week’s guru

cruises through team-building

was unfairly accused of discrimination after he asked a female colleague if she
wanted a French Kiss. He was simply offering her a cocktail he had made while
attending the latest thing in corporate team-building, the Lab Experience.

offers executive teams the chance to get behind the bar and learn how to mix,
muddle and shake a Manhattan, Margarita or a Long Island Iced Tea, among other
exotic drinks.

organisers claim the event offers a blend of fun, team building and skills,
along with a shot or two of alcohol.

was asked to leave the session early after he spun out of control while in the
middle of a complex behind-the-back move that Tom Cruise would have been proud

chairman seeks the quiet life

HR director Peter Risdale could well be looking for a new job in the sector
after he resigned from the chairmanship of Leeds Football Club last week.

that appointment in 1997, his career included a spell as personnel director at
footwear firm Dr Scholl.

the last year, he has come under fire from fans for sacking manager David
O’Leary, hiring and firing his successor Terry Venables, and selling the club’s
most famous personnel Rio Ferdinand, Jonathan Woodgate and Robbie Keane.

has also had to cope with the fallout from the trial of Jonathan Woodgate and
Lee Bowyer, who were accused of assaulting an Asian youth.

suspects Risdale might well breathe a sigh of relief after leaving the volatile
world of football management, where he has had to juggle the competing demands
of share-holders, fanatical supporters and spoilt, overpaid footballers.

again, it all sounds like a day’s work for your average HR director.


it comes to making excuses at work, Guru has always prided himself on being
something of an expert.

range from old favourites such as dental appointments, gastric flu, migraines,
‘the dog ate my report’, to the more far-fetched, such as pulled facial muscles
(caught making a face at the boss), agoraphobia (constant late-ness) and
Tourette syndrome (swearing down the phone at client who was not actually on
hold after all).

a New York trader has blown all these out of the water with the most bizarre
excuse ever. Suspicions of insider trading were aroused when the man made $350m
in just a few weeks from an $800 investment.

confronted, the trader said he was a time traveller from the year 2256, and in
a bid for leniency, promised to reveal a cure for Aids and divulge the
whereabouts of Osama bin Laden. Investigators have so far been unable to find
any record of the man’s background.

he really is a time traveller, perhaps he can tell Guru when the long-awaited
data protection code on monitoring will finally be published – then again, he
does only come from 200 years in the future.

who can provide Guru with the best examples of work-related excuses they’ve
heard (or used) will win one of his fabulous mouse-mats.

sense fails to prevail at tribunal

was left gobsmacked last week when council officer James Robertson won his
claim for unfair dismissal after he was sacked for attacking a man in an Indian
restaurant with an axe.

was dismissed from his position as senior health inspector by Preston Borough
Council and subsequently jailed for the attack, which followed a trivial row
with a diner in the restaurant.

the employment tribunal ruled in favour of Robertson, who argued that he had
not been allowed to challenge the evidence against him at the disciplinary
hearing and was not offered another post in line with council procedure.

hopes that the ongoing review of the employment tribunal system will ensure
tribunal panels must include at least one person with the ability to combine
legal knowledge with basic common sense.

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