clare Chapman.
"Be prepared to be bold and be fired," she declared. Distract Guru
from polishing up the "hobbies" section of his CV by sending him a
better top five.

Here’s Graham with a quick recap

Explain how you would persuade Patrick Vieira to wear a dress? This isn’t
some strange football fantasy that Guru has been harbouring for years, but one
of the worst interview questions ever asked, according to recruitment agency

Guru would have praised the Arsenal midfielder for his lovely legs and
remarked that an above-the-knee hemline was the best way to show them off.
Other questions were not so easy, such as, "What would you do if you found
a crocodile in the bath?" Apparently, bludgeoning it to death with a
bottle of Listerine is not the correct answer.

It is all an attempt by recruiters to ask off-the-wall questions to gauge an
applicant’s unplanned response. "In the style of Graham from Blind Date,
explain to me why you want this job," was Guru’s particular favourite.

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