Keeping an eye on the bread line

The following tale of woe is from a genuine internal e-mail sent by a disciple to Guru. It concerns some unsavoury goings-on at a certain petroleum company. The organisation in question probably has very big scary lawyers and so shall remain anonymous.


Today, you will notice that a security guard has been placed in the kitchen. His role is to protect the sandwiches that are provided for the use of those people who are based in the offices.

The company [who are responsible for the catering] have an order to install a sandwich vending machine in the kitchen at [this company], however, for a number of reasons this has been delayed by several weeks.

The solution to this has been to introduce a security guard to protect the sandwiches that they are supplying because the sandwiches are being taken from the fridge by anybody on site, which is not what they are provided for.

The contract is for the supply of sandwiches only to those in the offices and at present they are being taken by anybody who wants to help themselves. This will obviously be overcome when the vending machine is installed, but in the interim, the security guard has been installed by [the catering company] to protect their investment.

Now bear with us here, because sandwich satire is rather difficult to do… Is this a full-filling roll for the guard? Will it not get a bit stale after a while? Rather, could this man become a god-like figure in the organisation, as staff ask him to ‘Give us this day our daily bread’? Ciabatta believe it.

Mexican police take a pounding

While Guru struggles to finish his food gags and to avoid focaccia because it sounds a bit rude, it appears the Mexican police have no such qualms.

More than 400 officers in the city of Aguascalientes have been ordered to go on diets because they are considered too fat to do their jobs. Local reports estimate 15 per cent of the police force fall (with a large thump) into the category of obese.

A police spokesman said: “They have to keep up with the new policemen, who are all in good shape. If they continue to be so fat, they won’t be even able to chase a turtle!”

That seems a rather odd analogy. Is there a lot of turtle-related crime in Aguascalientes? Guru did a bit of research and found that two of the major industries in the city are the natural baths (Aguascalientes means ‘thermal springs’) and textiles. So here’s the problem: it’s all very well asking your staff to get fitter and perhaps become patrons of the healthy natural springs. However, will this not leave the textiles industry reeling as the amount of cloth needed to make uniforms for the police plummets?

That will inevitably lead to job losses, civil unrest and perhaps some kind of military coup – and all of it over a turtle that is fleet of foot. Some people just don’t think of the consequences of their actions.

Giving polls the unions’ backing

Guru has chanced across a rather interesting website where members of the Public and Commercial Services union (PCS) get to moan about their employers in the Civil Service(

A while back, Personnel Today broke the story that the Govern-ment was planning to set up a trade union academy in partnership with said unions to help them do battle with employers. When the mag ran a barometer asking employers whether this was a good idea, the answer came back with a rather surprising and resounding ‘yes’.

If you read this site, it all becomes clear. The BBC is asking for opinions on whether the public supports the Civil Service strike that is coming.

A PCS rep called ‘Jimmy’ writes: ‘Please, please, encourage members, family and friends to make their views known on this subject’. So beware the truth of ‘public opinion’ in these matters – behind every great poll is an angry trade unionist.

Moreover, is it telling that ‘Jimmy’s’ moniker on the website is a pint of ale? Probably the first of many he will be enjoying on his day off (sorry, industrial action).

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