This week’s guru

Got you bang to rights chapter and verse

Whenever Guru gets a bit short of anecdotal outpourings, he can always count
on the police to turn something up.

Humberside police force is employing a comic poet to help officers
communicate better. The usual approach, "Hello, hello, hello, what’s going
on here then," is destined to be replaced with something more flowing.

The poet, Ian McMillan, is described as "relentlessly jolly" and
is poet-in-residence at Barnsley FC.

The poet’s modest fee will come from administrative budgets rather than
funds intended for front-line crime-fighting.

Fortunately, victims of crime will not be handled by sonnet-spouting
sergeants. A police spokesman said, "Ian’s humour will only be used where

Hola! I need to spend a peseta

Guru was lucky enough to be invited to the launch of an HR software product
in Madrid last week. But it turned out like a debate in the European Parliament
– everyone saying something meaningful, but no one saying it in the same

The Spanish tried to speak English when demonstrating the product, and the
English people involved in the project used presentation slides in Spanish. At
the climax of the presentation, Guru – who had indulged in too much sangria –
asked where the toilet was, and was told it was 2.30pm. Guru admits that the
problem lay with his linguistic abilities, not theirs.

Talking a good game

It seems as though politicians are not the only ones indulging in a little
spin at the moment.

Big businesses are exaggerating how well they are doing to get staff to work
harder, reports the Independent on Sunday.

Companies such as IBM are talking up their successes in order to make staff
more enthusiastic. At IBM, the process is known as "faction" and
involves real-life anecdotes being exaggerated by executives.

Guru is so intrigued by these urban myths that he wants to hear examples
from his disciples. We’ve all heard about Bill Gates’ enigmatic presence at
Microsoft HQ and how it prompted round-the-clock working.

Do you know any stories? Remember, we’re talking about corporate urban
myths, not ones involving Hollywood actors and hamsters. Contact Guru at the
usual address.

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