This week’s guru

Call for HR to get down to the bar

Guru is a little bit concerned about his obscenely large expenses bill
following an exhausting three-and-a-half days networking on the luxury liner
the Aurora, which hosted this year’s HR Forum.

The bill reveals his passion for ‘slippery nipples’ and other dubious
cocktails, after-hours bottles of champagne and gambling in the casino.

However, Guru now has a ready defence for when he is called into the MD’s
office after listening to Professor Bob Garratt’s seminar Under-standing
boardroom dynamics and decision-making.

Prof Garratt said: "HR directors don’t get outenough" and should
spend more time in bars and conferences such as the Richmond Events’ HR Forum.

The prof also said that learning what colleagues, competitors and the wider
world are doing is vital if senior HR executives are to get on to the board.

Guru is hoping this explanation will help calm the MD. If not, he is already
working on an HR metrics solution for next year, proving the link between
business expenses and output.

Pitch aggression could lead to ‘total business’ solution

Guru top-scored for winning team G in the HR Forum’s five-a-side competition
on the top deck of the Aurora.

Team G, displaying an invigorating brand of ‘total football’ last seen being
played by Johan Cruyff’s Dutch team of the 1970s, completely dominated the
opposition during the tournament.

That is the report Guru would have liked to have filed. Unfortunately, as in
so many areas of his life, Guru’s performance failed to live up to his (or Mrs
Guru’s) expectations and his team were knocked out in the first round.

Guru tried to take the ball back to his cabin after his exit from the
competition, but was chased around the deck and nearly lynched.

Guru reflected, as he counted his bruises after slinking back to his cabin,
that if your average HR director was half as aggressive in business as they
were on the footie field, they should have no problems reaching the top table.

Ironing out equal opportunities issues

Guru was pleased to hear that the EOC is to launch an investigation into how
pregnant women are treated at work (see News, 13 May).

However, an e-mail from a disciple last week reveals that sexual
discrimination is so deeply embedded in society that even those supposed to be
cracking down on it, such as employment tribunal chairmen, are not immune.

The HR professional, who wished to remain anonymous, explained: "We had
a complaint of discrimination against us. In court it quickly became apparent
that a pivotal point would be the complainant’s mastery of English. It was soon
revealed that she had been married to an Englishman for a number of years.

The lawyers set about arguing over which language she spoke at home and her
husband’s command of her native tongue.

After a while, the chair of the tribunal decided he had the question that
would, in one blow, quantify the strength of her English.

"He waved at the lawyers to stop, sat up straight and said ‘Tell me Mrs
[Smith]Éwhat language do you use to ask your husband if he wants his shirts

Guru would like to point out that he always does the ironing in his house,
usually before he makes Mrs Guru’s supper.

Guru shocked by benchmarking antics

Back on the boat, meanwhile, Guru was shocked. Apparently while he was
tucked up alone in his cabin with a hot chocolate after the bar had closed each
evening, some HR professionals were taking part in late night ‘benchmarking’.

"Surely not!", he exclaimed when told of the shenanigans.

"Oh yes," a reliable source informed him, "you should have
heard the conversations in the women’s toilets this morning."

What? 360-degree feedback? Balanced scorecards? Guru could only imagine.

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