This week’s guru

Actor robbed of job for delivering too much

Guru knows only too well the price you pay for being too good at your job.

Take actor Mick Lewis, whose services are no longer required at the York
Dungeon because he was too scary.

To stifle boredom, Mick spiced up his role as Dick Turpin’s executioner.
Unfortunately, he ended up terrifying tourists, leaving kids screaming and
women in tears.

"It was a perfect place to scare the pants off people," said Mick.
"Most people liked it but my bosses told me to tone it down."

With a hangman’s noose around his neck and a dead rat on his shoulder, he
recounted dark stories to his "victims". But Mick became the victim
when he forgot to tone it down.

Guru bets Sir Anthony Hopkins didn’t have the same problems on the set of
Hannibal. "Tony love, let’s try Ribena instead of Chianti, OK?"

This work thing is a bit of a ritual

Apparently, employees are more productive if they undertake daily rituals
such as wearing a favourite tie, drinking from the same mug or even using the
same toilet.

Research by recruitment agency Office Angels found that office rituals make
people more confident and productive.

Half of those surveyed always use the same toilet even if they have to wait
for it to become vacant and three out of four reward themselves with a treat
such as a chocolate for completing their least favourite task.

Guru agrees habits are important in the workplace. He finds it hard to
concentrate if he doesn’t arrive at the office at least half-an-hour late,
takes a two-hour coffee break and makes 20 personal phone calls before lunch
(You’re sacked – editor).

Height of work- life balance?

There is no doubt that work-life balance is easier to achieve with the help
of e-technology.

Scottish businessman Michael Jackson plans to stay in touch with his outdoor
clothing business when he climbs to the summit of K2 by sending the highest
ever e-mail.

If Jackson succeeds he will earn a place in The Guinness Book of Records for
his e-mail with altitude.

Guru is very impressed but suggests he holds on tight as he hits the send

"Look mum no hands…"

It is at moments like these that work-life balance becomes particularly

Recession-teller is just the ticket

OK, hands up those who think we’re entering a recession.  So it’s about fifty-fifty then.

Guru has used a complex combination of indicators to assess whether the UK
is entering the next recession.  It involves
job losses, business confidence, pay deals, inflation, star signs and dice.

This equation doesn’t include the sales of train tickets, as recommended by
one leading HR consultant.  This expert
in human capital believes that the current fall in sales of season tickets is a
sure sign of impending recession.  This increase
in daily ticket sales suggests more short-term contract work – a sign that the
businesses are gearing up for the plunge.

But perhaps we’re overlooking the obvious here – perhaps it’s more to do
with the parlous state of our rail network than being any harbinger of a

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