This week’s guru

Is vetter a prisoner of his own conscience?

Guru’s past has returned to haunt him many times but few concern serious
transgressions of the law (stealing traffic cones doesn’t count).

The managing director of, which carries out checks on job
applicants, is probably wishing that he hadn’t promoted the company’s services
so vociferously (News, 7 August).

A Mori poll commissioned by the company showed that one in five people
questioned admitted exaggerating details on their CVs and one in three had lied
about qualifications or work experience.

Mark Castley, who set up the online staff vetting company, was convicted of
trading while insolvent in the 1990s.

Bet that little gem isn’t on his curriculum vitae.

It pays to check car for talcum

HR directors should be worrying about more than just the recession.

They should be particularly vigilant for vengeful colleagues. Horror stories
compiled by online careers service Fish4jobs include one PA filling the air
vents of her boss’s car with talcum powder and watching him and his VIP clients
jump out spluttering when the engine started.

Another injected milk into her boss’s chair and spread mince under his desk,
and one placed an ad with the manager’s home phone number in a lonely hearts

More civil rights than slave trade

Guru opened up a can of worms (hopefully this phrase hasn’t offended anyone)
when he asked his disciples for the meaning of the phrase

Many HR professionals have been told that it relates to the abuse suffered
by Africans on slave ships. Some believe it relates to the rape of women,
others to the conditions on the lice-infested lower deck.

But the website claims that the only written records
of the phrase date from 1956, throwing into question its slave trade origins.

The Bloomsbury Dictionary for Contemporary Slang claims the phrase
originated as black slang in the 1960s and referred to grooming one’s scalp.

HR networking forum UKHRD recently found that, far from being racist, the
word became common among the black civil rights movement of that period when it
was used to describe hard bargaining.

Got any more you’re worried about?

Fine example of NHS staff shortages

Skills shortages are so severe that they are even being used as a legal

A hospital consultant was recently found guilty of slapping one London
Underground employee and head-butting another. What could have provoked such
anger? A delay on the Northern Line.

The judge, however, decided it was inappropriate to send him to prison
because the NHS is short of staff. He faces only a £1,000 fine – which is
hardly onerous for a senior doctor – and the prospect of London Underground
banning him from the tube.

Guru wonders what the sentence would have been had the guilty party been
from a different sector with skill shortages, such as construction or haulage?

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