This week’s guru

FO keeps meter running to top the taxi ranking

Guru is impressed by KPMG’s new policy of allowing staff to sign off
expenses – it is set to save the company £1m a year.

That is, of course, assuming staff don’t become as obsessed with taxis as
those at the Foreign Office. They spent £378,000 on cabs in just eight months
last year. The Cabinet Office only managed a paltry £135,391 between 2000 and

Guru can imagine the conversation between the cab driver and the Whitehall
mandarin: "So mate, it’s first left at the traffic lights, third exit at
the roundabout and then straight on to Tel Aviv."

Minister can’t always be on the winning side

The Employment Bill has been welcomed by employers and staff alike and
employment relations minister Alan Johnson would appear to have the Midas touch
(News, 12 February).

This does not, however, extend to the football team he supports. Before an
audience with Guru, Johnson was cursing the fortunes of his other lifelong
love, Queens Park Rangers. Not only is the club in serious financial trouble
and barred from any transfer activity while in administration, but it has
agreed a ground-share deal with arch London rival Fulham.

Guru will not be inviting Johnson to grace the corporate hospitality box at
his beloved Shrimpers, as even the minister’s constituency team Hull are on a
losing streak, languishing in the depths of the Third Division.

Filming takes drugs tests a wee bit too far

Personnel Today research last summer revealed a third of employers were
considering the introduction of drink and drugs testing at work.

While this sent shockwaves through the sector, they didn’t reach Australia.
To our antipodean cousins, drugs and alcohol testing is small beer. A mining
company in Queensland has started filming staff as they give urine samples to
make sure there are no underhand happenings.

"Our employees work with heavy equipment and hot metal in an
underground environment. We cannot afford to have staff adversely affected by
alcohol, illicit or prescription drugs, or fatigue," said Mount Isa Mines’
operations manager.

Employees who test positive for drugs will be put on a rehabilitation
programme, or funded through drama school.

Females enjoy the finer detail in life

Guru likes a big night out. But while
extremely talented in the skill of free thought, Guru is often let down by the
logistical detail required.

That is why he was glad to hear that women are spending up to
11 working days each year on planning nights out.

The research by Archers Schnapps also shows that men are as bad
but are more spontaneous and use quicker communication methods, such as text
messages and e-mail.

The psychologist behind the report claims women are excited by
the lengthy planning process, or ‘be-foreplay’, and likens it to their
attitudes to sex.

Guru would not like to hazard a guess at why men adopt a
hair-trigger approach.   

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