This week’s guru

Poetic licence inspires the bards

Last week Guru asked disciples to contribute to the thorny issue of skiving,
in limerick form. Who would have thought that HR could be such a hive of poetic
inspiration – or should that be poetic licence?

However, Guru does worry he has inadvertently aggravated the problem of
absence as one disciple wrote to say: "this is much more fun than

Here are some favourites:

Debbie Holmes, consultant trainer, PLUM Associates:

The doctor has signed you off
Because you had a small cough
But you’re swinging the lead
And relaxing in bed
You should have been born a sloth

Claire and Marion, HR managers, Munro Wholesale Medical Supplies:

You have workers who are off now with stress
It’s a worry, you have to confess
Give them guidance and care
Empathy, if you dare
If you don’t, you’ll end up in a mess

Sophie Lewens, HR administrator, Wilson Bowden:

It’s right at the top of my list
To see which people are missed
But no-one will quibble
A doctor’s scribble
As no-one can read what it says

Although she flouted the limerick rules, Guru couldn’t help but admire
the effort that Michelle Fletcher, HR officer at Schutz UK, put into her
reworking of the song ‘Boys and Girls Come Out to Play’:

Boys and girls, come out to play
It’s time to throw a ‘sickie’ day
You don’t want to go to work
And feel it’s time to chance a shirk
As you lay and doze in bed
Think of a way to swing the lead
Phone the boss to say you’re sick
With a croaky voice – oh,
that old trick
Then plan your day, go to the pub
And while you’re there, you down some grub
Before you watch the footie match
And down some more right down the hatch!
Next day, when you return to work
You must fill in your self-cert
This is a must, so you get paid
Perish the thought you lose a day!!!
Two weeks later, disaster strikes
It must have been that dodgy pie
There’s just no way that you can work
The toilet beckons – this is no shirk!
When you return, boss calls you in
With Bradford Factor, you can’t win
Lo and behold – how can this be?
Now you have disciplinary!

More next week…

Root out dead wood, and no tribunal cost

The DTI was much ridiculed when a national paper got hold of its
administrative anathema New Ways of Working, detailing (in a mere 2,000 words
across six pages) how plants should be distributed in the workplace.

Guru thinks it misses the point. Why pick on our green and fragrant friends
– the recommendations are far better suited to the human weeds.

The report states that no plant arrangements should ‘in any instances be
seen as personal property’. If only the report was human-orientated, then staff
up and down the country would be turning to bosses and explaining that workers
do not belong to them.

If the provision that plants should not be ‘intrusive or a nuisance to
others’ applied to certain colleagues, work would be a far more settled place.
And ‘plants should be disposed of in an environmentally friendly manner’ would
save paper by kicking out offenders with minimum bureaucracy.

So let’s not pick on those who supply us with oxygen, and concentrate on
those who waste it.

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