This week’s guru

Och no, just checking ma loose change

Personnel director of Corus Allan Johnston was obviously trying to put a
difficult few months of redundancy consultation behind him as a delegate on the
annual HR jamboree aboard the P&0 flagship, the Oriana.

He donned full Scottish regalia – a striking tartan kilt – and drowned his
sorrows at the bar until 2am.

In trying to pay for drinks, he surprised the waiters when he rummaged
around in his sporran for his credit card.

One of his managers at the steelworks in Newport, South Wales, could have done
with a protective sporran. David Horne was zapped in the testicles with a stun
gun after he told an employee off for sloppy work. Horne clenched his teeth so
hard he later needed dental treatment.

The father-and-son assailants pleaded guilty in a Cardiff court to the

War of words in numbers game

Unpopularity is often a hallmark of being a chief executive but Camelot’s
chief Dianne Thompson has taken it to a new level.

She told the 450 HR professionals on the Oriana that after successfully
bidding to become the Lottery operator for a second term she started to receive
hate mail.

One accused her of being a greedy fat cow who should work for nothing,
adding that although it was the season of goodwill he wished a plague and
pestilence on her.

It all came to a head during the recent scandal over the lost Lottery
ticket. Thompson was on a treadmill in her gymnasium when she spotted a fellow
gym user reading the front page of the Daily Mirror. It showed Thompson wearing
a Victorian skullcap with the headline "Mrs Scrooge". Ah, the joys of

High rollers on the high seas

E-technology, work culture, staff motivation and effective communication
were the serious issues of the day on the Oriana.

But at one of the tables in the ship’s Oriental Restaurant diners were more
concerned about how many HR professionals would wear glasses to dinner, how
many would injure themselves on the dance floor and which Beatles hit the band
would play first.

If it moved, the MD and director of one HR IT solutions company would bet on
it. The wager? The loser had to drive the other home – not an easy task
considering the size of their hangovers.

Wanted: school-leaver for dogsbody

E-recruitment might be all the rage but sometimes it can make a dog’s dinner
of it. Mike Johnson, author of Winning the People War, told delegates on the
Oriana that one company managed to offer a job to a 12-year-old schoolboy. His
mother informed the company that he couldn’t come to work that day because he
had a maths test at school.

In another case, a headhunter attempted to recruit a dog called Neville.
Quite how Neville managed to use a PC is uncertain. His career was short-lived
and the office yucca plant has never been recovered.

Neville should go to Denmark, where a company called DMZ employs a dog in
its reception. When staff feel the urge they can take it for a walk.

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