This week’s guru

An exercise in restraint

The saucy bedroom antics of British Airways staff have been blamed for the
disappearance of 250 pairs of handcuffs designed to restrain unruly passengers.

BA has now announced a handcuff amnesty to encourage employees to return

Simon Parker, head of BA’s safety and evacuation system quoted in BA’s
internal magazine Cabin Crew News, said replacing the handcuffs removed from
restraint kits is costing the airline a fortune.

"Your exotic practices in the bedroom are your own business, but please
stick to Ann Summers furry handcuffs," he said.

(The last time Guru suggested using handcuffs in the bedroom he found
himself fastened to the headboard for eight hours while Mrs Guru went

Nothing like job satisfaction

Guru was disturbed to hear from those clever types at Roffey Park that we’re
all grafting away in Dickensian sweatshops.

Apparently, it is due to the economic hard times and poor management
practices. To alleviate the increasingly stressful work culture, senior
management needs to communicate effectively with staff, understand problems and
foster trust – it will only happen if we (ie the golf-playing senior
management) regard the rank-and-file as our mutual friends.

Employers might hold great expectations about staff motivation and
performance, but they will have to brace themselves for the results.

Patricia Vaz, managing director of BT Customer Service, said a recent survey
of its call centre staff revealed there are front-line staff who don’t like
talking to people, or dealing with the public.

Keep your hair on and teeth in

A woman whose boss lost his dentures when he allegedly tried to bite her
bottom has lost her sexual harassment case.

Alanna Barrett claimed the equivalent of £3,000 for constructive dismissal
from the Bright Wood sawmill in Otautau, New Zealand.

Barrett, who resigned from her job in April 2000, told an employment
tribunal the incident had happened while she was out drinking with supervisor
Eric Watkinson and mill manager Paul Trow.

Barrett said that during the evening in 1998, an intoxicated Watkinson shouted:
"You don’t scrub up too bad, do you?" and then attempted to bite her
on the behind.

But the Dunedin tribunal found Barrett contradicted herself and ruled that
because the incident happened outside work hours, under New Zealand employment
law it was nothing to do with the sawmill.

Ladies: chill out with low-fat weed

Female public service workers trying
to unwind after work should consider a low-calorie alternative to chocolate and
a glass of wine – cannabis.

Unison’s eastern region is putting forward a ‘joint’ motion to
be debated at the union’s women’s conference in Cardiff next month, calling for
the legalisation of cannabis and highlighting its properties as a relaxant. The
motion explains non-smokers can also benefit from the drug by incorporating it
into recipes and cooking with it.

"Cannabis can be used for women to relax without calories
– in contrast to alcohol or chocolate," the motion states.

Guru will be interested in the standard of debate at the
remainder of the conference. He can see the first speaker standing to begin a
fiery rhetoric on NHS modernisation, only to submit to a fit of giggles, forget
her speech, mumble "whatever man" and wander aimlessly off stage.

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