Chile protestors in naked art display

The lamentable literary and numerical abilities of students entering the workforce are the bane of recruiters, who are trying to sort the chaff from the slightly less chaffy.

You have to wonder how much of the fault for this lies with the schooling system, and how much lies with the ingrates that we are teaching. As an old-school disciplinarian, Guru could wax lyrical for days about ‘sparing the rod’, but discussions about his rod have got him into trouble before, so we’ll just leave it there.

However, the little darlings might well learn something from this tale of desperation. Students in Chile felt so passionate about their education, they stripped off to demonstrate against what they perceived to be poor-quality teaching.

The group of 25 college students (who certainly hadn’t shirked their PE lessons by the look of them) stripped off in Valparaiso. They painted their bodies with protest slogans (the photos show that art class is definitely substandard), and said they wanted to let the nation know about how poor schooling in the region was.

Now that’s the kind of enthusiasm we should be looking for.

Disciples continue to spread the word

This week brings all the strands of Guru’s recent endeavours together, much like the final part of a film trilogy. Sadly, there are few resolutions here, just more questions – clearly someone hasn’t read the script.

Yes, we’re talking about Guru’s favourite three topics of the moment: moronic management speak, silly CVs and interminable interviews. But, just to keep you on your toes, the ‘interview’ tale actually involves a dismissal procedure. (PS, more of these please; there’s nothing Guru likes more than a good giggle at another person’s expense.)

Dear Guru,
With reference to your search for the source of management jargon [Personnel Today, 13 June], I remember my father (who, during the 1939-45 war, was a rear gunner in a Lancaster bomber) telling me of the phrase: “It’s fallen off my radar.” It meant that the enemy was no longer in gun-fire range, and therefore was not an immediate danger.
Disciple Nick

Dear Guru,
Having picked up a recent issue containing letters about outrageous claims on CVs, I thought you might like this one.  In a previous life, I was a manager at a printing company, where one section was known as bench work or hand work. A badly written job application stated: “I have been in the trade all of my life, and am very good at hand jobs.” Talented guy.
Disciple Anon

Dear Guru,
In all my time in HR I have had to dismiss staff, but I recently experienced the weirdest one yet. This particular employee had been off sick for months with sciatica. Although we had tried various ways to help her do her work, it wasn’t working.
Her manager and I called her in to my office to tell her we had to let her go. However, I had spoken no more than six words before she said: “Sorry, but I’m going to have to lie down – my back is killing me.”
I therefore had to dismiss her while she was lying on her back – which was very surreal. It was made even worse when she started to cry, and her tears formed pools on the floor.
Disciple Vanessa

Squadger spotter resolves mystery

This final offering is from Disciple Gail, who solved the vexing issue of what ‘squadger spotting’ is (Personnel Today, 30 May):

Dear Guru,
Further to the ‘hobbies and interests’ section of the ‘raving mad’ CV recently featured in Guru, I thought you might be interested to know that a squadger is an unfortunate stripy woodland creature, crossed with an articulated lorry. I spent many happy childhood hours on long car journeys, spotting Well done sirsquadgers, squeasants, squabbits, squigeons etc. However, sq-squirrels always posed a problem.

Special mention

Guru would like to offer his Award for being Rather Satirically Excellent (ARSE) to Disciple Edward, who sent in this warning concerning the cartoon in the 30 May issue of Personnel Today about uranium-powered Y-fronts:

Dear Guru,
Please don’t encourage people to wear nuclear underpants, because Chernobyl fall-out!

Disciple Edward

Well done sir!


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