This week’s guru

Tied in knots over sexism claim

The Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) has settled a case that could have
given rise to thousands of further claims in the workplace. The subject must
have been of crucial national importance, surely.

But then Guru remembered we live in a time when political incorrectness must
not be tolerated, and should be hunted down in a manner befitting the Spanish
Inquisition. ‘Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!’ you cry. Sorry, but yes
they do, which is why the aforementioned, society-altering case revolved around
the wearing of ties.

Jobcentre worker Matthew Thompson argued he had suffered sexual
discrimination because he was forced to wear a tie while his female colleagues
weren’t. He won and the DWP appealed. Then they bottled it and said that
everyone could wear whatever they liked as long as it was to a ‘professional
and business-like standard’.

A few questions arise: did Thompson really think this was discrimination, or
did he just find ties uncomfortable? How far does it go? Does it irk the legal
applicant that he is not encouraged to wear a dress?

As Shakespeare astutely pointed out: ‘The apparel oft proclaims the man’.
Productivity is already low enough without encouraging further lackadaisical
habits among our output-challenged workforce. Let’s just allow everyone to come
to work in pyjamas and be done with it. Male staff must be allowed to wear
nighties if they wish, for legal reasons.

Following this story has made Guru long for a tie – preferably one made from
rope, attached to a sturdy gallows.

Germans have very little to laugh about

At least 120 workers could lose their jobs after a manufacturing company
declared plans to relocate. Addis, makers of household goods, is also planning
to transfer part of its operation to a factory in Germany.

This news is clearly not funny, but desperate times call for desperate
measures. Guru was eager to insult Germans this week as part of his ongoing
crusade to discriminate against everyone on the planet. But there just aren’t
any good German stories to be had.

To compensate for the turgid German working environment, here are a few
jokes doing the rounds on the German comedy club circuit:

A man walks into a pub.

He is an alcoholic whose drink problem is destroying his family.

Q: Why is there no aspirin in the jungle?

A: Because it would not be financially viable to attempt to sell
pharmaceuticals in the largely unpopulated rainforest.

Q: Why do undertakers wear ties?

A: Because their profession is very serious, and it is important that their
appearance has a degree of gravitas.

As we’re back onto ties, if undertakers stopped wearing them, would it be
the death of the industry? Do their tight collars mean they are prone to bouts
of coffin? With these thoughts in mind, Guru is beginning to wonder if he has
German blood himself.

Office love: the good the bad and the ugly

With Valentine’s Day firmly out of the way, it seems only appropriate to
thank you all for your cards and kind words. Guru’s in-tray was groaning under
the weight of flowers and salacious offers, most of which are too risqué to
publish. But here’s a selection of your best (and worst) office romance

– I met my fiancé at work and we’re soon to be celebrating our second year
together. Office romances do work and at the company where we met there are
about 30 other couples. Everyone who works here says there is something in the
water. I think they’re right.

– This guy at work started seeing this girl and he wanted to keep it quiet.
One day he accidentally sent an e-mail intended for her to a group of about six
male colleagues. It started: ‘hey sleepy’, and ended: ‘love fluffy bunny’. He
was called Bugs Bunny for the rest of the year, and someone even bought him
some carrots.

– The office Christmas party catered for several small companies, one of
which was the nursery my MD sent his children to at the time. At the end of the
night, me and a colleague were dragged off clubbing by two nursery workers. Our
MD spent the next three months looking for a more suitable nursery as he
doubted the moral fibre of the staff.

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