This week’s guru

Acting up in store

Guru was interested to learn that
Sandwell Council is spending £300,000 on using actors to train staff to deal
more effectively with the public.

Guru suspects it is not the first time an employer has adopted
such an approach to improving customer service – workers at his local
supermarket appear to have already mastered method acting.

The delicatessen boy has obviously been coached by De Niro.
"Are you talking to me, ARE YOU TALKING TO ME?" (aggressively, after
being asked for quarter of a pound of duck’s liver pate), while the store
manager has drawn on Paul Newman’s performance in Cool Hand Luke, with his
catchphrase: "What we have here is a failure to communicate when faced
with complaints."

Guru is particularly impressed by the performance of one of the
shelf stackers, who can generally be found mumbling incoherently to himself in
the corner "the horror, the horror…", in a perfect echo of Marlon
Brando’s mad colonel in Apocalypse Now.

Bogus job advert attracts wrong kind of response

With the escalation of the ‘global war on terrorism’, Guru has been
struggling to see the funny side in a lot of things recently.

He is not alone – Jobcentre bosses have also lost their sense of humour. One
of its staff posted a spoof vacancy on the Jobcentre Plus website asking for an
assassin. It read: "Looking for someone trained in using an AKW50 sniper
rifle. Ideally, you will have done two to four assassinations. However, willing
to train someone cold-blooded in nature".

The ad also said the successful candidate would get a top-of-the-range
company car and a licence to kill.

But after a rapid investigation by Jobcentre management, it looks like the
only licence being handed out will be a P45.

Cutting edge of the jobs market

And speaking of improbable jobs, a
position for a knife-thrower’s assistant has been advertised at job centres in
Wirral and Liverpool.

Despite its obvious dangers, two people turned up for an
interview – which involved standing on a narrow wooden board while 10, 12-inch
knives were thrown at them at speeds of up to 70mph.

Apparently the current assistant, Russian-born Jana Rodionove,
22, wants to be replaced so she can concentrate on her hula-hoop routine. Hmm. So
the move has nothing to do with the knives being thrown at you Jana?

Guru should apply – Mrs Guru has been throwing knives, plates,
cups, kettles and pretty much every other kitchen implement at him for years,
and regularly tells him he should be in the circus.

Berlusconi bugs ugly mugs with jibe

Italian Prime Minister Silvio
Berlusconi has angered unions  after he
praised bosses at a cancer research centre south of Rome for employing
beautiful women.

He said: "I want to pass my compliments to the directors
for having such beautiful staff. When you were all hired, beauty as well as
intelligence was obviously taken into account. Beauty helps you work better,
especially if the person sitting at your elbow is attractive."

Guru hears what Silvio is saying, he certainly works best when
there are mirrors around.

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