week’s guru

left Guru green around the gills

that the 500 passengers aboard P&O liner the Aurora had been struck down by
a powerful norovirus came as no surprise to Guru.

news of the virus – which causes nausea, chronic diarrhoea and vomiting –
‘leaked’, the Aurora was refused permission to dock in Greece. It then caused
Spanish authorities to close its border with Gibraltar when the ship docked

could have told passengers what to expect. After the HR Director’s Forum was
held aboard the vessel last year, he felt green for several days. He told Mrs
Guru he believed he was struck down by a powerful illness. She agreed – she’d
seen his bar bill.

of wisdom from HR profession

McCaffer, HR officer at the Crown Prosecution Service, sent Guru this list of
wise sayings that he feels could benefit the workplace:

If you’re too open-minded, your brains will fall out

Don’t worry about what people think; they don’t do it very often

Artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity

Not one shred of evidence supports the notion that life is serious

It is easier to get forgiveness than permission

For every action, there is an equal and opposite government programme

If you look like your passport picture, you need the holiday

Men are from earth. Women are from earth. Deal with it

There is always one more imbecile than you counted on

Experience is a wonderful thing. It enables you to recognise a mistake when you
make it again

If you must choose between two evils, pick the one you’ve never tried before.

a few lines clears the passages

school, Guru was constantly in trouble, and the age-old punishment of ‘lines’
was often meted out.

days, lines have been deemed a waste of time, with expensive holidays and the
odd bit of counselling becoming all the rage when it comes to disciplining
errant kids.

after a particularly fraught day, Guru realised that maybe he should have paid
more attention to his punishments as lines clearly play a significant part in
business life.

the other day. Guru was waiting for an important pack-age to arrive, but of
course, the fate of the post was on the line, and the Royal Mail and CWU
couldn’t seem to agree.

Guru headed out to give the keynote speech at Personnel Today’s HR Directors
Club breakfast, but, lo and behold, there were leaves on the line. Guru was
going nowhere. They lined up some chap called Waterstone to read out a few
lines. Guru supposes he would do in an emergency.

was there left for Guru to do except drown his sorrows at the local watering

at the bar next to a gorgeous lady, Guru felt a desperate need for something
clever to say. But could he come up with a decent line or two? Of course not.

point of all this linear meandering is this: if line managers want to get the
best out of people and prepare them for all eventualities, they should perhaps
set up a blackboard in the office. They could then randomly force staff to
write lines, thus focusing their thoughts and helping them improve the bottom

back on line, this new focus might even put them in line for a promotion,
clearing the passages to power. Maybe Guru needs to take a good look in the
mirror and take up a new line of business.

mix business with pleasure

couples no longer have to seek permission from their employers before marrying.
A new law introduced to celebrate the 54th anniversary of Communist rule means
couples no longer need the consent of their ‘work unit’.

Changzhen, a professor at the China University of Political Science and Law,
pointed to one of the many injustices that couples had faced. "Some people
didn’t have a good relationship with their managers, so when they wanted to get
permission for marriage, they were refused."

far as ‘having a good relationship with your manager’ goes, Guru recommends you
tread carefully. If you want to get married, relationships with the boss are
probably best avoided.

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