This week’s guru
Jammy Judy brings debate to a close
It is time for closure on the great biscuit debate. It was first initiated
when Guru published behavioural psychologist Gladeana McMahon’s work on the
link between biscuit preference and personality type (27 May).
Renowned business academic Meredith Belbin, whose theories on personality
types and management teams inspired McMahon’s groundbreaking work, joined the
debate and offered a free packet of biccies to the reader who correctly guessed
Unfortunately, no one came up with the right answer (see p3: Jaffa Cakes
and, more recently, Organic Ginger Crunchies, but Guru did receive a disturbing
number of responses revealing the unhealthy obsession many disciples have
One example would be HR manager Judy, whose biscuit mania developed as a
Judy says: "I’m a Jaffa Cake girl now. Put them in the fridge in the
morning; in the evening, crack the chocolate off; then peel off the circle of
jelly and suck hard until it disappears; then dunk the sponge before
Judy, get some help. You should be telling this to your therapist; this is
certainly not Guru’s area of expertise.
Guru has concluded that the biscuit could be at the heart of the UK’s
productivity problems. We spend so much work time thinking about, eating and
analysing them, that we don’t leave ourselves enough time to be innovative. No
wonder we have to work the longest hours in Europe just to stand still.
Guru couldn’t give a XXXX about Oz claim
On the subject of working time, Guru was astonished to learn that
Australians work longer hours than the citizens of any other country in the
According to a report by the Australian Council of Trade Unions, a higher
proportion of our Antipodean cousins work a 50-plus hour week than in any of
the other 29 member countries in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and
Guru spent a year working Down Under in the ladies’ shoe section of a
department store called Grace Brothers (true) just after graduating, and he has
a few doubts about the accuracy of the trade union report.
In Guru’s experience, absenteeism and skiving off early for a few cold
tinnies appeared to be an accepted part of the work culture across Australia
during the long, hot summer months.
Also, when was the last time anyone did a good day’s work in Home and Away
Guru can only assume that the few Aussies working those hours have to do so
in order to pay for the amount of time the rest of the workforce spend having barbies
on the beach, while taking a sickie, mate.
No wonder they get all of the sunbeds…
Guru’s preconceptions about national work culture took a further battering
last week after hearing that the Germans are the laziest nation in Europe.
Apparently, legendary German efficiency is being undermined by the fact its
workers take on average 43 days’ holiday a year, compared to 37 in Austria and
Spain and 33.5 in the UK.
No wonder the German economy is struggling with just about the lowest
economic growth in Europe and the highest unemployment. Of course, it will
allow our Teutonic neighbours to ensure they get their towels down first on sun
loungers across Europe this summer.
Battery operation causes bit of a buzz
Guru has reflected many times that it can be difficult to see the wood for
the trees. It is often only when Guru has nearly finished a project that he
realises he has missed something startling important because he has been so
fully engrossed in the detail.
So, he has every sympathy with the IT professionals commissioned to design a
website for battery firm Powergen Italia (no connection with Powergen UK).
No doubt it is an excellent interactive site, with an astonishing breadth of
useful information and services.
However, there was something the IT boffins overlooked when they were
beavering away: its address.
Is it just Guru, or is it hard to take a website seriously that is called