Warning: World Cup will destroy UK plc

As this magazine went to press on Friday, Guru was packing up his desk and heading for the hills because the world was about to come to an end. The terror that is the World Cup (of football, for those not in the know) was starting.

How could such a tournament bring even the mighty Guru to his knees, you ask? Over the past few weeks, any PR company with access to a PC (which is a lamentably high percentage) has been bombarding Yours Truly with press releases detailing the fall of capitalism through the medium of the Beautiful Game. Here are some of the alleged pitfalls you could be facing (with plenty of football metaphors and exclamation marks to make sure you confront this issue with suitable gravity):

 Discrimination claims could be the penalty if you give staff time off to watch games!!!! Remember, not everyone watches it and women might complain that such a perk is sex discrimination!  Don’t get caught offside by forgetting not everyone is English! If you only let staff watch Beckham et al, that could be racism!!! Employees could be heading home for an early bath to get ready for the game. Absence levels will rocket! This could cost UK business £25m!! Employees might not be match fit!

“The World Cup season is generally accompanied by mass consumption of salty snacks, fast food and alcohol… each pint is the calorific equivalent of a cheeseburger and fries,” the experts tell us.

Managers could score an own goal if they let staff skive off with hangovers after England inevitably under-perform!!! Letting them off could set a precedent for exploiting your good nature as a manager in the future! (Oh, and by the way, don’t knock Guru for the under-performance quip; 40 years of results speak for themselves.) Internal national frictions could show good morale the red card! Well-meaning patriotism can easily go too far!!

A company’s brand and reputation could be stretchered off if staff get involved in hooliganism!!

About this time, Guru ran out of appropriate football references and began preparing for this post-apocalyptic (or should that be post-worldcupolyptic?) world. He hopes it will resemble the Mad Max films, if only because it’s about time he was able to dust off the codpiece and gimp mask that he bought in the 1980s to emulate the bad guys.

 (NB. If you have similar aspirations, bitter experience has shown this outfit is best not worn on the high street.)

Spread the word on management speak

Like a vicious and ever-evolving disease, ‘management speak’ continues to plague our meeting rooms.

After Guru told readers just what he thought of ‘putting lipstick on the pig’, his disciples have been kind enough to send in a steady stream of correspondence on their favourite pieces of jargon.

Disciple Charlie offered these examples that had been uttered round the office:

“I don’t have the bandwidth for that.”

“That’s for a car-park conversation.”

“It’s not on my radar.” (Old, but a classic.)

“Going forward” – on EVERY occasion when you might use the expression ‘in the future’.

“Will I ping that over to you?”

Disciple Elizabeth also chipped in with:

“What does good look like?”

“Have we got the right people on the bus?

” SDLqWe’ll talk about that off-line.”

“Come to the edge… you can fly!”

Special mention for disciple Paul who sent in a whole bingo card designed with the NHS in mind, which included such delights as ‘overarch’, ‘underpin’, ‘visioning’ and ‘beacon’.

Rather scarily, it also included the words ‘initiative’, ‘equality’ and ‘delivery’.

If these are words that managers only use when they want to sound clever, then the NHS could be in even worse shape than we have been led to believe.

On a final note, the reference to something being on one’s ‘radar’ made Guru think: “What was the original piece of jargon?”

So keep sending in the new ones, but let’s also try and trace the origin of the species. That way, we can make sure we are all singing from the same hymn sheet.

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